Do you feel dead tired after work? Can’t wait to sit down in that comfortable sofa of yours? Basically, you feel lazy, right?
You see, what I have noticed is how the negative spiral of laziness just takes a big hold of our entire lives and never lets go. Until we really make a change that is.
It usually starts with a few nights of postponing reading that book or calling that person. Then before you know it, your entire life project has been put on ice. Why?
Simple because laziness is a habit. That’s right, it’s nothing else than a certain way of living that has been programmed into our brains.
But how does this happen, and how can we fight the temptation of being lazy?
How can we continue on the road to our dreams? (and not the road to bad health, low energy and future regret)
Well, my way when I try to help people is a 4-step approach. So in essence, being lazy is about not having enough energy. But what most people mix up here is what type of energy we’re talking about. Both mental and physical energy is equally important and they go hand-in-hand just like I will outline here today.
My 4 Steps to Not Being Lazy
1. Get Motivated
First things first – unless you have something specific that you want to spend your time doing (a hobby project, your own business, mastering a skill, etc.) there’s no reason to even have more energy.
Everyone has 24 hours per day and you can choose yourself what do with yours. When I talk about laziness I mean “the art of postponing, or avoiding, to do the things that matter the most to you” so step number 1 is to clearly identify what you actually want to do. Doing insignificant things just too keep busy has no self-value so then you might as well just lie on the sofa. So ask yourself:
If I had 1 extra hour each day where I had unlimited amount of energy, what would I spend that time doing?
Whatever answer you come up with, let’s call this activity “Your Awesome Activity”.
2. Feel Urgent
But unfortunately motivation alone is not enough. Without a strong sense of urgency, you might as well do it tomorrow instead…
For me, it wasn’t until I started feeling really urgent about setting up my own website that things really happened. Now, 7 months later, I have over 100 articles on the site. And I love writing more and more.
So how can you “find” this urgency?
Well, that’s a very good question and the way I suggest is to do a small imagination exercise. It goes something like this:
Imagine that in exactly one year a big change is coming into your life. This big change will completely stop you from being able to spend any more time on “Your Awesome Activity” for the next 24 months after that. Pretty bad, right? So if you want to want to create something, the only time is Now, or else you’ll have to wait more than 3 years before you can get started.
With this type of mindset, anything can become urgent – learning a language, playing the guitar, building a website, etc.
3. Get Energetic
And in order to be able to really focus on “Your Awesome Activity”, of course you need some energy. And I’m not going to go on here about how it’s great to eat healthy and exercise plenty – we all know that already.
Instead, I’m just going to share with you an insight of mine. You can do whatever you want with it, all I can say is that it works for me and I recommend you to give it a try.
It’s like this: All time is not created equal.
I believe (from experience and theory) that the early morning hours can be much more valuable than the evening hours. Why?
Simply because in the morning your mind hasn’t been bombarded with information from the outside world yet and is therefore still in a calm, Zen-like state. This focus and ability to be highly productive is something we should cherish deeply and use fully!
Previously, I always had problems doing anything meaningful at all after work. My mind was simply too tired and scattered. So take my advice and try to wake up at 5 a.m. for a few days to see if you can get things done. The feeling of peacefulness and the fact that you won’t be interrupted at whatever you’re doing is truly precious.
I guess you worry about feeling tired, but let me tell you that if you manage to keep it up a few weeks, then this habit will make you wake up even more refreshed than you can imagine. It’s all about really going for it 100%.
4. Feed it Back
I mentioned in the beginning that laziness is a habit. So if we want to overcome that, we must replace it with a new, even stronger, habit. That’s the reason why I want to stress the importance of this point.
I’m talking about feeding the results back to yourself and taking the time to reflect on how you’re progressing. You don’t want to make this life change into just something that you read, tried and then forgot about, right? So the way I suggest for how to keep this at the top of your mind, to avoid falling back into old habits, is to just take 2 minutes every day to write down:
At what times did I overcome my laziness today?
How did I do that? (thought patterns, circumstances, etc.)
At what times did I skip my goal and was being lazy instead?
What happened? (thought patterns, circumstances, etc.)
So with this 4-step approach, I believe many of us can get back on track again. It’s so easy to fall back into old patterns and get stuck there.
If you just start with some reflection to find out what happened and why you have ended up in a situation where you’re not moving forward as much as you want, then that’s the best possible start there is. I wish you the best of luck and know that we all can improve.
This guest post is contributed by Matthew M. McEwan from Early-Riser.com. His blog is loaded with tips, tricks and strategies for how to sleep well, wake up early, and have an awesome morning.