You may have heard a thousand times that to battle laziness at work, you must have the right motivation and a clear sense of purpose. You may have also heard the saying, “if you do what you love, you will never work a single day in your life” a few times.
There is some truth to these words, but to really overcome laziness at work, you must create an effective strategy and stick to it. Here are seven techniques to help you get back into the swing of things and maybe even that long sought-after promotion.
1. Identify what triggers your laziness and learn how to address it.
Like eliminating other bad habits such as smoking or emotional eating, we must first know what triggers them so we can nip the problem in the bud. In the workplace, there are plenty of things that might trigger your laziness. Once you have identified the trigger, work your way around it as soon as you can.
2. Designate an hour to plan all your tasks for the day.
The first thing you should do upon arriving at work is to envision all the tasks you want or have to accomplish within the day. After logging in, designate at least an hour to organize your tasks for the day with a clearly-defined time management plan. Always remember that productivity is measured by results. Challenge yourself by constantly exceeding your limits and your boss’s expectations.
3. Avoid taking long breaks.
It is okay to take short breaks in between tasks, but don’t overindulge yourself. Constantly rewarding yourself with long breaks after finishing every task will only breed laziness. The trick is to start with the next related task as soon as possible. One technique that could help you manage your time is the Pomodoro Technique developed by Francesco Cirillo. Another effective technique is the GTD (Getting Things Done) technique created by productivity consultant David Allen.
4. Remind yourself of what you want to achieve.
There are several unavoidable circumstances that can decrease your motivation at work. It may be directly related to work or influenced by personal dilemmas. Or it could just be a temporary inconvenience, such as PMS or lack of sleep. But, if you have a clear sense of why you are in that place, you can easily brush off feelings of laziness. The trick is to constantly affirm yourself of what you want to achieve in your time in the organization.
5. Learn to manage stress.
Laziness is often a result of too much and mismanaged stress. Note that smoking, drinking and emotional eating are harmful ways of dealing with stress. If you really want to fight off laziness and stress, learn how to channel those negative feelings in positive ways. If you’re the type who eats your way out of stress, snack on nuts, fresh vegetables, or fruits instead. Repress your craving for cigarettes by chewing on fruit-flavored gums.
6. Schedule goof-off time with your office mates.
It is always nice to be comfortable with people at work, as long as you set limits to your gossips and goof-off time. Goofing around at work can break your focus and take a chunk off of your precious time.
7. Avoid unnecessary distractions.
If you’re dying to take a break, only entertain healthy distractions. These are things you can do that are unrelated to your tasks for the day but can still reduce weight on your shoulders. How about clearing your inbox as you clear your head?
Remember that every situation is unique, and the results will depend on your willingness to fight off those workplace habits that counter your productivity. It’s alright to slip into the abyss of laziness sometimes, as long as you know how to pick yourself up.