10 Ways to Beat Laziness & Be More Productive
I once met with a client who told me she wasn’t happy with where she was in her life. She felt bored with her job, unhappy with her weight, dissatisfied in her marriage and distant from her kids as they were getting older.
During our meeting, we started to break down each area of her life that she was unhappy with and make a plan to get her out of her rut. As we started to go over each area and listed the things she could do to improve her situation, it became clear that she didn’t actually want to change. Why? Because making changes can be really hard! It can feel overwhelming and even impossible to make big changes in your life, especially if you’ve been living a certain way for a long time, and it’s very tempting to be lazy and complacent.
I told my client that if she really wanted her life to improving, she couldn’t be complacent and unwilling to change. I realized from talking to her, however, that the idea of making several big changes at once was too daunting. Instead of tackling everything at once, we decided she would start with the easiest area to change first (her career), set goals and come up with actionable items she would do each week to accomplish those goals.
There are small, disciplined things you can do in your everyday life that will set you up to be more productive. Sometimes, making small, incremental changes over time will be more fruitful in the long run than making drastic ones. Once you make a new good habit in one area of your life, that work ethic will spill over into every area of your life.
I came up with 10 ways to be more productive and avoid laziness.
- Put your alarm clock across the room so you have to get up and turn it off each day. This practice will help you avoid the snooze button since you’ll already be out of bed. If you start your day snoozing, you’re setting yourself up for an unproductive day. When you get up ready to face the day, you’ll find that you accomplish your personal and professional goals faster.
- Keep your personal environment clean. Studies show that maintaining a clean work environment increases productivity. Having a clean, organized place to do your work will make you feel more put together and also sends a clear message to anyone who works with you that they are to take you seriously. The same goes for your environment at home: if you’re coming home to a mess, you won’t be able to fully relax and take care of yourself. You need that time at home to help you recharge, and you can’t do that if your home is a mess.
- If you want to be healthier, surround yourself with nutritious food choices. You’re much more likely to eat healthy when there are no bad options available. Set aside time to meal prep each week so you have healthy meals planned out for the week. If you know you’re usually tired when you get home from work and aren’t in the mood to cook, plan ahead and have your meals already cooked or subscribe to a healthy food delivery service.
- Set mini goals each week and reward yourself when you hit them. Maybe it’s going to the gym three times a week or making five sales calls per day. At the end of the week, reward yourself with a cheat meal or go get your nails done! Do something that makes you feel celebrated for your hard work.
- Limit your TV time. It’s easy to get sucked into hours and hours of Netflix, but remember that time spent watching TV can also be used for other things that get you closer to your goals, like working out, cleaning or spending time with family. Give yourself one night a week where you watch your favorite show. Treat it as a reward so the other areas of your life get the attention they deserve.
- Find people who motivate you. It’s hard to reach your goals when your friends’ goals aren’t aligned with yours. Find friends with similar goals to you and pour into them. For example, I have friends I work out with every morning who hold me accountable and keep me focused on my fitness goals.
- Listen to motivational podcasts. There are so many great podcasts out there, you’re guaranteed to find one you like. Listening to someone inspiring every day can help you kick start your day.
- Tackle the big things on your list first. I always try to identify three big things I need to accomplish that day before I do anything else. That way if I get busy and don’t get to the rest, I know I still accomplished the three most important things. It gives you a sense of pride to set these small goals every day and reach them.
- Get enough sleep. If you get an adequate amount of sleep each night, you won’t be sluggish and tired to accomplish your goals during the day. Make sure your room is a peaceful, clean place to relax at night that allows you to forget the worries of the day and get quality sleep.
- Be conscious of your social media scrolling. Don’t get trapped spending hours of your day on social media. Set specific times to check it (like morning, noon and right before bed) and set a timer to only scroll for 10 minutes. That way you’ll stay up-to-date with what’s happening in the world, but you won’t waste time mindlessly scrolling.
Remember, the small, disciplined things you do each day will create massive momentum in your life!