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Feeling lazy? 4 fool-proof steps to overcome it

how to overcome laziness
Facing a bout of laziness? Here's how you can overcome it. Source: Andrea Piacquadio/Pexels

Are you suffering from intense bouts of laziness? Perhaps you’re not bothered to study for your upcoming tests, are procrastinating on your next assignment, or simply don’t feel like keeping up with your exercise. If so, you’re not alone. Research shows that around 80% to 95% of students tend to procrastinate, especially when it comes to their coursework. 

In this, how to overcome laziness might be something you’re looking to solve. This is especially urgent if you have a deadline looming or are looking to get fit again. First, though, it’s important to think about why you might be feeling lazy — particularly if it’s more so than usual. 

What causes laziness?

There are many factors behind your laziness. The first is burnout. This happens when you start feeling overwhelmed, fatigued and stressed from constant and uninterrupted periods of work.

A common feeling that comes with burnout is a sense of helplessness and lack of change, regardless of how much work you put in. This might cause you to feel demotivated or reluctant to put in the effort — which can be misconstrued as laziness. 

Another factor that can cause laziness is a fear of failure. Our lives are a collection of experiences: moments where we find enjoyment and success or failure at a task we’ve dedicated ourselves to. 

As we grow older, we gain more of these experiences — as well as the feelings of inadequacy and mortification that come with it. Our natural response, then, is to avoid doing the things that made us feel that way, even if it might end up with a different outcome this time. 

Other causes of laziness are more subtle. Maybe you’ve been feeling under the weather or more homesick than usual. This can be more obvious during winter. You might feel like staying in your room and doing nothing, even if it means it might be bad for your grades or your health. 

Either way, working on how to overcome laziness is something you should focus on — before it starts to take over your life:

Working or studying with friends is a great way to keep yourself accountable. Source: Helena Lopes/Pexels

How to overcome laziness: 3 tips and tricks

Set small goals

One way to stay on top of your tasks is to map out exactly what you need to do and when. The best way to do this? Setting goals. Specifically, small goals.

Carve out some time to think about what you want to achieve. What do you have to do and when do you need to achieve this by? The task itself might seem a large one, so it might work to break it down into smaller, more manageable goals.

If you’re writing an essay, for example, it might make more sense to set a daily 100-word goal rather than try to get it all done at once. 

Need to manage your time more effectively? Try timeboxing — the ultimate productivity hack used by billionaires. 

Stop waiting for the perfect moment

You might feel like you need the perfect set of skills or fitness levels to perform a task. This might feel true if you’re training for a marathon or gearing up for a big presentation. With everything else, however, it’s always best to just bite the bullet and do it — even if it scares you. 

The truth is that there will never be a perfect time to do anything. Try out that sport, join that debating society you’ve been eyeing for the past year — take the plunge. You’ll regret holding out for so long if you don’t. 

Stop waiting for the perfect moment — it’s right now. Source: Meg Oliphant/AFP

Create a routine

Daily routines are great for many things, the most apparent being that it offers you a sense of stability. This is a great thing if you’re looking to pick up a habit or get your work done. For example, journalling at the same time every day can help how to overcome laziness by setting out a clear task for yourself, even if it’s small. 

Finding it tough to stick to your routine? Try writing it down or planning out a timetable. Use your calendar app or set reminders on your phone if it helps. This will help keep you in check, making you more likely to complete your task. 

Find friends who will keep you accountable

It’s harder to break out of a task or avoid getting something done if you’ve planned to do it with someone else. That’s why meet-ups, study sessions or time to work out with friends or peers who share your goals are important. They keep you accountable.

If you know you’re prone to put your work to the last minute, ask your friends to check in with you — regularly — if you’ve completed your tasks or not. This way, you’ll have to answer to someone (and their shade). It will add a layer of pressure, as well, which might make you more likely to complete your tasks.