Is Laziness Attacking your Productivity? 7 Steps to Cure It and Get Back on Track
Here is my laziness story.
I’m not tired. No, I’m nowhere near fatigued. I just don’t feel like editing this website, thanks to the overwhelming laziness in my heart. Not because the website is overly complex, no, but it only needs fresh content. Better still, this job falls in the category of ‘things I love to do‘; the kind that shoots my productivity to the peak.
So, what’s my problem?
But there’s more to the lazy bug. Have you noticed that I haven’t posted an article here in ages?
Under normal circumstances, I would have ignored the seemingly lazy symptoms. But I have also not written anything in my prayer journal for two days. Now, that’s serious!
Is this the proverbial, first time for everything?
Laziness Bug Roosting in Your Business Too?
If you have felt this way, and if this makes you feel any better, you are not alone. I have been battling with the feeling since mid-last month after completing a project I loved. I rested for a week, long enough to empty my reservoirs of the previous project’s content in readiness for the next. Then the bug struck.
No matter how hard I tried, I neither could write new proposals nor create work-related posters for my WhatsApp or LinkedIn accounts. What the heck?
A day or two of mourning the weird state led me to my desk. Maybe clearing the pending projects, some dating back to June this year, could help. You are looking at a website I’m supposed to redesign, a friend’s book crying for major editing, styling a meditation journal due for printing, and writing my new book. The latter is over one year overdue.
Wait a minute, this is also about you. What does your pending list look like?
This One is For You
While searching for a remedy for the lazy feeling barring me from pursuing new writing jobs, I came across articles suggesting that I may be overwhelmed.
Of course, I denied it. What’s there to overwhelm me when all I do is what I love?
And the pending jobs are stress-free. Something else must be the issue.
So I continued with my research until I bumped into The Weekend University’s YouTube video on expressive writing. In the interview, American social psychologist Dr. James W. Pennebaker discusses writing for healing at length. A must-watch if you want to vanquish the laziness bug and raise your productivity above your normal.
So when I started typing this article, it was supposed to remain personal, in the name of expressive writing. But I had that light bulb moment and decided to break the rules for three reasons.
One, because I need you to know you are not alone.
Two, it makes for a new article in this blog.
And three, it is real from the bottom of my heart.
Nabbed the Silent Criminal
Do you see that paragraph starting with, ‘A day or two of mourning the weird state led me…’?
That’s the silent criminal; the fellow I nabbed during the eureka moment.
This criminal hijacked my desire for work and replaced it with a laziness bug. So even after taking my religious one-hour nap followed by a cold shower to jumpstart my brain for work, laziness prevailed. I felt distracted, unwilling to write proposals, redesign the website, or even journal.It took me listing the things I needed to do to realize that I was overwhelmed by my to-do list. Somehow, my brain couldn’t bring itself to accept that it had allowed all these jobs to sit around incomplete for months. Click To Tweet
But the most agonizing thing here is, the brain also knew that if I took another project on, the others would remain in the ‘forgotten basket.’ Lonely. Incomplete. And that’s unacceptable!
7 Things I Did to Cure Laziness and Get Your Productivity to the Peak!
With only 43 days to the New Year, I have no choice but persuade Ms Brain to commit to doing the work because the overwhelm just won’t go away. At least not on its own accord.
True, the lazy feeling is no stranger. And though I managed to reset after a while last time, I couldn’t pinpoint the way I rose out of it to peak performance. After the eureka moment, however, I nabbed the silent criminal aka the overwhelm. Then I put words to how I felt organized and the exact steps I followed to heal. And that’s what I want to share with you.
1. Get Out
I work from home and have a habit of prioritizing work and the family over my needs. So I find myself doing what benefits them while ignoring my personal needs. But whenever I begin taking solo early morning or late evening walks, Ms Brain is reenergized for work. She generates lots of crazy ideas, most of which end up here in form of articles, or parts of my ghostwritten books.
Would that count for jogging your brain?
2. Eat Well
Ever thought of taking vegetables in the morning? You should. I hosted my parents for a week around June this year and had a feel of their morning routine. It includes consuming raw vegetables; diced cucumbers, carrots, tomatoes, and onion, one hour before breakfast. It aids in bowel movements which in my case seems to also empty my body of any pre-consumed crap.
Think of it as cleaning the temple you live in.
3. Plan Ahead
Decide every evening what you are going to do the following day. And while at it taking stock of pending jobs. It saves your day.
My daily plan at its best consists of morning prayers, journaling, solo walking, and preparing breakfast for the family while snacking on my vegetable salad. Then I take a shower before sitting with my family for breakfast.
While this order is necessary, of late I have been eating my salad together with breakfast, reducing its efficiency. And have slugged on solo walks salad too. Let’s just say I haven’t treated the temple I live in with utmost respect. And hence the overwhelming laziness in my heart.
4. Buddy Up
Working from home comes with lots of benefits making it so easy to ignore the transgressions. The most notorious being replacing meet-ups with video calls. And while COVID made that seem okay, it doesn’t go well with this super extrovert. I need to meet friends for coffee, chats, and hugs. That is my fuel. Otherwise, overwhelm takes the throne dripping laziness all over the place.
However, meeting my buddies requires proper planning to work. I must make sure to set up my family’s dinner before heading out and getting the work I planned for the day done. That way, my conversations with my buddies remain guilt-free.
5. Have Fun
Bet you didn’t see that coming, huh?
Even if your job sits in the passion basket, saving time to have fun turns your brain on for the work ahead. Your body may end up fatigued tainting your productivity, but after resting your performance shoots back up!
If you hate your job but have to keep it for money’s sake, double your fun dose. Plan for a fun time and indulge. You’ll be glad you did.
6. Shut Down
While sleep is vital for your overall health, it is not the only way to rest. How about taking 20 minutes every day to silence your body and do nothing? Not even sleeping.
This isn’t easy bearing the devices and their beeps, but it’s necessary. Think of sitting upright in a comfortable chair and admiring a plant, a plain wall or, even the sky. No matter how weird that feels, the beauty is worth appreciating in the same way you do the results of a productive day. So, don’t let this ‘doing anything’ fool you into calling it a waste of time.
Try it for 7 consecutive days and note the results.
7. Be Real
If laziness has invaded your productivity, chances are you have a downward spiral on your results graph. It’s okay to hate yourself for it, maybe even give yourself a spank, but don’t dwell on it for longer than one sunset. Replace it with a little love for the child in you that messed up this once.
Then, analyze your recent activities to see if your brain will pick any pending projects that it won’t let go of until you work on them.
Wiping Out the Laziness
You see our brains are powerful machines but sometimes behave like pets. They grab every promise we make and refuse to let go until we attend to them. They demand that we finish what we started, delegate, or delete such but never disregard it. Failure to which, they create a protective mechanism preventing us from peak performing, the lazy feeling, on any other projects so we pick.
This feeling of laziness is a sweet way of your brain saying it is overwhelmed, without shouting at you. It protects you from breaking down and telling any more lies that you can perform while in reality, you cannot.
How else would you explain the pending jobs?
So when laziness attacks your productivity and you no longer desire to do what you love doing or what you must do, list what’s pending and decide if it’s worth doing or not. Do what you can, delegate what must be done but have no time to do it, and delete the rest. That’s just one of the 7 steps. The others help you make the process sustainable. Make them your daily habit. Have a productive day, won’t you?