Ways to Fight and Overcome Laziness

The following guide to fight laziness shows you ways to overcome laziness effective and gives you important tips that help you thereby. Well, everyone of us knows this feeling: we have a lot of work to do but a momentary feeling of laziness, or even a habitual state of pure laziness prevents us from getting motivated to perform our tasks. We do not feel energized and just don´t want to do particular activities, either because we lack the inspiration or are not encouraged enough to start working. However, laziness hinders us to do our work, but what is even worse: laziness reduces our whole life-experience, as we pursue by far less hobbies and spare time activities than we would, if we weren´t lazy. Let´s not allow laziness to reduce the quality of our lives!

First of all: What is laziness? Laziness is a mental state of an individual when it lacks energy and/or the desire to perform tasks, which can have several causes that I will explain in the later on.

It is time to get energized again and start to fight laziness, dilatoriness, inertia and inactivity until we are able to overcome laziness. Here is the good news: laziness can be defeated, if we make some changes in our mindsets towards laziness. Laziness can occur in different ways and has a lot of different (evil) facets. Here are some forms of laziness and ways to overcome them:

1. Lack of willpower:

One of the most common types of laziness is simply caused by a lack of willpower. Even though we know exactly how important a specific task for us can be, we still don´t have the willpower to get started. This type of laziness is experienced by students (“too lazy to study, even though I know this exam is important”), people that want to lose weight and many more.

How to overcome the “lack of willpower” laziness?

The secret to overcome this type of laziness is to get started, plain and simple.  Start performing the tasks you have to do and get the job done that needs to be done. Something that helps you thereby is to find an “easy introduction” into the task by starting with some simple work that helps you to get started. Trust me, I´m speaking out of my own experience when I say that it is often ten times harder to get started than actually getting the job done. Once you were able to overcome this barrier you will notice that the task wasn´t the problem, but your lack of willpower that made you become lazy.

2. Lack of motivation:

Another very common type of laziness is caused by a lack of motivation to get things done and/or achieve something. A lack of motivation can have several reasons, such as not having proper goals and aims, having no purpose in life or when people do not know how to get motivated effectively.

How to fight laziness that is caused by a lack of motivation?

Get motivated! Increase your motivation! The most effective way to fight a lack of motivation is by knowing some excellent motivation techniques that help you to increase your motivation and to keep it on a high level. I highly recommend you to read the following articles, that provide you some excellent motivation methods that are easy to integrate into your life (such as music) and show you some really advanced techniques that will boost your motivation:

3. Mindsets and attitudes:

In our life we develop all kinds of different mindsets and attitudes towards our life and towards laziness. Some people associate laziness with failure whereas others associate laziness with pure pleasure and as a protective mechanism to avoid additional work or fears. Sigmund Freud argued that laziness is a proper way for human beings to find pleasure, as they take pleasure from not doing anything (for further references see: Beyond the pleasure principle). The so called intuitive laziness is a protective mechanism that gets applied by people that were at some point in their life too lazy to perform a task, which ultimately turned out to be unnecessary. These people have build the (negative) attitude that laziness can help them to save time, which might work in some cases but is counterproductive in the long term. The second way laziness is used as a protective mechanism is when it comes to fear, such as the fear to fail, the fear of being responsible, etc.

How to fight negative attitudes that cause laziness?

The very first step to fight laziness that was caused by negative mindsets is to realize that a specific attitude or mindset is wrong or non-helpful for you. You need to realize that procrastinating work is not the right solution to avoid unnecessary tasks as well as the fact that you cannot run away from your fears.

4. Procrastination:

Procrastination can be seen as a form of laziness as well, as postponing tasks has a lot to do with the laziness to actually do something. People postpone things for several reasons, one of them is laziness. Procrastination and laziness have in common that different excuses prevent us from starting to do what we need to do or what we would like to do.

How to fight procrastination?

First off, the habit of procrastinating or postponing things reduces our chances of accomplishment. Plain spoken: it takes our chance to achieve whatever we desire to reach. In order to overcome procrastination it is very helpful to split tasks, which look at first glance impossible or very difficult, into sub tasks that you can perform one after the other and that help you to get started.

These were four of the most common causes for laziness and ways to overcome these sorts of laziness. In the following you will find some more detailed tips to fight laziness:

How to overcome laziness?

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  • Simple things first: As I already mentioned it is important to get started with the task you want to perform in order to fight laziness effective. An effective trick that helps you doing so is to start with the simple things first that will slowly but surely break your inner resistance.
  • Step-by-step: Breaking down tasks into small steps helps us to reduce the pressure of deadlines and will keep us motivated to perform these tasks one after the other in a relaxed way. Once you have completed one sub task you can tell yourself that you´re on a roll and that you will soon have finished the next sub tasks as well.
  • Make a to-do-list: Sometimes we find ourselves in chaotic situations with a pile of work where we have lost track of all the work that needs to be done. A to-do-list can help us in these situations to regain the overview, but even more important: it allows us to realize that it often looks like more work than it actually is. When you create your to-do-list make sure to arrange the tasks from the easiest one to the more difficult one, which helps you to start with the simple things first.
  • Visualize the benefits of a task/activity: Everytime I feel lazy or lack motivation to perform a task I visualize for some seconds how it would feel to just start the work that needs to be done in a very enthusiastic way. I visualize the benefits that I could receive when I have accomplished a given task, which helps me to become energized and motivated again. Furthermore, it helps to beat the inner resistance that was hindering me to get involved with my tasks.
  • Remove distractions: I noticed that distractions were often the source for my laziness and the sole reason I became lazy from one moment to the other. It made me realize that I was attracted by the distractions (TV, internet, etc.) as my primary task that I should have done seemed boring. Whatever it is that distracts you (and I´m sure you know exactly what is distracting you when you have to study, work or need to get things done) remove it! Make sure that once you have started with one of your tasks you will not get distracted from it by any means. All these distractions might seem tempting but they make it more difficult for you to get back to your work.
  • Reward yourself: Everytime you managed to overcome laziness and managed to successfully accomplish a task you should reward yourself, as this will help you to associate positive feelings about making efforts to get things done. Just make sure to adapt the reward to the efforts you made (small efforts & small tasks = little reward and vice versa).

Feel free to leave an response what helps YOU to overcome laziness!

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  1. Deportes algeciras on Dec 23, 2010

    Than good news , follow publishing

  2. Sabina on Sep 6, 2011

    The secret to overcome this type of laziness is to get started, plain and simple. – HOW???? :(

    Steeeeeeve is not that I don’t know by myself that my exam is not difficult for me is just I don’t know how to start studying for it. Therefore your advice for overcoming lack of willpower laziness does not help me at all. the question is what to do to start after I start I know I can done the task in a minute.

    • Steve on Sep 7, 2011

      Hey Sabina, I wanted to emphasize with my formulation “get started” how important it is to just begin with the task of studying, no matter what. If you know the date of your exam, sit yourself down and prepare a “study-schedule” where you specify when you intent to begin studying for the exam and where you write down the amount of learning material you plan to study each day. And once that day has come (when you intended to begin studying) really sit down and work off the amount of teaching material you have scheduled for that day.

      So instead of worrying about being not motivated or lazy, force yourself to begin with your task. My experience has shown that once you have overcome the obstacle of laziness,
      it is by far easier to continue with your task. Therefore, it is so crucial just to get started, with little amounts of studying and step by step, until you’re used to.

      Quick overview:

      1. Make a to-do-list, a “learning-schedule”
      2. Begin with simple tasks first
      3. Work your goals/tasks step-by-step off, do not try to get it all done within one day
      4. Visualize the possible benefits of a task, for instance an outstanding grade
      5. Remove distractions, such as TV, internet that could offer you excuses for being lazy
      6. Reward yourself whenever you have managed to overcome laziness.

      Sorry if this article didn’t provide you the help you were searching for.

  3. Hajime on Sep 23, 2011

    Thanks for sharing this one. Nice work. :)

    • Steve on Sep 24, 2011

      Hey Hajime, thanks for stopping by. Glad you like the article!

  4. Whiteheads on Nose on Sep 26, 2011

    I searched on Google for how to overcome laziness and it took me here. Well, I have to agree with you. As a student, I find myself being very lazy to study. I always have distractions like internet, or my laptop. Also, I find reasons, like well, I’m too lazy, or the exams are still far, or I still have tomorrow to study.

    But when I start putting just a little effort to kickstart, things start to work. It works out for awhile, but then for example, when I come across something hard, perhaps a tough question, I get all lazy to open up my reference book, and I end up quitting and perhaps sleeping in the end. I know this is bad, and my real exams are coming soon, what would you advice? :/

    • Steve on Sep 27, 2011

      Hey Whiteheads on Nose, maybe you lack the motivation to study? I found myself in a very similar situation, lacking motivation, being a bit too lazy to study, getting distracted by all the things I would rather to (instead of studying). As a result, I began to prolong, telling myself that I would begin to study tomorrow, and then the day after tomorrow and so on.

      What did I do to overcome this kind of laziness? I set myself some goals and I rewarded myself for accomplishing those objectives. Several years ago, I needed some great marks that I could enroll at university. I also planned to buy a notebook at that time, so I told myself that I would reward myself with a notebook, as soon as I was enrolled at the university of my choice. If I would fail, I wouldn’t be allowed to buy that notebook, hence forcing me to use the computers of my roommates, friends or parents – something I really did not wanted to do any longer.

      Basically, I piled the pressure a little bit by holding out the prospect of getting my own notebook (something I dreamt of for a very long time). And miraculously, I began to study harder and more focused than ever. I wasn’t studying for my teachers, parents or anyone else. I was studying because I had a dream and I knew I would be fulfilling this dream, no matter what. Maybe, if you find a challenging objective and a fabulous reward, it helps you to stir your motivation to study, hence eliminating the laziness.

      If you are seeking for some more information on how to increase your motivation to study, you can feel free to also have a look at this article of mine: http://www.planetofsuccess.com/blog/2010/how-to-get-motivated-to-study/

  5. Page Lynch on Oct 3, 2011

    Yeah, I definitely think the “motivation” one is probably the biggest key factor. You have to be working towards something you really love and believe in… Then, it hardly ever feels like work! Doesn’t mean it’s all fun, but the master goal overshadows everything else. Great article! I made a comedy video about overcoming laziness, to give people a song to sing to themselves when faced with it lol. Check it out and please share it if you like it! http ://youtu.be/kpShPFMp1h8

    • Steve on Oct 4, 2011

      Thanks for sharing the video with us!

  6. chardine on Feb 6, 2012

    thanks for the advice! i hope this will work for me :)

  7. igor on Apr 21, 2012

    Hey Steve. Thank you so much for this post. It’s a huge blessing.
    I still got some questions. I am not sure if I am lazy or what?!
    I find myself at language school (german class). I need german for my future studies as I will study in Switzerland. Now, I have all I need. i am motivated (sometimes even way too much motivated), i got professional help etc. but when I have to sit down and get it done, i simply fail to do it every time. I have to learn vocabulary, grammar, rules etc. andi just don’t have will to do it. I know i need then if I want to study in Swizerland, my books and teachings will be in german so i really need a good german knowlegde but I just cant study. I go to library, leave my mobile at home. But as soon as I sit down, my though get lost. i think about something that doesnt matter and when I “come back” it’s time to go home =( any suggestions??Thanks.

    • Steve Mueller on Apr 21, 2012

      Hi Igor, do you have a favorite sitcom, book or movie? Try to watch them in the German language – with or without subtitles. And try to read the book in the German language. At the beginning, it will totally ****, as you have to look up a thousand words that you didn’t know, but later you will tremendously benefit from that!

      If you’re able to combine learning with the fun & joy you have of watching your favorite movie, you’ll learn a lot easier.

      Frequent German-language websites about topics that you are truly interest in – even if you don’t understand much of it. As time goes by, you’ll learn a lot of the vocabulary, grammar and the rules. And once the day comes where you can watch a movie, or read a book, in German, you can congratulate yourself for all your effort.

      How do I know? From personal experience!

  8. Duy Hoang on Jul 26, 2012

    Hello Steve! Googled “how to fight laziness” and finally stopped by your page! Contrary to Sabina, i think your idea- get started- hit the nail on the head! Although Im quite good at school but still feel lazy at times. Did you do well at school/uni ?
    Thanks a lot!
    Oh, and I think maybe music is one powerful source of energy ! I love to start a day with “It’s My Life” by Bon Jovi!

    • Steve Mueller on Jul 26, 2012

      Hi Duy,

      You’re welcome! I was an average student and had average grades when I was a teenager. I then worked for some time and went back to school and from thereon my grades became really good, I think mainly because I had grown up and considered studying as my “job”.

      PS: “It’s my life” by Bon Jovi is awesome, excellent choice for a start-of-the-day-song!

  9. Khadija on Oct 8, 2012

    Steve,those are some really good ideas!!! I have an exam tomorrow that’s why I came here!!! And I got such a big help! Thank you really much!!!

  10. Ambuj Jain on Nov 8, 2012

    Hey Steve, thanks for sharing
    Those words are really intelligent

    • Steve Mueller on Nov 8, 2012

      Hi Ambuj, thanks for visiting the site! I’m glad you like the article!

  11. manish on Nov 29, 2012

    my son is un able to copy from board,he will write number of mistakes in his book. How to overcome these errors.

    • Steve Mueller on Nov 29, 2012

      Uhm, what?

  12. Bennet Nyarko on Sep 17, 2013

    i have been reading various articles about overcoming laziness but your article is superb. it’s simple, easy to read, understandable etc. am blessed, i will be happy to read more of your articles. Thanks