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The Lazy Person’s Guide to Productivity

The Lazy Person’s Guide to Productivity

  • Humans aren't wired to be productive all the time, capitalise on what works for you with these 8 tips.
3 MINS READ

We all have days when we don’t feel like doing anything, whether it’s finishing that important project or meeting friends for lunch, we tend to procrastinate sometimes. While it’s normal for laziness or lack of motivation to seep in, it’s time to look deeper if you find yourself taking ‘lazy days” on regular basis or if you are having trouble getting things done. A lack of passion for your job, an overwhelming list of things you need to get done, fear of taking on responsibilities and poor lifestyle choices including nutrition, all contribute to being lazy.

With laziness comes procrastination and with it the guilt of feeling like a failure every day. Maybe you are a guilt-free, self-aware lazy person who has come to terms with their productivity, or erm lack thereof. The desire to increase your productivity and focus, without any supplementary effort, only raises your anxiety, not your accomplishments.

While the early risers and list makers around you shower you with tactics, you can’t help but feel it’s just in their DNA. What you need to do in such a situation is find what works best for you and keep it simple. We all have personal and professional commitments that can’t be put on hold forever, so here are some ideas that will embrace your inner lazy self and still help you strike through your to-do list. 

1.      Make Simple Lists

Making a complicated, super-detailed list will do nothing to pick up your pace. It will only demotivate you further with the burden of a huge workload. Try prioritising your list based on what’s absolutely necessary and tackle each task in that order.

To do list
 2.      Add to Your Existing Morning Habits.

If pedal-to-the-metal in the morning sounds like torture, try and take your morning routine slow. If you have any repetitive daily work tasks, like scheduling your appointments, try and add them to your cluster of tried-and-true morning habits. The effort going into completing it will feel like much less when you’re already on a roll and getting things accomplished out of habit.

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 3.      Set Timers

While most of the time your to-do list isn’t particularly tedious, being lax and leisurely can make you take three hours to get through it instead of the one hour of focus it requires. Try setting a timer on your phone to get your work done in that time frame and then put it out of sight to eliminate distractions.

Set a timer
4.      Take a Nap

As the clock strikes 4 and you feel a mountain of weight creeping onto your eyelids, plan a quick power nap. Schedule your work around it and take 15-20 minutes to rest your eyes. It will help you get back into a groove when your alarm goes off.

 5.      Avoid Unnecessary Snacking

Plan balanced meals that have ample fat and protein, so you stay satisfied for a longer period of time. Remember that while your brain needs fuel to focus, snacking constantly releases insulin which makes you feel depleted on energy and overall attention.

6.      Create a Workstation

Working from bed as a person prone to lethargy is a sure-shot way of drifting away from your task list onto mindless online scrolling. Make sure you have a work set up that doesn’t qualify as a couch you could be lounging on off the clock. This keeps the blood flowing and prevents your focus from shifting.

7.      Stretch and Get Your Blood Circulating

While a morning fitness routine of any kind will get your blood circulating and release hormones to keep you happy and motivated, a small stretch during the day like touching your toes will do wonders for your brain. It brings nutrients and oxygen where required and gives the entire body a flush of renewed energy.

8.      Schedule Breaks as Rewards

If focus isn’t your best friend, try and maximise it for as long as possible. When it feels like it’s getting too overwhelming, schedule a break and make sure you take it completely guilt-free as a reset. Time your breaks to make sure they don’t last the rest of the day.

 Pro tip: Never say “later”, “at some point” or “another time”. Switch them out with actual dates and times while referring to a task and make it important to live up to your commitment. So, try and replace indefinite timeframes with very specific ones. Bonus points to you for putting these deadlines down in your calendar!

Read more: Letting Go of Expectations

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