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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.


The first step towards overcoming laziness is in many cases the most difficult one

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?



  • 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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The article Ways to Fight and Overcome Laziness was presented to you by Personal Development.

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  1. Deportes algeciras (Reply) on Dec 23, 2010

    Than good news , follow publishing

  2. Sabina (Reply) 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 (Reply) 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 (Reply) on Sep 23, 2011

    Thanks for sharing this one. Nice work. :)

    • Steve (Reply) on Sep 24, 2011

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

  4. Whiteheads on Nose (Reply) 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 (Reply) 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:

  5. Page Lynch (Reply) 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 ://

    • Steve (Reply) on Oct 4, 2011

      Thanks for sharing the video with us!

  6. chardine (Reply) on Feb 6, 2012

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

  7. igor (Reply) 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 (Reply) 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 (Reply) 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 (Reply) 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 (Reply) 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 (Reply) on Nov 8, 2012

    Hey Steve, thanks for sharing
    Those words are really intelligent

    • Steve Mueller (Reply) on Nov 8, 2012

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

  11. manish (Reply) 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 (Reply) on Nov 29, 2012

      Uhm, what?

      • Michael (Reply) on Nov 23, 2014

        I think Manish is referring to someone who is dyslexic, or has ADD or something similar. Or it may be something very cultural and would need an explanation.
        If not cultural:
        ex. teacher writes something on the board and the son does not write everything missing crucial details (teacher: I don’t want to leave. I love you and I’m not leaving without you”. Student “I don’t love you and I’m leaving without you.” — has a few words missing changing the message), or writes down the wrong thing (teacher: ’2+5=7 student 2+5=6), or interprets what is being read as something else than what is actually being taught (”if it rains the streets are wet” being a question of logic, and the son writes, ‘teacher spoke about raining days”). Therefore the number of mistakes being written means that many things (a number) written are wrong.

        • Steve Mueller on Nov 24, 2014

          Ah thanks Michael.

  12. Bennet Nyarko (Reply) 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

  13. Michael (Reply) on Nov 23, 2014

    I find the problem with all these suggestions, settings goals, time frames, rewarding yourself, is for people, who without knowing it perhaps, are already half-way there, to the right path and just needed the right boost or method. To me no such thing works. Consider the ‘reward/punish method mentioned here. To me this means like there are 2 of you–in comics shown as a little devil on your left shoulder and an angel on your right shoulder. So ‘angel’ controls/takes over ‘devil’. Well to me they are equally smart. I could tell myself that I will reward myself (or punish) all I want knowing full well that I do not have to listen to that at all. So I don’t in other words this technique works once or twice and then fails–a story that all dieters know. So you see if it works for you and keeps on working for you it is because you were 1/2 way there all along. The same goes for all other methods techniques described. ‘Create a schedule’, ‘to-do list’, ‘baby steps’,'write things down’? What are you kidding? If I could do that I wouldn’t have such a problem.
    No, to some of us the problem is much deeper–Yes it is a case of lack of motivation or something similar but herein lacks the key perhaps. Not ‘What do we need to get motivated” which is important, but why aren’t we motivated in the 1st place. I could give many examples whereby one would think one would be extremely motivated to do thing A or B, with immediate rewards as well-no need to wait like in some cases and still there was no action. Here’s a silly example. Consider being 17 where sexual desire is strong, instinctual, a part of nature and DNA. Consider yourself being in a situation whereby you know with little effort thanks to this and that you could get where you want–all it really takes is a phone call to make a date. I could give you many times when I never made such a phone call being distracted by something else and then it being too late. Yes, there are times when I did make that phone call but I could not really tell you why it was made at times and not others, except for one thing; laziness

    • Steve Mueller (Reply) on Nov 24, 2014

      Hi Michael,

      Generally, when I’m writing an article I try to put down the things that I believe could have the potential to help other people. It is, however, natural that every article is written from my own perspective so I can only say what I do and what works for me in order to get rid of my laziness. Unfortunately, I am quite aware of the fact that it’s not always possible to help everyone in their individual situation.

      During the last years I have realized how important and how powerful it is to find unique and individual solutions to one’s problems, instead of applying general tips by the masses. For me, it is by far more effective when I work through a problem in order to find my own solution to it, instead of doing what everybody recommends.

  14. Michael (Reply) on Nov 23, 2014

    I want to add something to the above. It is my feeling that the lazy person feels, in the given 17-year-old example, as if that phone call shouldn’t need to be made, that the solution comes to you on its own accord. outside of that any effort, no matter how small, is too much of an effort: like a king in ancient times whereby anything that needed to be done could be done by the flick of a finger by someone else for you. That’s what the truly lazy person feels s/he needs and if having such power would never be considered lazy since everything that needed to be done or wants to be done is done. Yes, but woold there be any satisfaction in that? At times no, but other times yes and yet other times it wouldn’t make a difference.

    • Steve Mueller (Reply) on Nov 24, 2014

      Thanks Michael for sharing your perspective, I know this feeling too well.

  15. ash (Reply) on Jan 5, 2015

    I have wasted sooooo much time because of laziness so now I am completely lost I am 17 and I have all moody desires like watching tv. I do no whether my age is making me do such things. I have lost hopes on upcoming exams … Please help

    • Steve Mueller (Reply) on Jan 6, 2015

      Hi Ash, first of all please don’t worry. What you describe is very normal for a teenager. What is important is to understand that your moody desires such as watching the television, Internet smart phone etc. could be the cause for this laziness. So the very first step you can take is to get rid of these distractions, at least during the time when you have to study. The second aspect is that you could try to develop more motivation for studying. If you like you can have a look at this article, which could provide some assistance for this: How to get motivated to study. But you can also feel free after reading this article to contact me once again and describe your situation in more detail, and I will see what else you can do in order to improve the situation.

      • ash (Reply) on Jan 6, 2015

        Thank you sir

  16. ash (Reply) on Jan 6, 2015

    Thank you sir

  17. ash (Reply) on Jan 6, 2015

    hi sir, I have read the article that you have suggested. it was great and indeed I have developed some motivation. I have a wandering mind and do not know how to control it. I tried meditation but still I cannot control it. I have trouble in having a continued study habit. I take long breaks . even if I do get motivated the next day I am the same lazy exams are just days away. I want to have a change in myself quite badly and get rid of my daydreams .

    • Steve Mueller (Reply) on Jan 9, 2015

      Now you also write that you want to have a change. But for this change you need to become active. You need to change. There must be the willingness to do this. And not just the willingness, but you will also have to start. Just start, just begin and from then on you can work further. You will still feel as if you are the same lazy person as yesterday. So this means that you will still have to motivate yourself day after day after day to get up and do it again. And after doing this for a very long time you will see positive change.

  18. ash (Reply) on Jan 7, 2015

    And one more thing sir, I am kind of shy and my social skills are not so practised in front of crowd…. So is this going to affect my future…. I am a science student and I aim to do aerospace engineering and I have dreams of going to space…. Is my social skills going to affect this…. I am extremely good in calculus and of course maths(I love maths) ..
    I do have a wandering mind sir…. A mind can be your enemy if you have no control over it,…. And that is what is happening to me . Do provide any suggestions

  19. Rachid Idali (Reply) on Jan 26, 2015

    Actually, I liked What you’ve said about Laziness and i find it true because I think There are peope out there Who think about other things other than just TV or Video Games which means they Have dreams they want to make them true and they have also a great potential but their problem is laziness (the feeling of not wanting to do anything stressful or that need some hard work to acomplish ) so they choose to keep doing what they do each day which is TV and Video games for example. So i think your post is a good guide to these people in order to overcome laziness and become productive and achieve their dreams.

    • Steve Mueller (Reply) on Jan 26, 2015

      So true. I totally agree with you.

  20. Omkar (Reply) on Mar 23, 2015

    Thanks Steve.. The article was good enough.
    But the problems I face is gaming. Nothing interests me than gaming. I have a bit of addiction towards gaming and music. These things stop me from studying and working out. Pls help.

    • Steve Mueller (Reply) on Mar 24, 2015

      Hi, just to make this clear, are you talking about videogames?