Do you have a task you keep putting off, telling yourself and others you will do it later, or do it tomorrow? Have you noticed you simply cannot find the motivation and energy required to do much of anything? You are not alone. Most people experience these “lazy” days or weeks. However, you must beware. That lazy day can easily turn into a lazy month, year, or decade!
Here are 7 steps you can take right now to find your motivation, stop being lazy, and get things accomplished.
Step 1: Make a task list. Write down all the things that need to be done. Do not include goals. This list is just for the things you absolutely must do. Perhaps you need to make and keep an appointment with your child’s teacher. You might need to tackle your guest room, which has become more of a storeroom. Maybe you need to get your hair cut or visit your doctor for an annual checkup. Don’t worry about how long or short this list is. Just give yourself plenty of time to create this list, but try to get the list done in one day or less.
If you need to start off more broad, see how to bring order to your life here.
Step 2: Your task list can quickly become overwhelming, but if you break the list up into categories, it becomes less daunting. For example, you may list things that need to be done inside your home, in your yard, at your job, for your friends or family members, errands or things you need to do for yourself. Each of these items is a separate category.
Step 3: Look at the tasks in each category and put them in the order of importance. Is meeting with your child’s teacher more important than buying a birthday gift for your best friend? Should you renew your driver’s license before you pick up the dry cleaning? Is calling the plumber to fix the leak under your kitchen sink more important than getting your carpets steam cleaned? Set your priorities.
Step 4: Create a plan of action for tackling your task list. Do you want to do a certain number of items each day if possible? Would it work better for you to work on one task in each category? Be realistic in terms of how long each task will take, how much energy you will need, and how many hours you have available to work on your tasks.
Step 5: Each day, add items from your task list to your schedule for the following day. As you do so, also note – either mentally or in writing – something positive about completing the task. For example, if you get your guest room cleaned out your friend could finally come for a visit. After meeting with your child’s teacher, you and the teacher will both have a plan to help your child succeed. These perceived or expected positive outcomes, which can only be realized by completing your tasks, serve as your motivation.
Step 6: Now that you know what needs to be done, how you are going to get those things done, and what your motivation for doing them is, you will need physical energy to complete your tasks. Without energy, nothing will get done.
You can increase your physical and mental energy in several ways, but the best ways are to eat right, get plenty of sleep – but not too much sleep, and drink lots of water. Additionally, you can create energy by using energy. Energy creates more energy.
You probably remember that rule from a science class you took in high school, and it is absolutely true. A good way to start creating more energy each day is to have a 30-minute workout that will get your heart pumping and follow up with a healthy breakfast. See more about that here.
Step 7: Remembering that energy creates more energy, when you start feeling lazy or like you are low on energy, get up and start moving. Even going for a quick ten-minute walk can get you going again. Also have a high protein snack, without sugar.
If you find you are low on energy regardless of what you have done to increase it, you need to see your doctor. There is probably something going on internally that needs to be taken care of. If you cannot find the motivation to do any of your tasks, you may be experiencing depression, and again you should see your doctor.
Taking a lazy day here and there is fine. Some might even consider it healthy. Just do not allow your lazy day to turn into two lazy days. It’s easier to create bad habits than it is to create good habits. Therefore, once you have established good habits that allow you to get things done, do not allow a bad habit to creep in and undo all your hard work.