Advertising
Advertising

How to Beat Your Fear of Laziness and Procrastination

How to Beat Your Fear of Laziness and Procrastination

Your to-do list is bigger than you are. You can’t keep doing this. You’ve got tasks and goals lined up from here to forever. Most of them are dated today and tomorrow. Sure, it’s good to be busy, but not this busy. And not for this long without a break. When’s the last time you stopped worrying about everything?

Desperately struggling to achieve perfect time management and productivity is wearing you out. Let laziness back into your life. I know what you’re thinking: easier said than done, right? There’s so much stuff you have to do, and you can’t just skip it or hand it off to somebody else.

Actually, you mostly can do that. You just have to beat your fear first. Fear? Yep. You’ve got a serious phobia of goofing off.

Embrace Your Laziness

Like you, most Lifehackers are keen to be as productive as possible at all times. There’s a problem with that: humans are not built for 24/7 productivity, and nobody’s perfect at time management every single second. One of the best things you can do to boost your productivity is give yourself a break.

Advertising

No matter what you’re doing, if you’ve been doing it for more than 30 or 40 minutes, your brain’s getting too accustomed to it. That means you’ll start to make mistakes. A very short break will let you maintain your mental focus, and a longer break will refresh your whole body, as well as your mind.

As for time management, it should come as no surprise to you that if you have fewer things to do, managing your time suddenly gets easier. If you’re genuinely struggling to manage time, rather than energy and motivation, maybe you simply have too many tasks on the go. The easiest way to test this theory is to reduce your to-do list. If that helps, problem solved. If you’re still struggling after halving your tasks, then you’re probably procrastinating. Trouble is, you’re doing it wrong.

Procrastinate Productively

When most people procrastinate, they do it in an aimless daze. Sharpen your procrastination skills and you’ll discover that procrastination is a tool, not a problem.

Every time you feel like avoiding a task, look at why you feel that way about it.

Advertising

  • Is it scary, like going to the dentist?
  • Depressing or morbid, like drawing up a will?
  • Tiring, like cleaning out your garage?
  • Do you feel like you don’t know how to begin?

Once you’ve identified the source of your procrastination inclinations, address it. Take a friend with you to the dentists for support. Arrange to meet up with your extended family after finalizing your will. Ask for help cleaning out the garage. Figure out the first step to overcome your initial paralysis.

Get procrastination working for you by telling you how you can make your tasks easier to handle.

The other key thing about procrastinating is that it follows the same principles as the classic productivity advice to “action, defer, delegate, or delete” any task that crosses our path. In this case, the aim is to de-stress by delaying, delegating, and abandoning as many tasks as possible.

Abandon What You Can

Seriously, does this item on your to-do list have to be done? What’ll happen if it never gets done at all? If you can live with the consequences, ditch the task.

Advertising

Does that sound scary? Are you thinking, “What if it turns out to be important after all?” No problem. Lay that fear to rest by keeping a list of your abandoned tasks, so that you can move them back onto your active to-do list later on if you want to.

Weirdly, some people call this approach a productivity technique while others call it laziness. I say if it works, use it.

Delegate Responsibly

Can you get someone else to do this for you? Really? You sure?

Most people overestimate their own importance in the completion of a task. It’s easy to think that your family/business/universe would collapse if you weren’t there working hard to keep it going, but the simple fact is that there’s usually someone else who can handle it. They just aren’t right now, because they can see you’ve got it already.

Advertising

More importantly, can you find someone to delegate to who’ll perform well enough that you won’t feel disappointed? The biggest delegation screw-up is turning to somebody who’s willing, but not able. Don’t shoot yourself in the foot by delegating to somebody just because they’re available. Look for the most reputable person with the most relevant skills that you can find, so that you can relax knowing the task’s getting done right.

Do It Later

No matter what you hear about Inbox Zero and other done-at-first-sight productivity tactics, they don’t work for everybody. If you’re so obsessed with emptying your inbox that you don’t get anything else done, that isn’t a productive day!

Assess the urgency and importance of any tasks you can’t abandon or delegate. Today, do only tasks that:

  1. need to be done today or tomorrow, like buying more milk before the store closes.
  2. have a lot riding on them, like revising for an exam or booking your next vacation.

Everything else can be added to your “to do later” list, where it can stay until it becomes important enough to do today (or, ideally, until you find someone to do it for you instead).

How do you feel about laziness and procrastination now?

Don’t let fear of imagined consequences blind you to the real benefits of doing less. Goofing off is vital to your productive lifestyle!

More by this author

Don't give up 29 Inspirational Wallpapers for Your Desktop 11 Reasons Why You Should Never Get a Full-Time Job 10 Smart Ways to Deal with Rude People 18 Timeless Secrets of Happy People 5 Lesser Known Gmail Tips and Hacks

Trending in Productivity

1How to Be Productive: 11 Ways to Be Productive and Happy at Once 2Top 10 Productivity Tips to Achieve More and Create Peace of Mind 3How to Declutter Your Mind to Sharpen Your Brain and Fall Asleep Faster 4How to Be More Productive: 4 Tiny Tweaks That Will 10x Your Productivity 5Top 10 Productivity Tools to Help You Achieve 10x More in Less Time

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising

How to Be Productive: 11 Ways to Be Productive and Happy at Once

How to Be Productive: 11 Ways to Be Productive and Happy at Once

A lack of productivity leads to a lack of happiness.

When you can’t see yourself making progress or getting things done, you get anxious and become stressful.

There are also tons of things that contribute to unhappiness here too: Facebook notifications, emails, texts, and chatty co-workers are just a small fraction of the disruptions we’re bombarded with. These “little things” can stack up fast and lead to hampering your happiness and productivity levels.

Learn how to be productive with the 11 tips below and reclaim your everyday productivity and your happiness, once and for all.

1. Be happy now

Life is too short. No matter what you’re doing or where you are, be happy now. Start by finding something to be grateful for; everyone has at least one thing to be grateful for.

Most of the world still has trouble getting access to clean drinking water… yhat means you can even be grateful for that bottle of Aquafina you’ve got on your desk right now.

2. Finish your day before it starts

Proper planning is the secret to peak productivity, and it’s also a good idea to set daily goals. Get yourself a planning tool and prioritize your daily tasks with it.

Advertising

Here’s a smart technique on planning and prioritization: How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

3. Celebrate the small wins

Every time you check off a task from your to-do list, you release a “happy chemical” in your brain called dopamine. This gives you the motivation to move forward and do even more.

For example, after I finish writing this article and I’ve crossed it off my list of things to do today, I’ll get a nice burst of “happy chemicals” releasing in my brain. The best part? Zero side effects!

Learn from here: How To Celebrate Small Wins To Achieve Big Goals

4. Leverage like there’s no tomorrow

Look for ways to use the good old 80/20 rule by identifying tasks that you might be able to outsource or leverage out to a virtual assistant.

Stop wasting time doing things that don’t challenge you or ignite your passion. Hire out or automate anything and everything within your means.

Check out this guide to find out how to start to delegate: How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

Advertising

5. Recharge your batteries

Figure out how many hours of sleep your body needs and make sure you get it. Take time to stretch, walk, or relax—you’ll be glad you did.

Here’re some simple ways to relax completely and get rid of stress.

6. Become an early riser

This is one of the most underused productivity “hacks” on the planet. Ever since I decided to start waking up at 5am every day, my productivity levels and happiness have gone up dramatically.

Most people aren’t up that early, so no one can bother you or disrupt you from what you want to do. Use this time to exercise, meditate, or to get a head start on your day.

Not sure how to wake up earlier? Here are 11 Ways To Become an Early Riser Like Most Successful People Do.

7. Do work you’re passionate about

Make it your goal to blur the line between work and play by doing more things you’re passionate about. This promotes happiness both inside and outside of the workplace.

Find what you’re passionate about and do it, or learn how to enjoy what you do with these tips: How to Enjoy What You Are Doing No Matter What

Advertising

8. Use time blocks

For example, when I wrote this article, I gave myself a one hour time block. This prevents unnecessary dilly-dallying like updating your Facebook status and checking email.

Use an app like Alarmed to keep you on track.  Here’s a snapshot of the app from my iPhone.

    9. Avoid interruptions

    Interruptions are among the biggest barriers to both productivity and happiness. Every time you’re interrupted in the middle of a task your level of productivity takes a hit.

    We’ve all been there: you’re fully immersed in an important project until all of a sudden the workplace chatterbox appears out of nowhere and starts talking about stuff that doesn’t matter. By the time she’s gone, you’ve already forgotten where you were and it takes 30 minutes to get back on track.

    Avoid this by letting people know that you’ve got important work that’s got to be done.

    Learn more about how to stay focus in this guide: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

    Advertising

    10. Shut down the digital disruptions

    iPhones, mailbox notifications, twitter, facebook, and everything that pops, slides, or fades in and out of your screen has got to go. Shut them down and focus.

    It’s as easy as turning off the notifications or scheduling only a specific time to check all these notifications and texts.

    11. Measure your success

    Every now and then, it’s a good idea to measure your results and see how things are coming along.

    How’s your progress? Are you pacing in the right direction? Are things getting better? Worse? It’s always a good idea to track your progress regularly.

    With an app like Rescue Time, you can easily keep track of the time you spend throughout the day. It helps you to find out how much time you’re really on-task and so you can review your progress.

      With these 11 effective ways to improve productivity, you will get more things done timely and become happier.

      Start small and take up each suggestion one by one, you can boost your productivity and create your happiness too.

      Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

      Read Next