Around 87% of the population lists laziness as a big problem in one or more area of their lives. It stops them from doing the things that they want to do and has them feeling powerless. But studies show that laziness is a myth and this article will show you why.
Imagine knowing exactly what causes your laziness and what you can do about it? In this week’s article, we’re revealing the cause of your laziness and even debunking the myth that exists at all.
I remember my old days where I’d sit on the coach on a Saturday afternoon, knowing full well that I had that list of things that I’d set out to do today. I’d check my watch every half hour, slowly getting more anxious as time seemed to drift away. “Just another 10 minutes of this TV show”, “I’ll do it later” and “I can’t be bothered” would be telling myself. Eventually it would get to the point where “it’s too late” and I’d put off that list until tomorrow.
The next day I’d wake up, and have that beat up session in my head telling myself how stupid I was for not doing my list yesterday.
I’ve now quit the beat up sessions and I get motivated around most of the things that I want to achieve on a daily basis. I write “most” because there’s times when I don’t achieve what I want in this next part explains why.
Where your “laziness” comes from
To understand laziness we’ve got to jump into your brain and understand how it works. In a nutshell there’s two main parts to our brains – the conscious mind, driven by wants and the unconscious mind (UCM), driven by needs. The UCM 90% more powerful than our conscious mind – this fact is critical in understanding where your “laziness” comes from.
But when you’re playing out this “laziness” behaviour – you’re actually still doing something. This something is achieving your UCM needs such as peace, certainty or variety.
Let’s explain it in lamens terms. You decide you’re going to do that task on your list – this is an conscious mind want. Your UCM kicks in straight away and says that it needs that peace, certainty or variety. Your UCM is 90% more powerful and normally wins. Before you know it, you’re sitting in front of TV or playing that computer game and leaving that task for later. When you realise what you’re doing, you bring up that label again – “I’m lazy”. When this behaviour is severe enough – you hand over your life to this label – “I can’t achieve anything because I’m a lazy person…”
Ways to overcome laziness
Thankfully, there are a few ways to overcome this behaviour of laziness:
- Drop the label of “I’m lazy.” When you put energy and focus into this label you continue to feed it and it grows. Instead, starve that label and give yourself a new one like “I’m great at getting things done.” This might feel a little weird at first but you’ll soon get used to your it. You may also be surprised at how much you get things done with this new label.
- Stay out of the trap of the beat up session. When there are times when you haven’t achieved everything on the list then a lot of the population does the “I’m a bad person”, “I’ve done this again” or “why do I keep doing this?” This has the affect of dropping your energy, having you feel powerless and less likely to write a task list again. Instead, shift your focus to acknowledgement and feedback. Have a look into what you decided to do instead of the list – is there a pattern? If so, this where you can speak with an expert to get you out of that pattern.
- Get smart with your task list. When you’re writing your list of tasks, there’s a few things to keep in mind that will help you complete them:
- Be specific.
Our UCM is a goal getting machine – that’s why people get SMART goals. When you get specific your UCM automatically sees it as a goal and starts wanting to achieve it. So instead of writing “wash car”, write something like “vacuum inside of car by midday Saturday 24th Jan, 2015 and wash the outside by 1 pm Saturday 31st Jan, 2015.”
- Find your chunk size.
You may note that when you write certain things on your list you that feel overwhelmed – almost like you know you’re not going to that task as you’re writing it down. A classic for me was “Do tax.” This would have my mind automatically come up with a list of things that need to be done to do the tax, they would all seem hard and a lot of work and I’d switch off to doing my tax. Instead I broke the task down and got specific, e.g. “Get all paperwork for shares sold and bought in 2014”, “Add up all interest in bank accounts” etc. To me this is way more achievable than “Do tax” and I automatically switched back on.
There is a certain level of detail that we’re all automatically comfortable with. Finding your level will greatly help you achieve your tasks.
- Make your list achievable
One of the fastest ways of not achieving your tasks is to re-enforce a pattern of never achieving them. If you’re used to having that list sitting there for months (my life used to be like this) then scrap 90% of the list. Work from a place of setting 1-2 tasks that are achievable. Once you start achieving them, gradually increase the number of items on your list.
P.S. A note to some personality types – i.e. the high achievers – having a massive list is exactly the thing which might switch you back on.
- Be specific.
What to do from here
This is the part where you get to check your own commitment. For those of you who are reading this article, and 110% want to eliminate your “laziness” then follow the advice above. I honestly haven’t used the lazy word on myself for a couple of years and I’m constantly learning more about my own mind – i.e. what is the pattern of what I prefer to do instead of ticking off my task list.
After reading the advice on this list remember it’s a choice of whether you be “lazy” or achieve what you want. There will be times when it will seem like such a challenge, a struggle and all your excuses and reasons will pop up as to why you should continue the “lazy” route. But pushing through this and focusing on what’s on the other side will help you step back into a place of power and achievement.
As always, if you want some expert advice, feel free to contact me directly on 0431 032 300.