Laziness and procrastination are not the same, but they are tied tightly. Where there is one, the other one is found. We all been there. How many of these excuses, that are both cause and the effect of laziness and procrastination, sound familiar to you?
“Just five more minutes and I’ll get up.”
“I don’t feel like doing it today, but tomorrow I will.”
“I’ll start after I finish what I’m doing right now.”
“I don’t know how to do it, so…”
“I’m soo tired now. I’ll do it later.”
And the list goes on, and on.
The causes of laziness and procrastination are deeply embedded in our subconscious mind from where they should be pulled out and replaced.
You will find that one of the biggest challenges in life is to overcome yourself. However, the benefits that you can reap after the victory will follow you for the rest of your life.
All I know that I was as lazy as every other person next to me. Procrastination was my middle name for a long time. I was always finding excuses or waiting for someone else to do the things instead of me. Because of that behavior my business, my relationships, and my health were getting the worst of it.
But let me tell you something you already know, the life of a sloth is not worth a single penny.
Generally, procrastination begins slow and at a very early age when we are forced to do the things we don’t want to do, like going to school, doing the boring homework, or going to boring family reunions, or playdates about we don’t care. As our brains are wired to find a solution for every unpleasant situation, we quickly develop a few mental habits to get away from things we don’t want to do, or we are afraid. The habits become stronger and stronger until we reach an age where they have a complete control over our behavior.
Luckily, when you know what stands behind the problem, you can quickly come up with the solution using the same method used during the development of the habit.
My experience taught me a few lessons about how to overcome laziness and procrastination, and I am more than happy to share them with you
So let’s skip the small talk and dig into it right now!
What Causes Laziness and Procrastination?
We all have concerns developed in one form or another. It is an entirely natural emotion. Without of doubt, the fear is the most common reason for procrastination and laziness.
- FEAR OF FAILURE – Most of the people are prone to procrastinate because they are afraid of failure. Maybe they have tried already, and somehow they failed. To protect themselves from failing again many people form excuses and alibies which eventually turns into a habit.
- FEAR OF SUCCESS – Some other are postponing to beginning not because they are afraid of what will happen if they fail, but because they are not sure could they handle the success that will follow if they do it right. Fear of success is common between procrastinators as much as the fear of failure.
- FEAR OF CRITICISM – Fear of criticism is another significant form that appears among many. People are obsessed with “what will the neighbors say?” which lead to a tremendous amount of indecision and procrastination. Concern over other peoples opinion is a widespread disease which kills ambition, self-reliance, enthusiasm, and self-confidence.
- FEAR OF UNKNOWN – When going into unknown the most natural emotion is a mix of fear and excitement. However, most people cannot handle the combination, so instead of going into the unknown, they are forming a comfort zone which is the kingdom of laziness and procrastination.
2.) Lack of fuel – motive
Lack of proper fuel for the action is one of the major causes of procrastination. We don’t focus on the rewards that await us when we succeed, but we do spend time thinking about those fears from above. If you find yourself in thinking like that, then realize that you are killing even the smallest motive that you may possess at the moment.
Many people wish for success, but wish by itself is not strong enough. Desire, on the other hand, is when you want something so bad that you will risk everything to get it.
That wish of yours, if not adequately developed and turned into a desire will, by the law, go the other way which leads to fear, doubt, indecision, and ultimately, procrastination and laziness.
Many people don’t possess strong enough ambitions to be, to do and to have. Motivation comes when a desire to be, to do, and to have, is so strong that it produces action by itself.
3.) Unclear vision and focus
As I said, people tend to visualize and focus on failure instead of the success which is one of the main reasons for procrastination. This malady is a birth form of fear.
Just a simple switch of focus on to good things can be enough to cure this bad habit. However, it can be hard to keep the focus on those good things in a world full of unfocused people. The lack of focus on clear vision is the reason why so many people don’t succeed in life.
The worst thing you can do is to sit down and think about how you are not good enough, or not skilled enough, or not capable enough, while the truth is that we are all good, competent, and able to do whatever we set on our focus.
4.) Lack of energy
Because of inadequate diet and lack of physical movement more and more people on this planet Earth are complaining how they don’t have enough energy. This so-called “lack” will form an army of excuses and alibis.
Also, we dissipate our energy levels on too many unimportant things and people during our day. Just imagine how much energy you lose making unwanted chit-chat with a co-worker, or a neighbor you don’t even like.
Our days are becoming more and more device focused. Even when we don’t need to, we still take out our phone and waste our energy on social networks, thinking about likes, hearts, and shares.
Moreover, social networks are slowly becoming a reason number one why so many people are distracted from reality. They are growing reason for more and more lazy and unfocused young generations. They are a massive cause of procrastination.
5.) Lack of knowledge about where and how to start
When approaching new things we need to know how to start and where to begin. It can be a time-consuming and energy-draining task to find out all the factors on your own.
Moreover, when you don’t know how to start, as the majority of us, you will quickly become frustrated which leads to an even faster decision to quit. Once you stop, it is more likely that you will procrastinate every next time you wish to do it again.
I remember how much things I gave up in my life just because I didn’t know how to start. Later on, as I was getting more mature, I learned that it is the start that stops most people from the beginning. So many things that I deliberately procrastinated back then just because I didn’t know how or where now I do without consciously thinking about it.
Therefore, another army of excuses and alibies are born in the name of procrastination because of the lack of knowledge about how to start.
6.) Poor time management
Sometimes, we just don’t have enough time to squeeze in another thing in our daily routine. False!
There is a wise old time saying that the King and the Beggar both have the same 24 hours its how they use that time what makes the difference between them.
How come that other person is doing the thing, and we tend to complain we don’t have enough time? The answer lies in poor time management which is therefore used as one of the excuses for laziness and leads to procrastination.
7.) Being a victim of perfectionism
Some people refuse to move forward, so they procrastinate the next move because they are not satisfied with the current result. They are victims of perfectionism.
Nothing can ever be perfect. The person who is a perfectionist gets into a cycle of repeating the same thing over and over until they drive themselves mad, and ultimately, they give up. In this case, the negative experience keeps coming back over and over and turns perfectionist into a procrastinator.
8.) False and limited beliefs
Many people procrastinate because they have some false assumptions about themselves or about the thing they want deeply planted in their subconscious mind.
Those false beliefs additionally support those excuses and alibis to procrastinate even more.
Think about why do you leave things for tomorrow or next year. For example, let’s say you wish to lift weights and be active in the gym. However, for some reason, you continue to procrastinate.
The reason can be traced to your belief that you are not strong enough to lift weights, or you have to sleep 8 hours because otherwise you will be tired, or you the exercise will make you tired, or you are not athletic, or whatever it is your excuse.
Understand that you can do all those things, but only if you think you can.
9.) Lack of persistence
I left this one for the end because the persistence is what separates winners from the masses.
People usually do try to fix those causes, and they get going well. However, the old habits are still stronger, so they pull them back in a zone of procrastination. Then the fear comes back in to play, and the old habits remain at the throne.
The fear lies at the end and the beginning of all of these causes of procrastination and laziness. The worry is a cause for lack of motive, lack of energy, unclear vision and focus, perfectionism, poor time management, lack of knowledge, lack of persistence and many more smaller bugs that infect the one who is procrastinating.
The second half of this post is devoted to ways and means which will help you to overcome your laziness and procrastination.
How to Overcome Laziness and Procrastination
These two enemies that lie in every person’s subconscious mind can be eliminated entirely only by a hard effort. However, to induce that hard effort you will have to reduce the primary cause, which is the fear.
I found an unbelievable amount of motive in the process of setting and accomplishing goals. Both small and big goals tend to fill me up with more and more enthusiasm to create a new set of goals.
In the most simple words, goals are an antidote for laziness and procrastination. Moreover, objectives and action towards those goals are the only known cure for the fear.
In the following text, under number one and two you will find a quick fix for your problem. Everything below the first two suggestions is additional measures and tips you can take to remove the habit of procrastination from your subconscious mind completely.
1.) Set a high rewarding goal for yourself
There is no doubt in my mind that goals are the #1 way to overcome laziness and procrastination.
First of all, your goals should be something that you WANT. Big things like starting a business, or starting a new relationship, or getting healthier can fire you up immediately. If your goals are big, they can pull you out from that vicious cycle of procrastination and teach you how to stay out!
When we set a goal that we want to reach, the motivational forces come by themselves, and somehow laziness pulls away.
Because leaving things for tomorrow is a long time habit for most of the people, the practice will come back from time to time. That is how habits work. But if your goal is strong enough that one thought of it gets you going, you will see the real power of goals against laziness and procrastination. Eventually, they will back away completely.
To overcome laziness and procrastination is a goal in itself. Many people who decide to take the road to personal development must overcome those two at first. Later on, every next goal will be an addition to a new, better you. Once you hit the road, you will be amazed by how many new skill you will develop down the way.
2.) Learn how to crawl first
Goals are compelling, but if not approached in the right way they can smack you in the face.
Well, many people set a goal, and they get emotionally involved with the target. They get so excited and positive about it that laziness seems to evaporate in a matter of seconds. However, many make a deadly mistake. They don’t learn how to crawl first, so they fall as soon as they try. The worst thing happens then, the failure and the fear of failure puts them back in the procrastination mode.
There is nothing better for overcoming laziness and procrastination than taking small steps at the time. Don’t try to swallow the whole steak at once or you may choke. Rather cut it in small pieces and enjoy the flavor for longer.
Therefore, goals can be a massive motivation. But if you will cut that goal into ten small pieces, and then slowly start to achieve one by one until you reach the primary goal you will find even greater motivation and a great technique to overcome laziness and procrastination.
Example of a goal
A goal can be going to the gym. You know we all want it. We all want to be that guy or a girl who is at the great shape and knows every machine in the gym. However, most people will get discouraged when they come to the gym without a clue what to do and where to start so they will quit and return to the old state. To avoid discouragement which can lead to even more procrastination, start small.
This is how you can do it:
a) Get a big picture. In other words, get a vision of your goal. With your eyes closed, you can visualize the success, and the result at you are striving. See yourself in a gym already in good shape doing all exercises like a pro. You can get a picture of your goal way before you even make the first step.
Visualization is a great motivational technique, and for me, it works every time.
I will always write down my goal on a piece of paper first. When I do it, I become aware that I just did a first of many small steps towards that vision.
b) Break your big picture in small pieces by finding out all the little details first. It is necessary to cut your goal so you can know where to start. Do some research before you begin, and that can be your second small step towards your goal.
Here are a few suggestions:
- which gym you want to join
- are you going to go by yourself or hire a trainer
- which days of the week you will go, and what time of the day
- what do you need for equipment, maybe you have to buy new shoes, bag, and gym clothes
- what will you eat before and after the workout
- When you know all the details, the smart thing to do is to write them down below your primary goal.
When you take a look at that paper, you will realize that you have just created a plan of action!
The most challenging task is to get started after that things seem to catch on one by one.
By following the advice from above and setting goals for yourself, you will learn a valuable trick to start your battle against laziness and procrastination.
Next eight tips are here to serve you like a baseball bat whenever the sloth becomes to crawl back into your life.
3.) Use self-motivation as wind in your sails
When you learn a skill of self-motivation, no goal will be too high for you.
There will be days when you don’t feel like doing it when you will search for those old habitual excuses to procrastinate. You can harness the power of self-motivation to beat those days.
Some people managed to learn how to obey their voice. Those people don’t have any problems with laziness and procrastination. For them reaching a goal became a child’s game.
4.) Track the progress
You can write down every small goal you made, and from time to time you can reflect on your accomplishments so far.
I found out that whenever my old habit wants to come back to stop me from succeeding just one look in the rear view mirror can keep me on moving forward. Sometimes you will encounter some other barriers which will cause you to procrastinate, but you can break those barriers by reminding yourself how far you have come.
While reminiscing, who knows maybe you will find a solution to your existing problem.
Your past can become a great ally in your battle to overcome laziness and procrastination.
5.) Reward yourself
Understand that you are training your brain to delete an old habit and to learn a new one. Therefore, create a sense of gratification whenever you accomplish a small goal.
Animal brain is no different than ours when it comes to emotions. If you ever had a dog and you wanted to teach your dog a new behavior you know how a tasty treat cuts the progress time in half.
The same will happen if you apply the trick on your brain. When it gets tough, and you don’t feel like doing the thing, set your thoughts on the reward that awaits you when you complete the task.
A small reward for a trivial task, a big bonus for significant work.
6.) Get the blood flow
Sometimes our brain gets lazy because the blood flow is slow and the supply of oxygen is not plentiful enough.
Just a stretch can be enough to get the blood flowing again. Ten jumping jacks or ten pushups will get you off your lazy but and give you enough energy for a kickstart.
Understand that we create and get energy through movement. If you don’t move your body, you can’t produce that energy, and therefore you will risk even further procrastination.
7.) Find an accountability buddy
Sometimes it can be hard to obey your orders or even give them to yourself. Moreover, most of the people don’t know how to motivate themselves to do the task at hand. On the other side, we get way more motivated if someone tells us to do the work, someone like a boss!
You can find great help in a friend, partner, or a member of the family. An accountability buddy can be your ace in the sleeve against laziness and procrastination. Someone who can yell at you and tell you that you are getting lazy and you should move your but right now and just do it!
While you there on your couch you can always close your eyes and daydream about success.
I already gave you this advice when you are setting your goal. However, every once in a while you can repeat the procedure and see yourself as a winner.
By visualizing the success, you can get deeper and deeper into the best possible outcome. In this case, motivational forces tend to become stronger and stronger over time and laziness becomes weaker each time you visualize successful results.
9.) Remove distraction
Today it is so easy to get distracted with all the devices we have. A friend can call you, and in a matter of the seconds, he or she can distract you from your work. Or a sound of TV can invite you to sit down, relax, and be lazy.
It is essential to decide to temporarily remove or even wholly eliminate things and people that can encourage procrastination.
Your success depends in no small measure on your ability to keep your focus and concentration on the task at hand. Therefore, whenever you get going make sure you set your phone on airplane mode or even shut it off completely, turn off the TV, close the doors of the room, and avoid people until you manage to complete the task successfully.
10.) Accept the failure
Failure is an essential component of success. People usually try, fail, and give up. By not accepting the defeat as a necessary part of the process you will only encourage yourself to procrastinate.
To stop this from happening, take every failure you encounter only as a lesson and as an additional encouragement to move forward.
Ultimately, when you reach your goal, you will gain the understanding that failure tends to come only at the beginning. Practice will bring confidence and build up your character. Therefore, at some point, you will see that the failure was nothing but a push forward.
Lazy Procrastinator or a Motivated Achiever?
I explained what and who are deadly causes of laziness and procrastination, and I gave you a cure for this common disease that separates failure and success.
Now, it is on you to analyze yourself to see how many of those bad habits are attached to you, and what are you willing to do to get rid of them and overcome your bad habits.
Understand that a habit of procrastination took a long time to develop and to become a part of your program. The same amount of time will be necessary to replace this habit with ones that lead to success in life.
Most people will try and give up because of the lack of persistence.
However, the persistence may be the only thing you need in this life to accomplish success and cure laziness and procrastination.
If you ever need a hand or have any questions, feel free to leave them below, and I will be more than happy to help you out.
All the best,