Four Ways to Fight Laziness
1: Get Started
Lazy scientists have proven that at least 50% of the work is involved in the first 5% of work. Okay, scientists didn’t say that but I did, and I took a science course once. The very tip of work is the hardest as it’s what you’re psychologically avoiding and building up in your head as the enemy. Once you start it a few things happen.
1: You’re no longer scared of it and you know what to do. This makes the work seem less difficult.
2: You’ve already started it. Momentum will help you through it now.
3: It’s now easier because there’s less work.
So if you really want to push yourself and get work done, don’t even focus on the whole thing. Just force yourself to start working on it, at any capacity, and that’ll be a bigger help than you think.
2: Remove Distractions
No one is going to tweet you anything cool. Facebook has nothing interesting on it, and no one is emailing you the secrets to an alien invasion or anything else worth reading. Similarly, cut out the internet. Don’t pick your songs one by one on youtube or allow yourself to work with the Netflix tab open, you know, just in case. I recommend working in public: it’s really hard to slip into those sorts of distractions in public, where people are going to know and judge you for what they glance on your screen. That sort of background helps you get into your zone quicker and better than you might otherwise.
3: Get Cozy
A cup of coffee, a killer playlist, and a snack around you is good for any sort of short-term hibernation that your work might force you to take. If you’re cozy with your work you’re going to be working a lot better than if you’re uncomfortable and you’ll be less tempted to leave or get up for any reason. Breaks are needed here and there, but constant ones- to get up, to adjust something, to pick a song- keep ruining your momentum. To really fight laziness you’re going to need to get cozy as crazy as that sounds. The only difference? You need to get cozy with your work instead of napping. Not the most fun, but it’ll be a lot more productive.
I’m not a great worker sometimes, and I’ve figured out my personal cure. Panic.
It’s what they always tell you not to do but screw it. Panic, as you know, is the only reliable way to get your work done. If you’re lazy at this point, the three tips above will help you but only so much: you’re a procrastinator and you prefer other stuff to work even when you shouldn’t. Fine. If that’s truly the case, and you’ve succeeded so far, you’ll keep succeeding. You just have to ride the wave of panic.
Panic is when you realize, wow, it is time for work, and you pull an all-nighter for an essay you could have done gradually in the week before. It’s not the healthiest or best solution, but it’s my only 100% cure-all for laziness. A little dose of panic will get you moving, no question. Feel free to try to trigger it early if you really have to get work done. That little tip will get you going in no time. If that’s you, use it: that’s the only thing that gets you moving so move with it.