I will do it later” is a common syndrome that many people suffer from. If you suffer from this problem, the first thing you have to know is that you are not alone. Laziness and procrastination starts as a habit and eventually builds up into a character and addiction at the end of the day.

But one very bad thing about this type of addiction is that it makes you an underachiever; while your mates are climbing the ladder of success, building business empires and making good money for themselves; you will still be struggling at the bottom of the ladder and deluding yourself into believing that things are going to change miraculously someday.

Guess what? Things are not going to change! The Mark Zuckerbergs and Steve Jobs of this world did not make it just by believing that things would be better, they did not wish their wealth into existence, they worked really hard for it and thankfully, the hard work paid off! The only legit way to make money or build wealth is through brilliant ideas and hard work. There are really no shortcuts because even if you inherited wealth or got money through some corny means, you would still have to work hard to sustain it.

How to Overcome Laziness and Procrastination

1. Don’t spend time thinking about a task-: My first tip for overcoming procrastination is to just dive into it! It only looks hard when you have not started it but as soon as you start the job; it becomes easy and you start to enjoy it. Never spend time thinking about what you are about to do or the task ahead. When you start thinking about it, it may get scary and then that’s when procrastination and laziness kicks in. Don’t think about it; just do it!

2. Think about the reward-: Another way to overcome this dangerous problem is by focusing on the reward. If you are working on a client’s job for instance, focus on the money you would be paid, think about all the things you can do with the extra cash and you are likely to draw some motivation from there. Also, you should think about the negative side too. What would happen if you disappoint the client or lose the contract? When you spend time considering these two factors side by side, you are likely to get an inner push just by doing this.

3. Reward yourself-: Creating a reward system is also a good motivation to help you overcome procrastination. Learn to reward yourself after you complete tasks so that the rewards of completing each task are mentally registered and propel you to do more. For instance, you could say, upon completion of this project, I am buying myself the latest Christain Louboutin shoe. You see, the mere imagination, thoughts and excitement of rocking the latest loubs can do a lot of wonders and even make you go the extra mile. It doesn’t even have to be an expensive reward; it could even be something as simple as a movie ticket, a visit to someplace, a massage or a treat. Rewards are a very good source of motivation.

4. Make a list and task schedule-: It helps to always have a list of things you want to achieve beforehand. Learn to make a yearly, monthly, weekly and daily schedule. Before you start out each week, list out some of the tasks you want to complete and the timeline for each task and try to stick with it. It’s also good to create a daily schedule alongside your weekly schedule because of the uncertainty of life. You may make a weekly schedule and then some unplanned events overtake them. This might get you frustrated.

So to avoid this, ensure that you create a weekly schedule and a daily schedule of activities you intend to complete and use the reward system to compensate yourself when you complete these tasks as scheduled. Also, you should not forget to include time for rest and uncertainties in your daily schedule; leave out sometime to make up for those phone calls, e-mails, visits, dining and other activities.

5. Get help-: You should also try to get help when necessary. Don’t try to do it all yourself because you may become overwhelmed. Try to get help whenever necessary; there’s nothing shameful about getting help- we all need some form of assistance sometimes. Don’t try to be the engineer, secretary, accountant and messenger all at the same time; you only have 24 hours in a day, 2 legs and two hands. Yes, I know you are superb at multi-tasking but there is only so much one person can do.

6. Rest well-: You also need to get adequate rest regularly and sleep well. But remember that there is a thin line between excessive rest and laziness. Never let your rest spiral into a period of procrastination.

7. Eat Good food and Exercise daily-: For every task, you need strength. You can start to feel lazy when you are not strong. Therefore, it is important that you eat a balanced diet. You can also go for supplements that boost energy so that you can feel more energized to work and achieve set goals. Physical exercise is also very beneficial for strength and activity.

8. Do what you love-: One of the greatest contributing factors to laziness and procrastination is when you don’t like what you do. If you absolutely love what you do, you would be motivated to keep doing it but if you don’t, it begins to become burdensome and tiring. Therefore, it is important that you engage yourself with activities that you love. If you don’t enjoy your job, maybe it’s time to quit and focus on something you love so that you can achieve more results.

9. Improve on yourself-: Lastly, try to improve on yourself and your skills. This would help you achieve better efficiency at whatever you do. One thing about tasks is that the more you do, the lesser it becomes. Tasks reduce as you do them so instead of postponing it, why not dive right into it now?

How to Overcome Lack of Motivation at Work

You see, I have been in that position before and I am sure a lot of people pass through this stage at one point or the other in their lives. Sometimes, when you are planning to start a project or set up a business, you are so excited, it’s almost like you are high on something and then the project commences.

Half way through, you already feel like giving up and abandoning the whole idea. You can’t even seem to see any reason why you should continue. Well, calm down. The truth is that you are not alone. There are several others going through this stage. In fact, I have been there before and I would show you how I overcame my lack of motivation phase; yes, it’s a phase that would pass if you follow these steps.

a. Understand the reason behind your lack of motivation-: You see these things do not just creep out of the blues; they happen as a result of some factors or sometimes, a combination of different factors and conditions. Therefore, the first step to snapping out of your lack of motivation phase is to figure out the reason behind it. Some of the common reasons why people lose their motivation include-:

  • Poor results-: Sometimes, when people set goals and targets and things don’t work out quite as well as they expected, they begin to lose motivation and sometimes, they give up.
  • Getting Behind-: Another reason why people lose motivation is when they are getting behind on deadlines and time schedules. For instance, if you planned to finish up an assignment in 3 days and on the 2nd day the assignment isn’t even half complete, it may lead to a loss of motivation.
  • Negative Experience-: Sad occurrences like the death of a loved one, heartbreaks, illnesses and several other similar incidents can also lead to a loss of motivation.
  • Difficulty-: If an assignment becomes more difficult than you anticipated, it may lead to a loss of motivation.
  • Changes-: Sudden or unexpected changes might also lead to a loss of motivation.
  • Fear-: Yet another causative factor is the fear of the unknown.

Therefore, it is important for you to fish out the reason for your lack of motivation as the first step to tackling it.

b. Calm Down-: When you have analyzed the reason behind your lack of motivation, it is most likely that you would find out that you lost motivation because you kept on putting too much pressure on yourself. You need to calm down and understand that everything in life is a bonus. You came to the world with nothing and when it’s time to go, it would be with nothing as well. So be content with every little thing you achieve. No matter how little, it is still a bonus and you are better off than millions of people out there. Remember this popular quote “ No matter how slow you are moving, you are still lapping everyone on the couch”.

c. Give yourself ample time-: I know that life is short, you only live once and all of those other things we tell ourselves to boost performance but you really need to understand that success doesn’t happen in one day. Most of the time, it takes time!

d. Stop trying to please or compare yourself to others-: This would only frustrate you because no matter how hard you try, there would always be someone who would be better than you. Even the billionaires of the world still have some areas where they are lagging behind; it could be marital, spiritual, physical or health-related. So be you, do you and live for you!

e. Take small steps-: If you have lost the motivation to perform some tasks, then try doing just a little bit of it. For instance, if you want to lose weight and you are not motivated to exercise or go on a tread mill, why not try to take a walk? Or dance? Or even visit the gym to watch people exercise? Just take small steps and you will see that gradually, your motivation would return.

f. Overcome your fears-: Sometimes, lack of motivation happens as a result of fears. Therefore, it is important to try to overcome whatever your fears may be. If you are scared of driving, try to sit in the car for some minutes daily, then graduate to just starting the car, eventually, you will find the motivation to just drive the car someday.

g. Change your strategies-: Monotony also leads to lack of motivation. If you keep doing the same thing over and over again, you may become tired of it and eventually lose the motivation to keep doing it. Therefore, you should try to change your routine and your way of doing things; try spicing it up and adding a bit of fun to make it more interesting and pleasurable.

h. Engage yourself with the right tasks-: Another thing that helps is doing things you love and are very good at. If music is your passion, you might find architecture quite boring or even frustrating.

i. Improve on your physical and mental health-: Get some exercise daily, rest well, eat good food and get adequate sleep. You can try engaging in exercises like Yoga that helps the mind and body. You should also take care of your health and if you are suffering from depression, make sure you visit your doctor so that you can be treated. Depression is not just a state of mind, it is a medical condition that can be treated and managed.

j. Set goals and visualize results-: Goal setting also helps to overcome lack of motivation. You should try to set both short term and long term goals and try to visualize your results; it would motivate you to work towards achieving them.

k. You are the best-: Yes, you are unique, there can’t be any other you; you are smart, intelligent and you are an achiever. These are some of the things you should tell yourself everyday. Whenever you are feeling depressed or going through a lack of motivation phase; look into your mirror and tell yourself that you can do it!

Ajaero Tony Martins