Want To Stop Being Lazy? Remember the Pain.

Sick of getting beaten by laziness? Here’s a simple technique to conquer it.


*Pulled from my December 4, 2013 post at The Productive Self

We’ve all been there before. I’m sure you know the feeling: you decided to procrastinate or be lazy, and in doing so you avoid what you really need to get done. Then disaster strikes. Because you didn’t get that report filed when you should have, or made that phone call when it was needed, or did those house chores in a timely manner, you’re now really up the creek.

The action you didn’t take could have been major or not so important — it doesn’t matter because it was the catalyst for a perfect storm of trouble. You’re feeling lower than ever and you know if you just did that one thing you wouldn’t be dealing with this mess.

All you feel is anguish and remorse. But guess what. You’re going to do this again, and again, and again. You swear to yourself that you will never be in that position again, you will get things done and this won’t be issue any longer. And for a while you’re right. You’ll turn that new leaf, be productive and accomplish your tasks as needed.

But this behavior is fleeting, and here’s why: you don’t remember the pain. Things start to get well, comfort sets in again and you start to forget the pain your sloth brought you. You end up going back to your old ways of being lazy, unproductive, unmotivated and lacking success (or even directly causing misfortune for yourself).

So how do your remember this pain so you don’t have to experience it again? It’s very simple, and here’s what you do. After your colossal blunder, when you’re feeling lower than low, grab a sheet of paper and a pen. You’re going to write down, with as much detail as possible, these things:

  • What you’re feeling
  • It is really important to be ultra-detailed about the emotions your experiencing.
  • Why you ended up in this mess
  • Be very specific, even outline a chain of events that landed you here.
  • How you will do things differently
  • Make a clear plan to avoid this problem in the future.
  • Create a vow to yourself for change
  • Vow to yourself that you will do everything you can to avoid the issue in the future and vow that whenever you feel laziness and procrastination start to creep in, you will pull out this piece of paper and read it.

I recommend using pen and paper, not typing. It takes more thought, it is more intimate, and I believe it has a greater impact. Pour detail into this writing, don’t hold back anything. You want to remember this forever.

After it’s written, give it one last read, then store in a safe place where it’s easily accessible. As you vowed, you will pull it out and read it anytime you’re feeling unmotivated. If you can remember the pain, I assure you it will be harder and harder to procrastinate and be lazy.

Thanks for reading! If you liked this article or know someone who could benefit from it, please share it. You can find more articles like this over at The Productive Self. And while you’re there, grab a free copy of my eBook: SMART Goals: Effectively Optimize Your Life!