Why can it be so hard sometimes to work hard? Laziness can be a stumbling block to reaching goals, so it’s important to learn how to deal with the part of ourselves that prefers Netflix binges over focused effort.
No one is destined to be lazy forever. It’s possible to kick an aversion to hard work and become someone who’s productive and effective every day. Here’s your essential guide to doing just that.
Master Your Mindset
Thoughts precede action, so having the right work mindset matters. For individuals who feel ruled by laziness, the problem might be in how they think about their work. Is it pure drudgery, or is it a chance to do something fulfilling and good?
When work is a cause for dread, it’s possible to make a shift. Spend a few minutes each day writing in a journal about the importance of what you do. Consider the positive impact work, homework or housekeeping can have on you and those around you.
Banish the Overwhelm
Sometimes individuals who can’t devote themselves to a task are avoiding work because they’re overwhelmed. It’s hard to settle into a project that feels impossible or never-ending.
To banish feelings of overwhelm, create a plan of action. Take an overwhelming idea, like “study for the test,” and turn it into small steps. Make flashcards for chapter one, re-read chapter two and organize lecture notes. Bite-sized tasks make it easier to accomplish your goals.
Don’t expect to change from sleeping in and avoiding work to immediately having a productive, 10-hour day. Incremental change is key to making a lasting commitment to hard work.
Productivity strategies like the pomodoro technique encourage short, focused spurts of work broken up by quick breaks. This time management technique requires you to commit to 25 minutes of uninterrupted work, followed by a five-minute break. After four “pomodoros,” you can take a longer break of 20 or 30 minutes.
If your goal is to start exercising daily, begin with a visit to the gym once or twice a week. After that feels automatic, add another day at the gym or a weekend hike with a friend. Every few weeks, increase your weekly goal until you’re moving your body every day.
Believe You Can Change
Laziness is learned. For people who’ve spent much of their life believing it’s “just who they are,” it might be hard to believe that change is possible. Take note of small changes, like being able to work for longer periods of time. Celebrate those as proof that improvement is happening and avoid focusing on how much change you still have ahead.
It will take time, but it’s possible to learn to enjoy working hard. Few people get to live life without it, so why not put your nose to the grindstone and get things done? The rewards will be worth the effort.
~Here’s to your Success!
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