Advertising
Advertising

This Word Makes it Impossible to Stop Being Lazy

This Word Makes it Impossible to Stop Being Lazy

“My big problem is that I’m SO lazy.”

How many times have you heard someone say that? How many times have you said it? I know I’ve gone through phases of my life where I just couldn’t seem to get off my butt to get stuff done, and I’m definitely guilty of calling myself lazy.

But eventually, I stopped. Because labels like “I’m so lazy” are incredibly negative and become part of your identity. Worse, they hide the real problems preventing you from achieving what you really want. Changing the way you talk about yourself is an important self for both self-love and personal achievement.

When you use a label like “I’m so lazy,” you’re taking a specific thing that you’re struggling with—be it your work, a side project, getting fit, or just doing your laundry—and applying it to your entire identity as a person. It’s tempting to think of this as just a thing people say. It’s easy to write off our problems as a personality trait, and for some reason, that’s made calling ourselves lazy (or “a disaster” or “such a klutz”) socially acceptable.

But the words you use to describe yourself matter. They change the way you think about yourself and the things you do.

Advertising

3 Reasons to Stop Saying You’re Lazy

1) Labeling makes your problem part of who you are

Making “laziness” or any other negative trait a part of your identity means that you have to fight yourself anytime you want to do anything!

If you define yourself as lazy, you have to confront that fact every day, with every action. The label you’ve given yourself based on a small number of experiences becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. It’s hard to stop being lazy.

2) You need to change your identity to change

If being lazy is part of your identity, you need to change who you are as a person in order to change anything.

That’s so intimidating! I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to change who I am every time I set out to accomplish something new. It’s much harder to do that than it is to change the little actions that are causing my problems.

3) It’s wrong!

Ask yourself: are you really lazy?

Advertising

I told myself I was lazy when I was struggling to keep up with my writing. But at the same time, I was working out 4-6 times a week and cooking healthy meals every night.

The last person I heard call themselves lazy (because she put off doing chores around the house) was a solid 50 pages of script into writing her first solo screenplay. Does that sound lazy?

There are probably plenty of times where you’re a motivated, driven person! Figuring out what makes those times different can help you stop being “lazy.”

2 Steps to Stop Being Lazy

Defeating your laziness label and taking action isn’t always easy, but it can be done by interrogating the label and taking a small action.

Step 1: Interrogate the Label

First, attack the label itself. For laziness, find areas of your life where you aren’t lazy. If you’re “such a disaster,” when are you NOT a disaster? Your labels probably aren’t as universal as you thought.

Advertising

Then, look at the specific action you’re having trouble with and ask: “why?” What makes this different? Keep asking that question until you get to the real answer.

In my writing, for example, every time I procrastinated was really because I wasn’t sure what to say. If I didn’t have a good grasp on the subject or didn’t have a subject at all, the task of writing a whole article was incredibly daunting. My problem wasn’t laziness; it was uncertainty.

Have you ever put off going to the doctor or calling for test results? For me, I tend to delay because I’m worried about the results that will come back. I have stuff to do! I don’t want to be told that I need some expensive treatment or need to take time off the activities I enjoy. Again, the problem wasn’t laziness; it was fear.

Step 2: Take a Small, Immediate Action

Once you know the real problem, it’s so much easier to solve!

If your problem is uncertainty, how can you make your task less uncertain? If your problem is fear, how can you make the task less daunting? If your problem is self-confidence, what can you do to convince yourself that you’re capable of this task?

Advertising

In my writing example, I set a smaller goal than “write my article on this topic.” Instead, I focused on finding one good source on the subject. Once I did that and had a better understanding of the topic in general, I would make a detailed outline. Turns out, having an outline is enough to make me stop procrastinating and write.

When I was new to fitness, I was both scared and lacking self-confidence. So instead of saying “I’m going to get super fit and have abs,” which I didn’t believe I could do, I asked “what are the programs that people like me have success with?” By reading online success stories, I was able to convince myself that it actually is possible to get fit. That I wasn’t an exception to the rules of human biology. With that knowledge, I focused on starting smaller, being consistent while slowly scaling up, and staying motivated over the long haul (and finding ways to do that).

Instead of saying that your problem is a result of who you are, know that it’s a result of what you do. Suddenly it becomes much easier to change. Understand your labels and the problems almost solve themselves.

More by this author

4 Ways to Feel Stupidly Confident at the Gym Six Reasons you Don’t Work out (That Aren’t Your Fault) This Word Makes it Impossible to Stop Being Lazy 5 Surprising Ways to Stop Gasping for Fitness Motivation

Trending in Lifestyle

1 20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity 2 30 Fun Things to Do at Home 3 10 Things Only Those Who Travel With Friends Understand 4 20 Creative Ways To Say Thank You 5 Expert Advice That Will Teach You How to Increase Your Metabolism

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on November 19, 2019

20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

Are you usually punctual or late? Do you finish things within the time you stipulate? Do you hand in your reports/work on time? Are you able to accomplish what you want to do before deadlines? Are you a good time manager?

If your answer is “no” to any of the questions above, that means you’re not managing your time as well as you want. Here are 20 time management tips to help you manage time better:

1. Create a Daily Plan

Plan your day before it unfolds. Do it in the morning or even better, the night before you sleep. The plan gives you a good overview of how the day will pan out. That way, you don’t get caught off guard. Your job for the day is to stick to the plan as best as possible.

2. Peg a Time Limit to Each Task

Be clear that you need to finish X task by 10am, Y task by 3pm, and Z item by 5:30pm. This prevents your work from dragging on and eating into time reserved for other activities.

3. Use a Calendar

Having a calendar is the most fundamental step to managing your daily activities. If you use outlook or lotus notes, calendar come as part of your mailing software.

I use it. It’s even better if you can sync your calendar to your mobile phone and other hardwares you use – that way, you can access your schedule no matter where you are. Here’re the 10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track .

Find out more tips about how to use calendar for better time management here: How to Use a Calendar to Create Time and Space

4. Use an Organizer

An organizer helps you to be on top of everything in your life. It’s your central tool to organize information, to-do lists, projects, and other miscellaneous items.

These Top 15 Time Management Apps and Tools can help you organize better, pick one that fits your needs.

Advertising

5. Know Your Deadlines

When do you need to finish your tasks? Mark the deadlines out clearly in your calendar and organizer so you know when you need to finish them.

But make sure you don’t make these 10 Common Mistakes When Setting Deadlines.

6. Learn to Say “No”

Don’t take on more than you can handle. For the distractions that come in when you’re doing other things, give a firm no. Or defer it to a later period.

Leo Babauta, the founder of Zen Habits has some great insights on how to say no: The Gentle Art of Saying No

7. Target to Be Early

When you target to be on time, you’ll either be on time or late. Most of the times you’ll be late. However, if you target to be early, you’ll most likely be on time.

For appointments, strive to be early. For your deadlines, submit them earlier than required.

Learn from these tips about how to prepare yourself to be early, instead of just in time.

8. Time Box Your Activities

This means restricting your work to X amount of time. Why time boxing is good for you? Here’re 10 reasons why you should start time-boxing.

You can also read more about how to do time boxing here: #5 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity.

Advertising

9. Have a Clock Visibly Placed Before You

Sometimes we are so engrossed in our work that we lose track of time. Having a huge clock in front of you will keep you aware of the time at the moment.

10. Set Reminders 15 Minutes Before

Most calendars have a reminder function. If you have an important meeting to attend, set that alarm 15 minutes before.

You can learn more about how reminders help you remember everything in this article: The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

11. Focus

Are you multi-tasking so much that you’re just not getting anything done? If so, focus on just one key task at one time. Multitasking is bad for you.

Close off all the applications you aren’t using. Close off the tabs in your browser that are taking away your attention. Focus solely on what you’re doing. You’ll be more efficient that way.

Lifehack’s CEO has written a definitive guide on how to focus, learn the tips: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

12. Block out Distractions

What’s distracting you in your work? Instant messages? Phone ringing? Text messages popping in?

I hardly ever use chat nowadays. The only times when I log on is when I’m not intending to do any work. Otherwise it gets very distracting.

When I’m doing important work, I also switch off my phone. Calls during this time are recorded and I contact them afterward if it’s something important. This helps me concentrate better.

Advertising

Find more tips on how to minimize distractions to achieve more in How to Minimize Distraction to Get Things Done

13. Track Your Time Spent

When you start to track your time, you’re more aware of how you spend your time. For example, you can set a simple countdown timer to make sure that you finish a task within a period of time, say 30 minutes or 1 hour. The time pressure can push you to stay focused and work more efficiently.

You can find more time tracking apps here and pick one that works for you.

14. Don’t Fuss About Unimportant Details

You’re never get everything done in exactly the way you want. Trying to do so is being ineffective.

Trying to be perfect does you more harm than good, learn here about how perfectionism kills your productivity and how to ditch the perfectionism mindset.

15. Prioritize

Since you can’t do everything, learn to prioritize the important and let go of the rest.

Apply the 80/20 principle which is a key principle in prioritization. You can also take up this technique to prioritize everything on your plate: How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

16. Delegate

If there are things that can be better done by others or things that are not so important, consider delegating. This takes a load off and you can focus on the important tasks.

When you delegate some of your work, you free up your time and achieve more. Learn about how to effectively delegate works in this guide: How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

Advertising

17. Batch Similar Tasks Together

For related work, batch them together.

For example, my work can be categorized into these core groups:

  1. writing (articles, my upcoming book)
  2. coaching
  3. workshop development
  4. business development
  5. administrative

I batch all the related tasks together so there’s synergy. If I need to make calls, I allocate a time slot to make all my calls. It really streamlines the process.

18. Eliminate Your Time Wasters

What takes your time away your work? Facebook? Twitter? Email checking? Stop checking them so often.

One thing you can do is make it hard to check them – remove them from your browser quick links / bookmarks and stuff them in a hard to access bookmarks folder. Replace your browser bookmarks with important work-related sites.

While you’ll still checking FB/Twitter no doubt, you’ll find it’s a lower frequency than before.

19. Cut off When You Need To

The number one reason why things overrun is because you don’t cut off when you have to.

Don’t be afraid to intercept in meetings or draw a line to cut-off. Otherwise, there’s never going to be an end and you’ll just eat into the time for later.

20. Leave Buffer Time In-Between

Don’t pack everything closely together. Leave a 5-10 minute buffer time in between each tasks. This helps you wrap up the previous task and start off on the next one.

More Time Management Techniques

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Read Next