How To Make Yourself Ultra Effective Even When You Feel Lazy

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Peter Shallard
CEO | Commit Action |

Sometimes you’re hungry for a detailed guide to hack your mind into the ultimate state of entrepreneurial focus and effectiveness.

But sometimes, you just don’t feel like it.

This is a guide for those times.

Maybe you’ve been crushing goals for so long that you deserve some lazy “me time”. Maybe you just need a day off but you know you need to get some work done… but you just can’t bring yourself to light that fire.

Whatever. You can’t have the ultimate morning ritual and meditate yourself into a state of transcendental productivity EVERY DAY WITHOUT FAIL.

And you don’t need to, because we have four rock solid strategies for you to deploy with maximum laziness. They’ll guarantee you make progress on those big goals you have, without actually requiring you to do the work of summoning proper motivation.

The only catch? You gotta read the rest of this article. But let’s face it, the only reason you’re hanging out on the internet right now is because you’re already procrastinating.

Uh huh. Let’s do this.

1. Overwhelm yourself with R&R

That’s right. Stop what you’re doing and chill the hell out.

Specifically, go do whatever your heart most desires. Find your favorite ways to really waste time – be they video games, mindless TV or just straight up naps – and go do those things.

Do them until you’re SICK of them. Do them until you can’t take it.

As crazy as it sounds, sometimes the only way out is through. Sometimes you’ll find the best, deepest motivation on the other side of giving yourself a binge experience of the stuff you know you shouldn’t be doing.

It’s okay. Everything in moderation, including moderation.

When you’re sick to your stomach of having all that fun (or naps!)… you’ll remember why you set those goals of yours in the first place. You’ll remember that the hedonistic stuff isn’t what actually fulfills you.

Your cup may runneth over with fun and joy, but you’ll be hungry for something more significant.

You’re welcome.

2. Put off procrastination

There’s nothing like the feeling of a whole day stretching out ahead of you in which you can give yourself permission to do whatever you most desire. It’s a feeling we first have as children on those Saturday mornings home from school, when it just seems like the weekend is this eon of potential stretching out in front of us.

Here’s a little mind hack: Tell yourself you have plenty of time to be as lazy as you want. To procrastinate. To indulge in hedonism. You’ve got ALL DAY.

So, procrastinate procrastinating a little. Do one thing on that to-do list of yours and tell yourself you’ll just take a few mins before getting back to the serious business of procrastination.

The key is to really give yourself permission to relax. Then, with that promise firmly in your mind, go make something happen quickly before you do.

Don’t tell yourself this, but if you get on a roll it becomes easier and easier to procrastinate procrastination! Before you know it, laziness itself is making you productive!

3. Do absolutely nothing

Here’s a zen tactic to return you to a state of passion and drive in the laziest way possible: Do nothing. Absolute nothing.

When you’re procrastinating or self sabotaging, your whole consciousness is focused firmly on what it doesn’t want to do. The internal spotlight of your mental focus is zeroed in on a negation. You think “ugh, not this!”

But if not this, then what?

The zen hack is to allow yourself nothing else. Allow yourself to sit and procrastinate working on that super important (scary) project of yours, but do NOT allow yourself distractions.

Just sit. Tell yourself “If I’m not going to do this, I’m not going to do ANYTHING”… and then really do it. Do nothing!

A weird thing starts happening with your brain when you sit and do nothing. Your thoughts will start spinning around and hitting you faster and faster. You’ll be forced to consider what parts of this project you fear, or are just stuck on. You’ll gain self awareness.

And simply, you’ll probably be really uncomfortable with just sitting still. Eventually you’ll realize that if you’re forced to chose between working or doing nothing… then getting the work done is infinitely preferable.

4. Find something bigger to procrastinate

The law of procrastination is that the biggest, most important and ambitious (but scariest) objective is always the easiest to procrastinate.

If you’ve got a big project on your to-do list you simply can’t move forward on, it’s time to make it the second biggest.

Kinda like how some work-from-home entrepreneurs do tidying and house chores to procrastinate the real stuff, you’d be surprised what you’ll move forward on if you’re procrastinating some extraordinarily bold goal.

Here at Commit Action, we typically see business owners continually procrastinate the single biggest impact project they’ve got. It’s always something that’s totally important and game changing, but completely “non urgent”.

Adding another, bigger objective to your list creates a powerful sense of contrast to what you’re currently stuck on. When you set a goal to cold call ten new potential prospects (eek!) suddenly finishing that latest product-design sprint, or blog post, or client work or whatever doesn’t look so bad!

Remember, when you’re feeling lazy it’s only your default system of motivation that is broken.

There are other ways to get started, to get pumped up and to follow through. Your regular mental framework for getting productive will return, but in the meantime look on your lapse in effectiveness as an opportunity to test out other mental tactics.

Achieve Your Goals Faster