Feeling lazy to do work today? You are not alone. So many employees feel the same when they are reminded that they have another workday ahead.
This feeling can either just fade away or grow into a common habit that other colleagues would begin noticing. Some argue that there is no such thing as laziness, but rather a lack of motivation to discipline oneself and get work done. It can become overwhelming and you suddenly feel that you just want to drop everything and not do anything anymore.
If you are at this phase, take some minutes to pause and find your purpose. For it to not feel overwhelming, focus instead on making small changes in your daily work routine so that you can show up with a refreshed mind and body, able to take on difficult tasks and perform them efficiently both for your career and dreams and the company’s growth.
We listed down some habits here that will hopefully help you deal with laziness and improve your performance at work.
1. Have a ritual before work starts.
This begins the night before. Reflect on what happened during your workday and write down what you are most and least thankful for during the day. Jot down what tasks and assignments you were able to accomplish and how it felt to finish them. Write down steps there to make small changes in some behavior or tasks that you did not finish successfully.
After your reflection, plan out what you will do for the next day. Write what you have to finish and how much time it will take for each task to be done. You might want to put exact time slots so that you have a rough guide of how your next day will look like. Don’t be too strict with this; rather, consider it as a guide so that you would have room for changes once the day comes.
Before starting work the next day, prepare yourself for it mentally. You might meditate, read a book, or listen to a podcast while having breakfast and your daily dose of coffee. Jumpstart your day with a good morning routine.
2. Finish the important tasks first before you move on to the smaller assignments.
In your to-do list for the day, write down your tasks in order of priority. What is the most important thing that you have to finish as soon as possible? Focus on finishing these big tasks first so that you are able to cross them off your mind once they’re done. You will also feel more fulfilled and have more energy to do the next tasks once you finish a big one. Don’t underestimate momentum because it can be a helpful driver of what your workday will look like.
With this said, the big projects may seem gargantuan to you at the moment. Break them down into small, actionable steps so that you can cross them off your list one by one.
You can also use interval timers, meaning breaking an hour into smaller chunks of time where you dedicate yourself to a task without interruptions. For example, you will work for 30 minutes straight then have a break for 5 to 10 minutes after. This practice can help you be more focused with the big task that you have to accomplish.
3. Stay away from distractions
First, identify what distracts you on a normal workday. Be mindful of these distractions so that when you feel distracted, you can take a step back before giving in to the temptation. You can create an environment that won’t lure you into not being productive such as turning off your notifications for the meantime while you work on a big project. Just turn it on for important contacts who you would need to talk to during the day. Stay away from the bed and the sofa. Have a dedicated workspace with an ergonomic office chair and standing desk so that you can focus your energy in finishing your task there whereas if you work in your bed, you might just fall asleep. Lock your phone and unplug the television. These are things that you don’t need for work at the moment so better get them out of the environment first so you could focus on finishing your tasks.
4. Have scheduled breaks in your workday.
Working for straight hours can cause you burnout. It might be more counterproductive than helpful for your workday so make sure you have breaks throughout the day. Don’t do activities that would lure you into a mindless use of your time. For example, instead of scrolling through social media, take a walk outside and breathe in the fresh air. This can help you return to work with a refreshed mind and body. You may also use the time for a 10-minute exercise or a quick snack. Most of the time, a power stretch or nap can do great wonders for your productivity when you return to your workstation.
5. Inject movement in your workday.
You feel lazy when you don’t have the energy to do anything other than just lie down with your thoughts or binge-watch a Netflix series. You would want to boost your energy levels and uplift your mood for work, right? This you can do by injecting exercise or simple movements throughout the day. Use a standing desk so you can stand up from time to time and break your long hours of sitting down for work. You may use a desk bike so that you can pedal your way while you’re focused on finishing your work task. You can do some quick stretches or around 5-10 push-ups or burpees to wake you up.
You would be amazed with how exercise can change the way you work.
6. Give yourself a reward for a job well done.
Up until now, the rewards system still works. After a difficult task, you should reward yourself with something that gives you joy but you have been depriving yourself of. Or you could treat yourself with a small reward, but still something you won’t get on a normal day. You can also reward yourself with more time to rest since you finished your tasks efficiently. There are many ways to reward yourself so that you have something to look forward to after every fulfilling job is done.