Are you a lazy person?
Even if you think you’re a hardworking person, there must be some moments you feel lazy.
Let’s be honest.
Who wants to take a longer road if there is a shortcut? Who wants to do more than required if it makes no difference in the outcome? And not to mention the countless times we are just too lazy to go to gym or finish tasks way before the deadlines.
But why is being lazy inevitable for everyone?
Our Genes And Brains Are To Blame For Our Laziness
Couch Potato Gene Makes Us Lazy
Ever wondered why some people are enthusiastic about hitting the gym, while most of us prefer being couch potatoes? Actually, it’s determined by our genes.
A 2010 study found that those who are reluctant to physical activity have the “couch potato gene”, which is a mutation of a normal gene that regulate activity levels.
During the mutation, dopamine receptor in the normal gene which controls motivation and reward shrinks or even disappears. That’s why many of us cannot feel the pleasure from exercise as those fitness gurus do. And couch potato gene is inheritable. That means if you’re not fond of physical activity, your children are less likely to be athletic too.
Our Brains Save Energy By Being Lazy
Another biological limitation we commonly share is that our brains are wired to be lazy. Although our brains only make up for 2% of our body weight, it uses 20% of our daily energy intake. To make sure we’re not physically drained, most of the time our brains opted to switch off themselves. That’s why we tend to intellectually lazy and find deep thinking especially challenging to us.
But More Often Than Not Laziness Is The Symptom of Unhealthy Mindsets And Behavior…
To put it simply, procrastination is another term for laziness. We put off things that are supposed to be done right now and let our future self to pay for the price. And it’s all about not having the right mindsets or behavior.
Sometimes we are pessimistic and afraid of failure, so it’s better not to do anything. Sometimes we feel overwhelmed by the complexity and ambiguity of what we do and so we become paralyzed. Sometimes we fail to stay away from distractions. And sometimes we lack a clear goal so we easily become unmotivated. They happen from time to time.
Being Lazy Makes You Irresponsible For Your Life
Laziness is a boulder that blocks your way to personal growth and success. If you allow yourself to be lazy, you will keep making excuses for not fulfilling your responsibilities and realizing your dreams. Although you can be carefree at the present, your future self will suffer and have to pay the bill in the end. So laziness is an issue that everyone needs to tackle without delays.
Take a look at the below solutions to overcome laziness effortlessly:
Plan Your Time Well. Your Lazy Brain Does’t Like To Think.
The fact that our brains are wired to be lazy can’t be changed. The only way to trump your lazy brain is plan your time well so you don’t need too much of what to do.
How? Have a to-do list? That’s the most typical way people do.
But a list by itself is useless. You should set clear time boxes on your schedule. This allows you to work on it within a given time without procrastinating. If you need to do grocery shopping once a week, set a time for it, for example, ‘Saturday, 1-3pm’. You might also schedule what to do with your free time as it might increase your quality of life.
Have A Clear Goal Before You Do Anything
Perhaps lacking a clear goal is one of the reasons why you fail to perform well in a task.
The Goal Setting Theory of Motivation proposed by Edwin Locked tells us that goal setting is essentially linked to task performance. He states that a specific, clear, realistic and challenging goal is what we need for any tasks. The specificity helps us to achieve a goal in a right direction and the challenge of it motivates us to achieve it.
Instead of saying ‘I want to write a book’, you should say ‘I want to write a 100,000-word science fiction within a year’. See the specificity? If you find it is too easy for you, then write more, or write on other topics. Always take the challenge.
Break Every Task Into Smaller Ones And Tackle Them One By One
When a task seems too big and you have no idea where to start with, you would probably put it aside and wait until the deadline.
Every task is made up of smaller components. Take writing an article as an example. You can divide the task into different small actionable items: researching for ideas, constructing the outline, writing the content, proofreading, and even more. Doing it step by step would make you feel that you have accomplished something and this motivates to do go on with the big task.
Perfectionism Is A Trap. Don’t Fall Into It.
If you aim for perfection, it is very likely that you need to spend a lot of time to finish a task. It turns out that you complete a day’s worth of work in a week.
There is nothing wrong in striving for perfection. But you can do it wisely. Get things done first and then make tuning afterwards. Thus, you will have an overview of it and see how you can make the fine tuning to make it better. And stop spending too much time on details. The time you spent and the quality of your work might not always be directly proportional.
3 Books To Help You Stop Being Lazy And Get More Done
If you want some more concrete tips on how to overcome laziness, you can read these three books for more insights:
Get Stuff Done teaches the one skill that makes the difference between achieving your goals and settling for mediocrity. It includes the two habits backed by science that boost productivity so dramatically that they add four HOURS worth of productivity to the average working day. A productivity hack shared by Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Albert Einstein, and Steve Job can also be found in the book.
In this book, the author shows you how to overcome procrastination and replace the habit with productive actions step by step: accepting the fact that you procrastinate, knowing why you procrastinate, identifying the roots of procrastination, and identifying and dealing with fears that make you put off tasks over and over again.