What you call “laziness” may be fatigue, lack of motivation, or brain fog. Exploring the cause of how you feel is the first step toward resolving it. Giving yourself a break, setting realistic goals, asking for help, exercising, and eating a balanced diet may also help.

Need a lazy day? It happens to the best of us. In these busy times, taking the occasional lazy day isn’t just alright but much needed.

But if you find that you’re taking lazy days more often than not, and you’re having trouble getting things done, it could be a sign that there’s something going on.

A lack of passion for your job, an overwhelming to-do list, and even an underlying medical condition are just some of the things that can interfere with your desire to get things done.

We cover all the bases here and tell you how to stop laziness so you can be more productive.

“How can I stop laziness?” The answer may not be as cut and dry as you’d expect. While some people may be more prone to being lazy than others, even highly productive people can find it challenging to get things done sometimes.

Here are some tips to help you get rid of laziness and get a grasp on your productivity.

1. Make your goals manageable

Setting unrealistic goals and taking on too much can lead to burnout. While not an actual clinical diagnosis, the symptoms of burnout are recognized by medical professionals. Job burnout can cause exhaustion, loss of interest and motivation, and a longing to escape.

Avoid overloading by setting smaller, attainable goals that will get you where you want to be without overwhelming you along the way.

2. Don’t expect yourself to be perfect

Perfectionism is on the rise and it’s taking a psychological toll.

One 2017 study that looked at college students between 1989 and 2016 found an increase in perfectionism over the years. Researchers noted “young people [are] now facing more competitive environments, more unrealistic expectations, and more anxious and controlling parents than generations before.”

This rise in perfectionism is causing people to be overly critical of themselves and others. It’s also led to an increase in depression and anxiety.

Another smaller study of college students concluded that expecting perfection was related to avoidant coping, which causes you to avoid dealing with stressors.

3. Use positive instead of negative self-talk

Negative self-talk can derail your efforts to get things done in every aspect of your life. Telling yourself that you’re a lazy person is a form of negative self-talk.

You can stop your negative internal voice by practicing positive self-talk. Instead of saying, “There’s no way I can get this done,” say, “I’ll give it my all to make it happen.”

4. Create a plan of action

Planning how you will get something done can make it easier to get there. Be realistic about how much time, effort, and other factors are needed to meet your goal and create an action plan. Having a plan will provide direction and confidence that can help even if you hit a hurdle along the way.

5. Use your strengths

Take a moment to think about what your strengths are when setting goals or gearing up to tackle a task. Try to apply them to different aspects of a task to help you get things done. Research has shown that focusing on strengths increases productivity, positive feelings, and engagement in work.

6. Recognize your accomplishments along the way

Patting yourself on the back for a job well done can help motivate you to keep going. Consider writing down all of your accomplishments along the way in everything you do, whether at work or home. It’s a great way to boost your confidence and positivity, and fuel you to carry on.

7. Ask for help

Many people believe that asking for help is a sign of weakness. But not asking for help could be setting you up for failure. A 2018 study found that people who don’t ask coworkers for help were more likely to be dissatisfied in their jobs and had lower levels of job performance. They were also perceived less favorably by their employers.

Asking for help improves your chances of success and helps you connect with others who can encourage and motivate you.

8. Avoid distraction

We all have our favorite distractions we turn to when we’re just not feeling like doing a task — whether it’s scrolling through social media or playing with a pet.

Find ways to make your distractions less accessible. This can mean finding a quiet place to work, like the library or an empty room, or using an app to block sites that you scroll mindlessly when you should be on task.

9. Make tedious tasks fun

We tend to avoid jobs that we find boring or tedious. Chores like cleaning the gutters or bathroom will never be loads of fun, but you can make them more enjoyable. Try listening music or a podcast, or put on your fitness tracker to see how many calories you burn or steps you get while performing these tasks.

10. Reward yourself

Getting a job done is a reward in itself, but some people are driven by external rewards. Focus on what you’ll gain from getting something done, like getting closer to a promotion, or reward yourself for a job well done. Celebrate the end of a big project with a night out or invite friends over for drink after a day of cleaning.

When it comes to how to stop laziness, making some healthy changes can be the best way to go.

1. Eat high-protein foods

Are you wondering “how can I stop being lazy?” Some foods increase your energy and keep your blood sugar stable so you’re less likely to feel sluggish and lazy. High-protein foods do this, such as:

  • Greek yogurt
  • almonds
  • eggs
  • tuna

2. Avoid sugary and high-fat foods

Nutrition and productivity are linked. Steer clear of foods that drain your energy because they’re slow to digest or cause blood sugar spikes. These include:

3. Exercise

Along with numerous other benefits, exercise is a surefire way to get rid of laziness. Just a few minutes of exercise can increase energy levels, improve mood, and reduce anxiety, stress, and depression — all of which can make you feel drained and unmotivated. Try a short walk or bike ride to combat that lazy feeling.

4. Sleep and rest

There are many things you can do to sleep better at night — from avoiding screen time just before bed to limiting nap time during the day.

Aim to get the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep each night to feel refreshed and ready to tackle the day ahead.

5. Manage stress

Stress can drain you so you feel too mentally and physically exhausted to do anything. Finding strategies for coping with stress can help improve your mood and give you back the energy and drive to get things done. Time with loved ones, cuddling a pet, and soaking in the tub are just a few ideas.

6. Carry water with you

The benefits of drinking water are endless and many can help fight laziness. Staying hydrated can boost energy levels and brain function. It also helps maximize physical performance. A few sips of water can also help perk you up if you’re feeling sluggish.

7. Quit smoking

Increased energy levels thanks to improved circulation and oxygen are just a couple of the benefits of quitting smoking. Quitting can also boost your immune system, improve your sex life, and lower your risk of several serious conditions.

Quitting smoking can be difficult, but your doctor can help you create a personalized plan of action.

Sometimes it’s not laziness, but a symptom of an underlying condition that may be stopping you from doing the things you should. If you find you’ve lost interest in doing things you would normally enjoy and don’t have the energy or focus to get things done, talk to a doctor.

Mental health conditions

Many mental health conditions can cause symptoms that you may mistake for laziness, such as lack of motivation, chronic fatigue, and social withdrawal. These conditions include:

Medical conditions

Medical conditions can cause changes to your energy levels and prevent you from being able to function the way you normally would. Examples of these are:

Laziness isn’t always a bad thing, and everyone deserves a slow day now and again. Figuring out how to stop being lazy may be as simple as changing the way you approach certain tasks and adopting healthier lifestyle.

If you’re having trouble finding the energy and desire to do things more often, speak to a doctor to determine if an underlying medical condition may be responsible.