How To Stop Being Lazy At Home: 5 Ideas to Keep You On Track

Let’s talk about how to stop being lazy at home — specifically, how to feel productive when you find yourself at home for weeks or months at a time. Because while our homes should be a place of rest and relaxation, for many of us they have become the epitome of laziness and indulgence during the past year. 

It’s difficult enough to learn how to stop being lazy, but pile on all of the challenges we have faced recently? For many, it feels impossible to remain productive while cooped up inside the house.

How do we catch ourselves before a weekend Netflix marathon turns into a month? And if it already has, how do we turn it around? Here are 5 ideas you can use to get the problem under control…

text stop being lazy at home on white background over image of woman working at desk

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First, I have a confession:

When I first began working on this post, I honestly questioned whether or not it was something I should write.


Well, to be completely honest… I’m a homebody, an introvert, and basically a fairly lazy person. 

I work slowly, it takes me a long time to think things through (hello, overwhelmed overthinker!), I don’t make lifestyle changes quickly, and I find it difficult to do anything at all when I’m tired or stressed.

Plus, I fully admit that two of my favorite things to do are to spend all day reading or watching an engrossing series on one of the streaming channels. 

I decided to write this post anyway. Why? Because in spite of all those things, I manage to make a living working from home and keep the house running well enough to not completely collapse under piles of clutter.

Here are some of the things I do along with some expert recommendations.

I’m not going to claim that all of these ideas will work 100% of the time for everyone, but give them a try and keep doing the things that work for you! 

Are You Wondering ‘Why Am I So Lazy at Home?’

As mentioned above, for most people, your home is generally filed away in your brain as a place of relaxation over a place of work.

However, now that so many are not only spending most of their time at home, but for the first time, doing their regular jobs at home, it has changed the energy.

Psychologically, our brains have trouble separating how we associate a certain environment from the task we are trying to complete with in them.

For example, if we study our college courses on our bed, our brain will have a hard time sleeping in it as it does not know whether to associate the bed with active work or calming sleep.

Overcoming laziness while at home can be difficult because your brain doesn’t know how to associate your environment with productivity when you have spent so much time utilizing your home as a relaxing space.

woman with long dark hair wearing white sweater and holding white coffee mug

How to Not Be Lazy at Home

When you tend to overthink most things in life and spiral at even the thought of compiling a to-do list, finding your own productivity AND keeping your home running at the same time can seem impossible.

Here are some tips and tricks to help you combat laziness at home:

1. Make a to-do list, then separate your household tasks from your work tasks

Being at home more is blending everybody’s worlds. This is a big adjustment for sure. 

It’s very easy to sit down to work and suddenly remember how much laundry you have to get done. Your mind switches over to ‘household task’ mode, so you up and start doing your laundry — leaving your professional work off to the side and forgotten as you ‘remember’ another few household tasks that you ‘should’ do while you’re up.

To prevent this from happening all day, every day, take time to write out your task list each evening or morning — whichever works better for you.

Having all of your tasks written down gives you a clear and concise idea of what you need to get done — which in turn makes it harder to get distracted.

Plus, you don’t have to continuously manage lists and information all inside your head.

If you need to constantly pause and take time to mentally recall and organize your task list, you are much more likely to find your way back to the couch and turning on the TV to relax your brain.

Make a household chores to-do list AND a work task to-do list. This helps you clean up all you have to complete, while keeping each of your worlds as separate as possible.

I recently read a brilliant task-organizing idea from Daniel Levitin, a professor of psychology and behavioral neuroscience. He recommends writing each task on a 3×5 index card. It’s like a brain dump, but with only one item per index card. That way you can more easily separate and order (or re-order) your tasks for each day. 

Even though I always thought I preferred a paper list or a checklist on my computer, I’m definitely going to try this one for the exact reasons he gives in the article. 

woman wearing white sweater working at desk in white home office

2. Simplify your routine

The more things you have to think about doing every day, the more exhausted you feel before you even get out of bed. 

Of course, a written list helps — but something else that’s imperative for overwhelmed overthinkers is to reduce decision fatigue by eliminating and/or automating most of the decisions you constantly have to make.

Another way to simplify is by keeping your home clean and decluttered. The simpler your home is, the easier it is to find your own inner productivity.

Related reading:

3. Organize your spaces

The key to creating an environment within your home where you can combat laziness is to correct the brain association issue stated above.

How do you correct this issue?

Section off your home for different tasks. Meaning, ‘allocate different places in the home that are dedicated work spaces for specific projects.’ 

By doing this, you tell your brain, ‘When I am in these areas of my home, I am working. I am turning my brain on.’

This leaves your bed, or the couch in your living room, as spaces where your brain knows and understands it can continue to be lazy while you occupy that space.

This also removes many distractions that may derail you on your way to accomplishing your tasks for the day.

4. Create a system to reward yourself for when you complete a task

I personally love the reward system. It makes me excited to complete my tasks because I know I get to treat myself.

If you have the discipline to wait for your rewards after crossing things off your to-do list, this is a great motivator.

It can also help you build habits that form a system to help you stop being lazy at home… or anywhere. The book Atomic Habits is a fantastic resource to get you started in this area.

woman sitting in swing chair next to sliding doors while reading

5. Plan for lazy time 

If you’ve spent the past few months falling into an unproductive daze, don’t go all-or-nothing on your anti-laziness crusade at first.

We tend to live in a culture that promotes black and white thinking regarding most aspects of life. Meaning, you are either working hard — at paid employment, housework, etc. — or you are failing. However, this is not true.

it’s okay to feel comfortable enough in our homes to BE lazy sometimes… just not ALL the time.  

Working hard is just as important as relaxing. Your body needs to feel productive just as much as it needs time to recharge.

Therefore, if you feel extra tired and drained one day, it is ok to put off the less-necessary tasks to give your body the rest it is asking for.

More Help With Your Fight Against Laziness

6 Powerful Life Hacks You Need to Stop Being Lazy

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business

5 Ways Overwhelmed Overthinkers Can Beat Procrastination

A Simplified Life: Tactical Tools for Intentional Living

The ONE FOCUS Method: A Step-by-Step Guide to Transform Yourself From Overwhelmed to Accomplished

How to Stop Being Lazy and Exercise: 20 Tips for When You Have No Motivation

What Should You Do Next?

By reading this article, you already took a huge step toward increasing productivity in your home and decreasing laziness.


Now, choose one of the five ideas for how to stop being lazy at home:

  • Make a to-do list, then separate your household tasks from your work tasks
  • Simplify your routine
  • Organize your spaces
  • Create a system to reward yourself for when you complete a task
  • Plan for lazy time

Start implementing, and be sure to give yourself one of those rewards we talked about. You deserve it.

The fact of the matter is that habits are hard to change and they require a lot of focus, energy, and determination. While difficult, however, it is certainly not impossible.

You are fully in charge of yourself and your actions — and you can do anything you set your mind to as you Build Your Best Life.

You’ve got this! 

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15 thoughts on “How To Stop Being Lazy At Home: 5 Ideas to Keep You On Track”

  1. This is all good and well unless you are ADHD. I’ll start one task then get distracted with something else, then in the end I have 5 projects left undone.

      1. thanks for writing this. I work at work but when I get home I go straight to my recliner, turn on the television 📺. I get nothing done. I need motivation.

  2. Hah!! You want to see lazy??? Take a peek at an introverted, over thinking retired person who lives alone. Without a lot of grudging organization techniques, you’d see me on the six o’clock news after the neighbors called Social Services. I have so many lists that a list of lists is probably in order. I’ll have to see how index cards might fit in the mix.

    1. I just set a timer for a set amount of time. I use 4 session at 15minutes each. When the timer starts I start cleaning. Work fast. The rule is you cannot do anything else util the timer goes off. At the end of each day I have cleaned for an hour.

  3. these are great tips! to all you ones that left comments it’s to help you get fresh ideas not to condemn you. no excuse is going to get you off the couch.

  4. When I find myself jumping from one task to another I tell myself that ADHD is a special gift; think Leonardo DaVinci. I don’t chastise myself anymore but go with the flow and if what I was doing was important I gently move back to it. Getting upset only makes it worse and takes more time.

  5. For me, it’s all about developing routines. Without set routines, my life is chaos! These routines need to fit with you and your lifestyle however. I’m retired so I get up whenever I happen to wake up (usually around 3-4am), take my pills, and have my coffee before I start my morning tasks. I then go to the kitchen (which was usually cleaned before bedtime), and
    empty the dishwasher. Dinner prep is next. By this time my husband is usually up so I make him a cup of coffee, we hug, and say the Lords Prayer with each other. If I’m tired, I’ll go back to bed for an hour. Then it’s on to making our bed, turning on the roomba, checking the days weather, looking at my calendar, and getting ready for the day.

    I realize that this leisurely pace sounds like heaven to the moms and dads out there that not only have their own busy work and home demands, but those of various children. I’d still however strongly suggest that you set at least a few tasks that are important to you to start and end your day with for some consistency, peace, and sense of accomplishment. It can be a struggle but it’s worth it.

    1. It is important to have consistency, peace and get a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day. keep the time of prayer in your day is the best help.

  6. I so needed this. I feel overwhelmed and don’t know where to start.
    I have a tendency to over obligate, as it is hard for me to say no, and l don’t leave room for unexpected occurrences. Thus, my stress is increased, and l feel guilty for putting off decluttering at home. Doing only necessary chores and putting off what l need to do to declutter effectively.
    Any advice and recommendations are appreciated.

  7. Thank you for this article. I do need help to stop being lazy. I don’t watch TV on the couch. My distraction is reading emails. I find an article to read then it may have a link and I read another article. I try to save my ink and not print out all the information. Sometimes it is watching a video for a sewing technique or cooking a dish. I’m looking at new ways to cook my food. I’m bored with my usual dishes. So I’m trying vegetarian dishes to save money too. Lately I have been organizing my sewing room so I can sew more efficiently. Before I had supplies in too many locations. Now they are getting centralized in storage boxes with labels!

  8. Christie Mitchell

    Thank you for your article and tips! I used to be a list maker, I’ve gotten away from it as an empty nester w/ health issues, but I feel better and I’m more productive when I do make lists. So, I’m off to make my list and prepare for my family to come visit for the holiday. There’s no time to be lazy right now! I’ve got to feed and entertain grandson my sweet grandchildren. Yea!

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