Lazy or Procrastinating? 5 Smart Tips to Finally Stop


The most frustrating thing about achieving your goals and getting things done is overcoming yourself. It’s so strange that the number one thing that stops us from reaching our dreams is ourselves. You would think your brain and body would be the most supportive, but in many cases, it’s the complete opposite.

Procrastination is all internal. It’s the thoughts we have in our heads and the habits we have developed that determine the outcome. The good news is that procrastination is a habit, and you can break or change any habit you want.

lazy and procrastinating

Continue reading if you want to learn the difference between laziness and procrastination as well as why people procrastinate and how to overcome it.

What Is The Difference Between Laziness And Procrastination?

Procrastinating

It’s common to use the terms laziness and procrastination interchangeably, while both terms do slow down productivity, they are different.

Procrastination means that you are actively engaging in a task to purposefully avoid a different task. You still have the drive and energy to work on something, but not on the right task. For example, you know you should be working on a project for your boss, but instead, you decide to organize your overflowing inbox.

Laziness means you lack the interest or enthusiasm to do anything. You don’t have the energy or drive to get any tasks done at all. You are in a state of inactivity.

Why Do People Procrastinate?

It’s frustrating when we know we have an important task to work on, but our body is not cooperating and our thoughts are convincing us to do something else. There are two major reasons why we experience this: our brain is trying to protect us, and the task itself is not enjoyable.

Our Brain Senses Danger

It’s not that you want to procrastinate, but your brain is making you. You can read here why my brain doesn’t want me to succeed. Essentially, our brain is there to protect us. Anything unusual, new, out of routine, or out of our comfort zone, our brain detects it as dangerous and convinces us to stay away.

Our brain wants to keep us comfortable and safe, it doesn’t want us to use so much energy. This is why it’s so difficult to start a new routine or habit or work on a task, we have to go against our brain and fight through that barrier. You have to fight through the “I don’t feel like it” feeling that the brain is sending to you.

The Task is Boring or Difficult

No one wants to work on anything boring, hard, or something they’re not good at. You’re more likely to procrastinate when you know the amount of time and effort you will have to put into the task, so you avoid it.

Think about it, you’re about to start a long research project, but instead of reading through long tedious study after study, you rather organize the pantry. You want to start exercising more, but instead of stressing out your body and being sweaty and out of breath, you rather sit on the couch and watch TV. Our brain naturally convinces us that easier is better.

Have you ever found it hard to learn a new skill like learning a new language or playing an instrument? It will require a lot of brain power, time, and effort. You are also a beginner so it’s new territory and you are learning everything from the start, it’s not going to be an easy task, so your brain senses it as danger and convince you to quit.

That’s why so many people hop from one hobby to another without finishing the project or seeing it through.

Read here why it’s so hard to be productive.

5 Simple Tips To Beat Procrastination

Beat Procrastination

Now that you know what causes procrastination, the good news is that it’s a habit you can overcome. Getting good at anything will require repetition and consistency. Once you have made it a habit, your brain no longer sees it as a threat but accepts it as part of a routine, so over time it becomes easier.

One of the differences between people who reach their goals and people who don’t is that people who reach their goals know how to shut their brains off. They can ignore the negative thoughts, and push through the “I don’t feel like it” feeling.

The truth is that you will never feel like it, it’s rare to wake up feeling motivated every day, so relying on that motivated feeling will not work, it’s not consistent. You have to do it anyway, no matter how you feel.

Here are 5 simple tips to help you.

1. Break the task down

When a task is overwhelming, break it down into small parts. Break it down into as many smaller tasks as you possibly can, and work through them one by one. Take your time and take breaks as needed, smaller tasks are more achievable and less overwhelming. A bonus is the satisfying feeling of having a checklist and checking things off.

On days when you really don’t feel like doing anything, you can commit to one single task and you can consider it a win.

2. Start off right

Think of this quote, “Objects in motion stay in motion, objects at rest stay at rest.” When you start working, you’re more likely to keep working than if you start procrastinating, you are more likely to keep procrastinating. So start your day off on the right foot, always have a plan before you start the day, that way you can immediately start working on the number one priority task before anything else. Don’t spend the morning planning and giving yourself opportunities to get sidetracked.

Once you’re able to get one single task done first thing, you’re more likely able to keep the momentum going.

Read here for habits to start your most productive day.

3. Use timers and alarms

There are a few ways to use timers and alarms to help procrastination. You can set an alarm and schedule when you will do the tasks. You can use a timer to give yourself x amount of time to finish or do something. If you are procrastinating, then set a timer for x amount and when the timer goes off, you have to get to work.

If you really don’t feel like doing anything, set a timer for 5 minutes and work on something, after the 5 minutes are up, you are allowed to stop working for the rest of the day if you still don’t feel like continuing.

Read here things highly productive people do to stay focused.

3. Surround yourself with the right people

When we work with highly motivated and productive people, it makes us highly motivated and productive as well. The opposite is also true, if you work in an office, and the office starts gossiping, you’re more likely to stop working and engage in the gossip.

Surrounding yourself with the right people doesn’t have to be physical either, follow the right people on social media, find a mentor on YouTube, listen to inspiring podcasts, and read books.

4. Be kind to yourself

How we speak to ourselves and what we think is what we become. If you accidentally spent a day procrastinating, then it’s okay, learn to forgive yourself, tomorrow is another day. The more you fill your head with negative self-talk, the more it becomes your reality.

Hong Singer

I'm the creator of Ambition Forward. I keep things simple by focusing on the goal and being consistent in my actions to get the results I want, and I'm here to help you do the same. I encourage you to look for the things that bring you joy and go for it!

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