by Cherie Fresonke @cheriefresonke
Laziness. Is this something you struggle with? Have you ever wondered how to break the lack of initiative and be more productive?
Or perhaps you’re like me. When I’m overwhelmed with everything that needs to be accomplished I’m clueless where to begin. So I error on the side of laziness. If you can relate, below are 7 practical steps to overcome the lazy streak and get you motivated to undertake the tasks at hand.
1. Set a goal to overcome laziness.
What is it that you want to accomplish? And, more importantly, why? Set goals. Without a goal nothing will be accomplished. For me, I want to finish writing my novel by the end of this year. Plus I want to find a publisher willing to buy it. Why? Because I believe it has an important message to convey. But I struggle with laziness—big time. Especially since these two goals are NOT something that HAS to be accomplished.
If you struggle like I do and need help setting goals click here for a great blog by Michael Hyatt. This post will help you take the first step towards overcoming laziness.
2. Break down your goal into doable baby steps.
Since I’m easily overwhelmed and the big jobs seem unreachable, I break them into smaller tasks. For example, writing a novel is a huge undertaking. Whenever something seems too big to accomplish, I usually resort to doing nothing. Why? Because I don’t like feeling overwhelmed. So to achieve my bigger goal, I break it down to smaller, reachable, daily targets. I work at least one hour a day on the novel. Since I also need to improve my social networking presence to impress a publisher, I work at least half an hour a day on building my social networking platform.
What are some of the ways that your goals can be broken down into smaller doable portions?
3. Set an alarm.
Daily life is demanding and most of us don’t have the luxury to avoid everyday responsibilities. I’m no different in this regard. So for me, I need to wake up early to reach my goals. But there’s a problem. It’s way too easy to roll over and hit the snooze button. I think Proverbs 26:14 is a great verse for me to memorize. So what’s the solution? I put the alarm clock in the bathroom. This forces me to get out of bed. If I can just get in the shower, then I’m fine.
Do what it takes to find a way to press forward towards your goal in the midst of slothfulness.
4. Set a timer with an allotted time to work.
There are many days I don’t want to work to achieve my goals. Mostly because of that dreadful overwhelming-ness. So I take bite size pieces. I set the alarm for 30 minutes and tell myself, “I can do this for a short amount of time.” Before I know it, I’m enjoying myself so much, that when the timer goes off I just keep on working. Better yet, the few days when my goal feels like I’m pulling teeth, I stop at the end of the 30 minutes because I met my goal for the day. I overcame the laziness, which also gives me a feeling of accomplishment. You too can do it.
Now for those of you who have busy lives and can’t find a 30 minute time slot. I can relate. I’m constantly interrupted during my allotted time to work. When interruptions happen I hit the pause button on the timer. I handle the need or problem, then I return to work and hit the timer’s resume button. Sometimes my 30 minute allotted work time takes 2 hours to complete. Also, there are always those days where life’s interruptions take over. It’s okay. At least you tried. The problem arises when its not interruptions, but simple laziness. Which brings us to point five.
5. Avoid time wasters.
Take inventory of the hours in your day. Everyone gets 24 hours a day, 168 a week. How many hours do you spend being unproductive? Hours squandered. Never to be retrieve. Take count. You might be surprised how much of your time is wasted away. Whenever I do this, I am appalled at the loss. Count the cost and make wise choices with your time.
Admit it–what are your time wasters? Well, don’t fret. See step 6 to put the time wasters in their proper place.
6. Reward yourself.
When you’ve met a goal—big or small—reward yourself. There are things in my day that I like to do. Such as: sitting in the garden relaxing, gardening, listening to the birds while hanging laundry (I use this as break time), watching a good movie, reading a great book, playing with my puppy, harvesting veggies before dinner, seeing what my friends are up to on Facebook. The list is endless. I keep the fun items for last. Everyone needs rest and relaxation. But use the enjoyable things as a reward. Don’t let them be your “go to thing”, which can cause laziness. Instead, use them as a treat for the day.
7. Learn from the best.
The greatest reason to overcome the lazy streak and be productive is by learning what God’s Word says about slothfulness. Take His Word and apply it to your life. Each one of us only has an allotted amount of time on this earth. No one is guaranteed tomorrow. So start living today to the fullest. The webpage gotquestions.org has an excellent blog post on this topic. Click here to enjoy it.
What About You?
How do you overcome laziness? Do you have any ideas or creative ways that can help others? I, and my readers, would love to hear from you. Please leave a comment.
Great article Cherie… good advice. I find the older I get the more that laziness creeps in. I remind myself how satisfying it is when I accomplish things, and how bad I feel when I don’t. I have several projects that I know I can do, but the time and effort is overwhelming. Im one that, when I start something, I can’t take baby steps, I want it done now, thats what holds me back.. I think I will take your advice.
Thanks Janet, I agree wholeheartedly, especially with your comment “the older I get the more that laziness creeps in.” I fight it everyday. Have fun tackling some of those projects.
When I have several tasks to do and know there will be interruptions, I decide to do the least favorite task first and later I can tell myself “I’m glad that’s out of the way.” When it comes to tasks like cleaning the house, I do what I can even when I can’t do everything. Then I say to myself, “It’s cleaner than it was before”. Finally, I have a weekly day timer on my desk. I put tasks on the days I want to get them done, but the goal is to get everything crossed off by the end of the week even if it’s on a different day. And if I don’t get to something, I move it to the next week. Writing it down makes a big difference in getting it done.
Thanks Sheri, Those are great tips. I like what you tell yourself. I’ll have to adopt the phrase, “It’s cleaner than it was before.” Love it.
Nice post thanks for sharing