First of all, accept your laziness and procrastination. Both are perfectly normal and experienced by all of us every now and then. There is no need to blame yourself for not being productive enough.
However, if you feel like your laziness keeps you from achieving your goals and makes you feel unsatisfied with yourself in the end of the day, you should try to overcome it by taking a few (relatively) simple steps.
Step One: Ask Yourself WHY You Are Procrastinating.
I know it is not the kind of advice you were hoping for but trust me, giving an honest answer to this question is half the battle.
In nearly all the cases, we procrastinate because we have to do something we don’t really like. Think of it. We don’t procrastinate when it comes to making ourselves a cup of coffee or packing our bags for a long-awaited vacation. Procrastination is what happens when we are forced to do things we don’t want to.
Another reason why you might be procrastinating is that you are overwhelmed by the scale of a task at hand. If the scope of work seems undoable or the deadline – unrealistic, you will most certainly find yourself procrastinating. If that’s your case, you should consider breaking your task down into smaller subtasks and concentrate on one task at a time.
Step Two: Deal With Distractions.
Distractions are the scourge of modern life. Most of us struggle to concentrate on a task at hand because of never-ending push notifications, social media updates, annoying pop-up ads, you name it. With so many sources of distractions out there, there is no wonder we are losing our ability to stay focused for more than 15 minutes (did you know that a typical?)
Much like procrastination, distraction is the enemy of productivity. In fact, distractions and procrastination usually go hand in hand. The one can hardly exist with the other. You are distracted and the moment you recognize it you should make a choice between procrastination and getting back to work. If your willpower leaves much to be desired, you choose to procrastinate.
What should you do to? First of all, remove all possible sources of distraction out of sight. Put your smartphone in a bag, keep your iPad with a screen facing down, turn off all unnecessary push notifications, etc. Second of all, create a working schedule and follow it no matter what. No need to reinvent the wheel here. Rely on a or download a timer app that will remind you of taking regular breaks. Third of all, don’t try to multitask. Multitasking is not real. It might feel like you are able to manage a few things at a time but what really happens is that you switch from one task to the other in a heartbeat, which makes you feel tired and more inclined to fall into the procrastination rabbit hole.
Step Three: Take Care of Gratification.
Procrastination and laziness are bad habits. To get rid of laziness and procrastination, you should rely on the same tactics you would use for breaking other bad habits like smoking or drinking or emotional cookie-eating. One of the best approaches to follow is to promise yourself a reward upon a successful completion of your habit-breaking mission. To make the process even more encouraging, you might divide the process into a few stages and get yourself a reward upon completion of each one. This way, you will trick your brain into thinking that your new (productive and concentrative) behavior is advantageous. As soon as your brain recognizes this, leading the new laziness-free lifestyle will become much easier.
Hope this helps!