How To Overcome Laziness

Dr Thanh-Tam Pham - 1/11/2020


Laziness is the desire to do nothing, to be idle and to postpone doing things and letting things to stay as they are. Physical inactivity is associated with overweight problems, diabetes and significant morbidity and mortality.

Laziness may reflect a lack of self-esteem, low self confidence, a lack of self discipline or a lack of interest in activities.

Sometimes, we enjoy being lazy staying in bed late on the weekend or after working hard for several hours. However if we enjoy doing nothing very often, something has to be done to change it. If we want to live to the fullest and achieve success, we must learn to be able to resist laziness and overcome it.


1-   Setting goals of what we want to do or who we want to be in this life.

We can set a big goal but we have to break down our goal into small manageable tasks to be able to achieve them easily as a big task can be overwhelming. Instead of having one big task, we will have a series of smaller tasks that do not require too much time and too much effort.

We have to think about the benefits, the good results if we get over the laziness and take action, and we have to avoid focussing on difficulties of carrying out a task as they will deplete our energy.

Thinking about the bad consequences of not acting can motivate and push us to move into action.


2-   Doing one thing at one time.

In reality, we can only do one thing at one time but when our mind focuses on a lot of things to do, we can be overwhelmed and let laziness overcomes us. We have to practice mindfulness that is to focus only on the task at the present moment and move on to the next one when that task is completed.

It is beneficial to practice mindfulness in every daily activities and practice meditation as it can change brain patterns and improve mental focus.


3-   Exercise.

Exercise will get our blood pumping and we will feel more energetic and less tired. Exercise first thing in the morning is the best but it is difficult to get over the sleepiness and the lethargy. We have to make plan to do it and we have to try not to debate about going or not going but just get up and go. Once we start to move, it will become easier and easier. To start a new habit we have to invest a lot of energy initially but then it will become easier with time. Having a shower after exercise in the morning will certainly give us the energy to tackle the work of that day.


4-   Avoid negative thinking.

We have to make a plan of action and try not to listen to the negative self-talk. Our mind can give us many reasons not to action such as the task is too hard or we may not be successful or it is better to just postpone it for another day…The main thing is just to follow the plan of action without thinking and once we start to move away from the laziness, we will feel more interested and absorbed in the task on hand. By recognizing our accomplishment along the way, it is a positive feedback and it will make us believe in our strength and our efficacy. Sometimes the fear of failure can hold us back and we need to be mindful of doing things step by step and not thinking about the results. If we work with our best effort and concentration, the future will take care of itself. If we encounter failure, consider that as an experience, a lesson to learn. We have to take each task as an opportunity to get out of our comfort zone, to test our inner strength. This will help us to develop the ability to tackle everything in our life with courage and confidence.


5-   Influence from other people.

If the people we hang out the most are generally lazy about work, then it is easy for us to adapt the same habit and that way of thinking. It is always easier to procrastinate and defer things to be done later rather than to do things as planned. If we choose to have highly motivated friends, they will help to motivate us, so we can overcome our laziness and can achieve success in life.


6-   Think about other people.

Sometimes we are lazy and do not want to do anything, but if we think about how it affects our love ones, we may gain energy to move. When we help other people as an act of kindness, we are happier and this gives us higher motivation and a sense of greater purpose in life.


In summary, it is so easy to fall in the habit of laziness in our daily life as it is difficult to leave our comfort zone, but our comfort zone will keep us in one place and prevent us from making progress. Every time we overcome our laziness, we are getting stronger and have the ability to achieve goals and improve our physical and mental health.