Isn’t everyone lazy some of the time?  Even “do-ers” and achievers are lazy about some things, aren’t they?  I certainly hope so otherwise I’m a total lost and lazy cause.

It turns out that our brains save energy by being lazy some of the time.  Being only 2% of our body weight, our brains consume 20% of our daily energy intake and output….some times, our brains need a break.  It also turns out that laziness, or the genetic mutation of our dopamine receptor that regulates and can actually shrink our activity and motivation levels, is inheritable.  Laziness, also known as the ‘couch potato’ gene, can be transferred from one family’s generation to another.

Usually, however, laziness and/or procrastination, putting things off until the very last minute or not doing them at all, are ways of not dealing with people, situations, and things that overwhelm us or make us feel incompetent. For example, some people procrastinate or are lazy when it comes to doing their taxes.  Maybe they didn’t keep good records. Maybe they think they’ll be audited.  Maybe they want to put off taking a good hard look at their finances because they’re afraid to learn that they failed to meet their financial goals. Or maybe they’re afraid to learn that they succeeded and even surpassed their financial goals.  Any way you slice it, laziness and procrastination create excuses, not actions.

Here are some tips that help break the habits, symptoms, and mindsets of laziness and procrastination.

  1.  Plan your time well – Since a lazy brain doesn’t like to think, make a “to do” list with clear, specific and timed tasks so your brain knows what to do, when and how long it will take.  Also make a “to do” list for your free time so that your free time doesn’t simply slip away.
  2. Have clear goals – Edwin Locked, author of Goal Setting Theory of Motivation, believes that goal setting is directly linked to task performance.  He recommends that goals are clear, specific, realistic and challenging.
  3. Break down every task into smaller tasks – Go step by step, one by one.  If, for example, you have to write a presentation, research how to write it, make an outline, write it, proofread the plan and then rewrite it again and again…and again.
  4. Forget about being perfect – Perfectionism is a TRAP!  Nothing is perfect.  Just get it done and then fine tune it over and over again until it gets as good as it can be…for now anyway.

Helpful books are Get Stuff Done by Domenic Mann, Procrastination Ends Now by Michael Zenstar and Procrastination- Let’s Do It Now by Daniel Nevins.