Overcoming Laziness and Procrastination: The Bane of the Modern World

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We have become very comfortable living the lives that a developed society affords us. We grow fond of our smartphones that expand our world the instant we buy them, allowing us to enjoy things through social media from the comfort of our couches.

If we are hungry, we don’t have to go out and hunt for our food we can just order delivery Chinese or some other delicious food through an app.

We can take a nap for hours if we so choose and we have become comfortable sitting on the couch to watch TV rather than improve ourselves physically in the gym or mentally with a book.
This is all because we have become accustomed to being lazy.  We would rather take the path of least resistance to accomplish things or avoid those things altogether so that we feel comfortable.  We justify our lack of action with excuses such as “I’m tired” or “I worked really hard at work today, so I am entitled to just sit back, relax and eat pizza and ice cream the rest of the day”.

Now don’t get me wrong, it is important to relax and eating a slice or two of pizza occasionally won’t kill you. In fact, intermittent relaxation is important so you recharge and make yourself the most productive.

Indulging in your favorite comfort food every now and then is preferable so we don’t go overboard on it at some point because of self-deprivation.

But we have made it acceptable to relax excessively to the point where we just slack off and get nothing accomplished.

People have wasted days on their couches letting themselves get behind on household chores, daily tasks necessary for health such as working out and a lot of people have gotten used to ordering food rather than simply cook it for themselves.

I believe that this is a huge problem for people and potentially goes so far as to hurting our economy as well.

Imagine for a second, a world where no one procrastinated on their goals.  Imagine people who accomplished everything they set out to do for the day and did not sit down and watch TV until they got everything done.

Not only would more people accomplish their New Year’s Resolutions, they would also be better apt to handle the discomfort of hard work, contribute more to society and perhaps make more money for themselves.

The last two parts would drastically impact our world’s economy and people not receiving those two benefits of hard work, I believe, does hurt our economy.

Not to mention all the wonderful inventions, scientific breakthroughs and medical discoveries that our world would benefit from if people just disciplined themselves every day to accomplish their goals.

There are those in this world who do not allow themselves to be hit with the blight of laziness.  Exceptional people who work the hardest that they can to reach and exceed their goals.  People such as Elon Musk and Mark Cuban, very wealthy individuals who became that way because of their love of the grind to get their goals accomplished.

Mark Cuban even mentions in his book The Sport of Business: If I Can Do It, You Can Do It that when he first started out he would work for 24 hours straight sometimes.

Although it may be counter-productive and unhealthy to work that much in one sitting, the mentality he had is what people need to aim for.   This mentality is one of hard work and getting your goals accomplished no matter what.

Why All of This Laziness??

I truly believe the reason why a lot of people who fail to reach
their goals, do so because they have not committed themselves enough to the process of getting those goals accomplished. They waste their time, the 24 hours that they have been allotted each day, to too much Netflix, gaming or other leisure that should only be done when all your goals are accomplished.

I also believe that people are lazy because they are afraid of failing.  They are afraid of working so hard only to lose and face a set-back in life.  So, they tell themselves it’s too hard in order to protect themselves from the pain of potential failure and the pain of working hard.

Another reason for all the laziness could be that we are so used to instant gratification.  For all the benefits we receive from technology, the instant gratification it affords us can teach us to be lazy.  Just like the food delivery example, why bother working towards a goal that will bring long term pleasure when you can gain just as much pleasure short term from something that is right at your fingertips.

When we set out to accomplish our New Year’s Resolutions, we do so without preparing our minds for the hard work that is ahead.  The pain that is involved and the idea of failure deter us from executing the necessary actions to meet our goals and because we have gotten used to instant gratification, we refuse to put in the necessary work and deal with the pain associated with it.

The problem with this is that the pain of hard work and failure build our character.  The pain from those things forces us to grow, to be introspective and to become greater and stronger than we once were.

Not to mention the fact that a lot of the world’s problems could be solved by people not being lazy. Think about how obesity has impacted American society.  If more people disciplined themselves to go to the gym and work out for just a mere 30 minutes a day, the obesity rate in America would drop drastically and improve the overall health of Americans.

So as you can see, laziness is a massive problem which is why we need a strategy to overcome it.

But how do we do this? How do we become more productive and give ourselves the motivation to work hard and accomplish our goals?

Stop being satisfied with failure:

It’s ok to experience failure and we should never be afraid of it, but we need to stop being ok with just existing in life. We must strive for absolute excellence in everything we do always so we can maximize our potential as humans and contribute the most we can to society. If we lose or fail in life, we must always learn from that, move forward and not be comfortable with failure. We should never ever settle for subpar performance such as getting a C in a class, getting 5th place in a contest or having just enough money to get us to the next paycheck.

People have become comfortable with this and this mentality has gotten so bad that we millennials grew up with participation trophies and only now have we seen the harm that it has caused my generation psychologically.

We should never be ok with just participating in life, as the world does not give out participation trophies. It only rewards those who do not settle for failure. If you do fail, that’s ok but do not be complacent, let it push you forward.

Write Down Long-Term Goals, Then Break Them into Daily Short-Term Goals:

Write a list of all the goals that you want to accomplish in the long-run.  Great examples could be losing 100 lbs by the end of August next year, have $400,000 in the bank account by the end of 2018 or get that big promotion by the end of this year.

Once you have written down these long-term goals, break them down into smaller and more manageable short-term goals that will drive you to make a consistent effort towards the big ones.  Break these down so that each day you make daily progress and be honest with yourself about your forward movement.

Lying about making progress when you haven’t made any will only set you back and keep you where you are at.  Alex Becker talks about goal setting at length in his book 10 Pillars of Wealth: Mind-Sets of the World’s Richest People and really drives home the importance of goal setting in relation to being successful in life.

Have a set morning routine that energizes you:

I just saw a video from YouTube that spoke about morning rituals and how good they are to start your day.  If you don’t have a morning ritual yet it may be a good idea to get one as it can prime your mind for a great day. Check out the video about morning rituals too, it’s by Stefan Pylarinos of Project Life Mastery and has a great example of his morning ritual.

Try Posting Motivational Quotes on Your Wall or Mirror:

If you struggle with getting yourself motivated to work on a project or to work out, try putting motivational quotes on a post-it note and stick it to your wall or bathroom mirror.  That way these quotes will be one of the first things you see in the morning and will be a great way to remind you that success only comes from consistent effort towards your goals day in and day out.

Remind Yourself that Success Never Happens on Its Own

This can go hand in hand with posting motivational quotes on your mirror but always keep in mind that no one is going to do the work necessary to succeed for you. You must be the one to put in the effort to fulfill your daily goals as no one can do it for you and there is no success machine that has a lever you pull to fulfill your daily goals.

Never be Complacent

When you do accomplish your goals, it’s ok to reward yourself and to feel good about your achievement but never allow yourself to be content with where you are.  Always strive to move forward in life. If there are major goals in life that you have already accomplished, try going to the next level.

Say your business brought in $400,000 this past year, that’s great! Now try scaling it to bring in $800,000 in the next year or two.  By never becoming complacent you will always grow and be in tune with the third pillar of empowerment of never stagnating and you won’t have to worry about losing what you have worked so hard to achieve.

Punish Yourself for Procrastinating

If you do not accomplish your set goals for the day because of procrastination or excuses, punish yourself. Set up a charity fund in a jar and every day you do not meet your goals you put in $20 into the charity jar and then give the money to a local charity when it becomes full.

By doing this you are not only providing good to the world to compensate for your lack of action, but you also give yourself feedback and become more likely to get your daily goals accomplished as I’m sure most of you would rather not lose $20 on a consistent basis if you can help it.

 

Have any other ideas on how you can avoid and conquer laziness or procrastination? If so, feel free to leave a comment below and until next time, take care!

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