You have probably read at least a dozen tricks for boosting the productivity. Perhaps you’ve used to-do lists or apps on your phone to get rid of that laziness. But, no matter how often you promise yourself that you will find a way to be more productive, it never seems to happen.
Why would you go to the gym today if you can do it tomorrow? You didn’t go yesterday or the day before, so what’s another day? There is some good point in this, but the cycle just keeps running.
But, even though these seem like the biggest overhauls in your life, they are just minor tweaks to the mindset that can easily be amended. What you need is the right strategy to turn laziness into a tool for boosting productivity.
1. Find the Reason for Your Lack of Productivity
Many people make the mistake of believing that they are lazy while in fact, they are only tired and overwhelmed. Which one of the two are you? Are you too tired to finish a project or too lazy to do this? Before you even go ahead with the steps to fix the laziness, you need to learn if this is the actual issue for the lack of productivity.
Some psychologists deny the existence of laziness as a personality or characteristic. As Leon Seltzer suggests, people might lack motivation, self-discipline, or a sense of rewards, and the term laziness is only invented to cover these issues and make them harder to fix.
“I view this pejorative designation as employed mostly as a “default” when the person talked about is not particularly well understood.” – Leon Seltzer
So, what kinds of issues should you be looking for when trying to determine the reason for the lack of productivity. You should look into your expectations, self-discipline, and motivation. Once you know what your issue is, you will feel more confident about facing it and fixing it.
2. Make Use of Your Procrastination
People tend to say that in order to finish a task you feel too lazy to even start, you need to just get started. It obviously isn’t as simple as they make it sound. If you are struggling with taking action, there is another approach you can take.
Trick your brain into thinking that the tasks you need to do are easier than they seem. This is what experts call ‘productive procrastination’.
The trick is to rank new tasks as important. When you set flexible deadlines for some significant tasks and add them to your list, the original task will seem much more inviting. For example, if you have a project to finish but also set tasks such as cleaning up the mess in your office or learning a new skill right there in the same to-do list, the project will be that much more alluring.
And when you’ll have finished the minor tasks and are left with the most substantial one, the big tasks will seem like less of a pain.
3. Switch Up the Work Environment
If you constantly procrastinate in your office or at home, you might want to consider a change of location to boost your productivity. This will take the exact amount of effort on your behalf but can prove to be the must-needed change to beat laziness.
You will either benefit from a very quiet place where you can concentrate or a location where you are surrounded by other people who aren’t as lazy as you are feeling. No matter the income, make some changes to find your best environment.
Some people move their work to a coffee shop because they don’t enjoy the silence. Others prefer finding the right, quiet office and setting up everything to remain focused, such as temperature and lighting.
Basically, it all comes down to searching and finding what triggers you to work.
4.Take a Nap
Taking a nap might sound a bit counter-productive, but it is actually a great way to boost your productivity. The lazy person inside you will love this idea!
You shouldn’t exactly take a nap for hours or in the middle of the day, but feel free to take a short nap anytime you feel overwhelmed. For maximum benefit, your naps should last about 20 to 30 minutes.
This is surely your favourite way to use laziness to boost productivity, but it is actually an essential action if you want to boost your cognitive abilities. Even if you do not feel lazy, a short break for your brain and body is a good idea.
5. Set Alarms
Set an alarm for a planned amount of time, nothing too long. An alarm that goes off every twenty minutes or so will keep you going and will show you how much you can have done within a short timeframe. It might sound as annoying now, but whenever that timer goes off, you will get a feeling that you have accomplished something. This is bound to make you more productive at some point.
6. Play Music While Working
The idea that music boosts productivity is still not as conclusive as you would think, but research has shown that it releases dopamine in your body. This, in fact, shown to increase the mood and naturally, your willingness to take action.
Some crank up their favourite songs to go through the day, but this can also become monotonous for you. It is perhaps more productive to listen to unfamiliar music that will keep you focused.
The importance of exercising is highlighted literally everywhere: in health tips, appearance tips, and even productivity. If you make yourself exercise every morning, this will give you more strength and willpower to do the rest of your tasks during the day.
Researchers say that people who exercise at even low intensity feel more energetic instead of lethargic afterwards. Once you get the blood pumping through your body early in the morning, you will be more energetic. This, in term, should reduce that laziness you are feeling lately.
8. Leave a Simple Task for Tomorrow
Your brain is a tricky thing. If you have a tough task to finish soon, say tomorrow, you are much more likely to procrastinate. But, if you know that a task you have for tomorrow takes little time to complete, you will be more willing to get through today and start that task tomorrow.
9. Dress Up
This tip obviously doesn’t apply to those who work in the office, but it can be applied to any other task you are doing at home. If you are a remote worker or a person who often finds himself being too lazy to get up and do something, this is a small change in routine that can boost your productivity.
You don’t really have to look classy to ‘dress up’ at home. The important thing is to get out of those pyjamas and wear something you would wear going out, even if it is to the store. When you put on clothing, you are more likely to adopt the actions associated with that particular garment. That’s why people who wear pyjamas are more likely to be relaxed and lack motivation, ergo be lazy.
10. Get a Partner in the ‘Laziness Crime’
You probably know many people who struggle with the same problems you are experiencing. Many people have issues with lack of motivation and laziness. As with any other problem, you are stronger when you work on fixing it with someone else.
Schedule exercise time with friends, get things done together and communicate with your lazy friends to support yourself in trying a non-lazy behavior.
11. Write Things Down
Putting things off won’t do you any good – procrastination is your biggest enemy. One great way to understand the reasons behind your laziness and find a way to fix this issue is by putting them on paper.
When you find yourself too lazy to fix the problems that came up as a result of procrastination, take a piece of paper and write them down. This might help you realize that the tasks aren’t as tough as they seem, and will make it much easier for you to break them down in smaller tasks.
12. Try the Two-Minute Rule
Have you heard of the ‘two-minute rule’?
If something takes two minutes or less, you should do it right away. Whether this means washing a dish or turning on the laundry machine, there is literally no reason why you would put these things off. After all, they only take two minutes of your time, and you are done!
And since you already got up to do that, you will be more likely to do the actual important tasks, right?
13. Disrupt Bad Habits
Bad habits add to your laziness, so if nothing else works, start there. Stop throwing the keys on the coffee table or spending hours in front of the TV. This makes you lazy by nature, so it is time to get rid of bad habits.
The best way to interrupt this is to make changes. You don’t have to become extra active right away, but reduce them one by one or replace them with some ‘less lazy-like’ activities.
Break the lazy cycle by using these thirteen tips and tricks. Once you do that, you will find that nothing in life is as tough as it seems.