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The Lazy Person’s Guide to Gradual Self-Improvement

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The Lazy Person’s Guide to Gradual Self-Improvement

Did you know laziness has roots in our survival instincts?

A long, long time ago, our ancestors didn’t have to think long term. They had to stay focused on the here and now, so they could react and survive in case they were attacked by enemies, animals and, well, nature.

Yet, in the modern age, when survival is not our top priority, this instinct prevents some of us to engage in projects that don’t offer immediate results.

The reason for a man being lazy, carved deep into the structures of our brain, is not the only one. Sometimes, people are lazy because they didn’t find their true path and they just don’t know what they would actually like to do.

In case you think of yourself as a lazy person, and you managed to go this far through the article, there might be good news for you. Let’s quickly go through some ideas for improvements that could help you stay consistent.

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Start Working Out

I know, you don’t have time, right? Well, let me tell you something. You do. You need 20 minutes, three times a week, to get some results. “But that’s not enough training time to reap the benefits”, you might think. Well, I don’t want to be rude, but how do you know? Did you try it?

As you can see, it is important to catch that little self-sabotaging part of your ego that says a big NO to any thought that considers taking action. Maybe you have your reasons why you don’t want to work out. Is it that you have to go all the way to the gym, workout, then come back home? Don’t worry, there are workouts you can do at home or outside, so you can get it over with quickly and get good results.

Why am I emphasizing workouts from the start? Because some psychologists say that the reason people are lazy is because there are no immediate results after taking action. Bear with me, it is a fact that exercise floods your blood with endorphins, hormones that create feelings of happiness and euphoria. You will have immediate results after your activity; you will be happy and high on endorphins. Go for it, you can do it!

Increase Confidence

Lack of confidence is often the underlying issue of laziness. Some people are simply born or nurtured to develop good confidence levels. Other have to put some effort into building their own.

It’s not complicated. Some of the handy things that are really helpful are already available, right this very moment. Think about all the things that you have accomplished so far. It doesn’t matter if they are big or small. They are still accomplishments.

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This can point out the fields you are good at. If you were trying to overpass your weaknesses, no wonder you had little success. Build on your strengths!

Sometimes it is best to make some goals that can be checked off a list, and boost your self-confidence that way. Start with something small, like go out with friends, read an article online or make cookies.

Stay Motivated and Focused

Don’t get fooled. Even people that are not lazy are having problems staying consistent for a long period of time.

The key lies in understanding passion and boredom. I’ve heard many times that people quit doing something or don’t even want to engage in something due to a lack of focus and motivation. They adopt the lazy mindset just because they think successful people with immaculate work ethics have incredible passion and willpower.

This might sound like news to you, but successful people sometimes feel boredom and a lack of motivation. Still, they somehow manage to go through it without going into lazy mode. What makes them different? They don’t let their emotions determine their actions and stray their course towards planned goals.

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You have to think. Gradually, you will become more introspective and you will be able to tell the exact moment when the emotional drop spills the cup, and all the focus and motivation fades to black. Use that moment to work on yourself. If you find it too difficult, you can always ask for professional help.

Spark your Creative Genius

Start by pronouncing yourself as someone creative. It might sound silly, but believing that you are a creative person will actually help you become one.

There are dozens of methods that can help you spark creativity without breaking a sweat. Write a list of “Must do things this week” or keep and Idea Book.

Becoming more creative is very important if you want to gradually self-improve. It provides a powerful incentive and the energy needed to follow up on your ideas.

Put on the wings of Social Butterfly

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If you start to mingle, you will meet new people with whom you will be able to share your thoughts, worries and ideas. Never underestimate the power of the feedback people give you. Keep your ears open and listen to every word.

Testing your plans and even asking others to help you with something that is bothering you is such a stress reliever. It is important to understand that you want to change your personality, and that takes time.

Hang out with motivated people in real life, let the enthusiasm, energy and motivation of others in. Everything you let into your mind will influence you. Try feeding your mind with positive and motivating things.

Look at all these ideas as a sort of “cheat sheet” on tricking yourself into achieving great things. The only obstacle that stands on your way is you.

This whole transformation is a process, and it is important to take small steps and take time to enjoy small victories. All the rewards that await you on this road will make sure that you get that great sense of achievement. In the end, Rome wasn’t built in a day – as long as you are consistent, even a bit of effort here and there can add up and help you make huge leaps within a few years.

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More by this author

Nemanja Manojlovic

Editor at MyCity Web

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Published on September 21, 2021

How Remote Work Affects Your Productivity And Wellbeing (Backed By Data)

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How Remote Work Affects Your Productivity And Wellbeing (Backed By Data)

The internet is flooded with articles about remote work and its benefits or drawbacks. But in reality, the remote work experience is so subjective that it’s impossible to draw general conclusions and issue one-size-fits-all advice about it. However, one thing that’s universal and rock-solid is data. Data-backed findings and research about remote work productivity give us a clear picture of how our workdays have changed and how work from home affects us—because data doesn’t lie.

In this article, we’ll look at three decisive findings from a recent data study and two survey reports concerning remote work productivity and worker well-being.

1. We Take Less Frequent Breaks

Your home can be a peaceful or a distracting place depending on your living and family conditions. While some of us might find it hard to focus amidst the sounds of our everyday life, other people will tell you that the peace and quiet while working from home (WFH) is a major productivity booster. Then there are those who find it hard to take proper breaks at home and switch off at the end of the workday.

But what does data say about remote work productivity? Do we work more or less in a remote setting?

Let’s take a step back to pre-pandemic times (2014, to be exact) when a time tracking application called DeskTime discovered that 10% of most productive people work for 52 minutes and then take a break for 17 minutes.

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Recently, the same time tracking app repeated that study to reveal working and breaking patterns during the pandemic. They found that remote work has caused an increase in time worked, with the most productive people now working for 112 minutes and breaking for 26 minutes.[1]

Now, this may seem rather innocent at first—so what if we work for extended periods of time as long as we also take longer breaks? But let’s take a closer look at this proportion.

While breaks have become only nine minutes longer, work sprints have more than doubled. That’s nearly two hours of work, meaning that the most hard-working people only take three to four breaks per 8-hour workday. This discovery makes us question if working from home (WFH) really is as good a thing for our well-being as we thought it was. In addition, in the WFH format, breaks are no longer a treat but rather a time to squeeze in a chore or help children with schoolwork.

Online meetings are among the main reasons for less frequent breaks. Pre-pandemic meetings meant going to another room, stretching your legs, and giving your eyes a rest from the computer. In a remote setting, all meetings happen on screen, sometimes back-to-back, which could be one of the main factors explaining the longer work hours recorded.

2. We Face a Higher Risk of Burnout

At first, many were optimistic about remote work’s benefits in terms of work-life balance as we save time on commuting and have more time to spend with family—at least in theory. But for many people, this was quickly counterbalanced by a struggle to separate their work and personal lives. Buffer’s 2021 survey for the State of Remote Work report found that the biggest struggle of remote workers is not being able to unplug, with collaboration difficulties and loneliness sharing second place.[2]

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Buffer’s respondents were also asked if they are working more or less since their shift to remote work, and 45 percent admitted to working more. Forty-two percent said they are working the same amount, while 13 percent responded that they are working less.

Longer work hours and fewer quality breaks can dramatically affect our health, as long-term sitting and computer use can cause eye strain, mental fatigue, and other issues. These, in turn, can lead to more severe consequences, such as burnout and heart disease.

Let’s have a closer look at the connection between burnout and remote work.

McKinsey’s report about the Future of work states that 49% of people say they’re feeling some symptoms of burnout.[3] And that may be an understatement since employees experiencing burnout are less likely to respond to survey requests and may have even left the workforce.

From the viewpoint of the employer, remote workers may seem like they are more productive and working longer hours. However, managers must be aware of the risks associated with increased employee anxiety. Otherwise, the productivity gains won’t be long-lasting. It’s no secret that prolonged anxiety can reduce job satisfaction, decrease work performance, and negatively affect interpersonal relationships with colleagues.[4]

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3. Despite everything, We Love Remote Work

An overwhelming majority—97 percent—of Buffer report’s survey respondents say they would like to continue working remotely to some extent. The two main benefits mentioned by the respondents are the ability to have a flexible schedule and the flexibility to work from anywhere.

McKinsey’s report found that more than half of employees would like their workplace to adopt a more flexible hybrid virtual-working model, with some days of work on-premises and some days working remotely. To be more exact, more than half of employees report that they would like at least three work-from-home days a week once the pandemic is over.

Companies will increasingly be forced to find ways to satisfy these workforce demands while implementing policies to minimize the risks associated with overworking and burnout. Smart companies will embrace this new trend and realize that adopting hybrid models can also be a win for them—for example, for accessing talent in different locations and at a lower cost.

Remote Work: Blessing or Plight?

Understandably, workers worldwide are tempted to keep the good work-life aspects that have come out of the pandemic—professional flexibility, fewer commutes, and extra time with family. But with the once strict boundaries between work and life fading, we must remain cautious. We try to squeeze in house chores during breaks. We do online meetings from the kitchen or the same couch we watch TV shows from, and many of us report difficulties switching off after work.

So, how do we keep our private and professional lives from hopelessly blending together?

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The answer is that we try to replicate the physical and virtual boundaries that come naturally in an office setting. This doesn’t only mean having a dedicated workspace but also tracking your work time and stopping when your working hours are finished. In addition, it means working breaks into your schedule because watercooler chats don’t just naturally happen at home.

If necessary, we need to introduce new rituals that resemble a normal office day—for example, going for a walk around the block in the morning to simulate “arriving at work.” Remote work is here to stay. If we want to enjoy the advantages it offers, then we need to learn how to cope with the personal challenges that come with it.

Learn how to stay productive while working remotely with these tips: How to Work From Home: 10 Tips to Stay Productive

Featured photo credit: Jenny Ueberberg via unsplash.com

Reference

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