How to Stop Being Lazy at Work Almost Instantly

Need tips for how to stop being lazy at work? Here’s the really cool thing… Once you practice how to stop being lazy in your ‘regular’ life, it will also have a positive effect on your work life.

Haven’t read or begun to use any of my related posts on how to stop being lazy? That’s okay! Let’s start with some ideas for how to NOT be lazy at work… and maybe even enjoy your job more. 😉 

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Laziness may not seem like a critical issue when experienced in small doses here and there. But when it starts to get serious enough to affect your work, we’re talking about real consequences.

Let’s discuss:

  • When it’s time to worry about laziness at work
  • Why you may be having a problem
  • Tips on how to stop being lazy at work

When Does Being Lazy at Work Become a Problem?

Laziness affects us all to some degree, which is normal and generally passes fairly quickly.

When it comes to the workday, a normal level of laziness may be that after-lunch lull where everyone feels a little sluggish and unmotivated. Or… dare I say it… Mondays. 😉  

However, your laziness at work may be causing real and deeper issues. 

Perhaps you’re starting to miss deadlines. Or maybe more often than not, you have to stay up until 3am the night before a big proposal is due because you just started working on it.

That’s affecting your professional and your personal life, which is a serious problem — not something to laugh at or pass off as ‘just’ being a procrastinator.

Your boss will notice. Your workmates will notice. Your family and home will suffer. Hopefully things haven’t reached that point with you… but what can you do to turn everything around before the problem is beyond repair?

Find the Root Cause of Your Worktime Laziness

Let’s be honest… occasional lack of motivation is just a part of the human condition for most of us. However, when we are plagued with laziness every day, there could be a deeper reason as to why.

Are you tired because you’re not eating enough (or too much) or getting the right nutrients?

How are you sleeping? 

How is your personal life? 

Are you bored? 

Do you still enjoy your job?

One of the bigger reasons why you may be lazy at work is that maybe you don’t enjoy your job anymore — and that realization is ok. 

You’re allowed to look for a better job. You are not meant to just trudge to work every day to make money and pay your bills the rest of your life. You deserve to enjoy your work.

If your diet is off or you haven’t been getting enough fresh air and exercise, your energy levels could be lower — resulting in deep fatigue that can be mistaken for laziness. 

If you are struggling personally or your mental health has taken a dip, that could also contribute to the underlying problem.

But once you figure out the root of the issue, you can then more easily figure out how to solve it.

Visit your doctor or counselor. Join an exercise group and/or healthy eating group. Track your sleep and adjust as necessary. 

Done all of those things and still feel like the real problem at work is just plain laziness? I hear you! Keep reading for the 5 things I recommend…  

How to Overcome Laziness at Work

We live in a culture of laziness, so these suggestions may feel out of the ordinary… or maybe even pointless. I mean, who wants to do more work than the person next to you?

Just try to wrap your mind around what a change in attitude would feel like. There are so many benefits to your mindset and future success… it’s absolutely worth the effort. 

Partial view of woman sitting in white office and looking at phone instead of working.

Be Truthful with Yourself

One of the most important steps toward combating laziness at work is being honest with yourself. If you’ve just received an unfavorable evaluation and your instant reaction is to talk about how unfair it is, stop and think for a minute.

Don’t play the blame game. Calling yourself lazy ‘in fun’ but getting upset when someone actually believes you’re lazy and calls you out on it doesn’t really make sense, does it? 

Owning up to your less than attractive habits is not only a step toward breaking them, but it’s the most mature action you can take.

If all we do is blame our laziness on external sources and situations outside of our control, we’re actually giving ourselves permission to be lazy at work. Eventually, that attitude becomes a part of us and creates a permanent victim mentality.

Confront yourself. Be honest about the fact that your laziness is only about you. No one else can make you lazy. Once you accept these things you can work to change them.

Changes like getting to work 10 minutes early every day (instead of skating in at the last second), not indulging in those extra-long lunch hours as often, diving in and finishing a task instead of always waiting for someone else to take the lead… These all can make a real difference in your stress level and attitude.

Set Clear Goals at Work

Many people fall into the trap of laziness when they simply don’t know where to begin their work. This is especially true for overthinkers and anyone who is easily overwhelmed by all.the.things.

If we are sitting around with a growing pile of tasks and no organization or plan of action, we freeze and convince ourselves that we cannot complete any of these tasks and that we will never be able to.

If you set yourself clear, prioritized goals and steps to completing them, this will help your work to-do list make sense — and you will actually be able to get things done. You’ll know where your day begins and where it ends based on the goals you are trying to achieve.

This may seem ambitious, but there’s nothing wrong with setting goals for next year at work. Yep, the entire year. Break them down according to the 12-Week Year method and you’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish.

And once you achieve that first goal after a bout of laziness… boy oh boy does it feel good!

Seek Out Productive Things to Do at Work

It may seem like all the ‘cool people’ enjoy bragging about how little they get away with doing at work… but do you really want to be that person? Because I can tell you this… On the flip side, there are even more people who resent blatant laziness.

You’re not doing yourself any favors by finding every excuse to do as little as possible.

Remember, there’s a difference between being lazy and working efficiently. Just ‘staying busy’ isn’t the goal. But your workday will go much faster — and you will probably have more job satisfaction — when you find things to do that really make a positive difference in the workplace. 

Also, your newfound productivity can feel difficult when people start to notice your capabilities and it seems like extra work is suddenly getting dumped on you. It’s tempting to go back to the lazy side. But rather than doing that, hold onto your vision of doing what matters and learn to set boundaries.

Want a career where you have full control over your days? Try blogging… start here with a free introductory course by one of my favorite bloggers, Suzi Whitford.

Side view of woman's hands working on desktop computer in white office.

Take Frequent Breaks

I know at first glance this may look like it’s counterproductive advice, but hear me out!

Working in short bursts that are broken up intermittently with breaks to shut off your brain for a moment is a very productive method of completing tasks.

Our brains work best and more efficiently in shorter bursts. Our work comes out better this way as well.

When you tell yourself that you HAVE to be working for the next five hours straight, it not only makes the task seem extremely daunting right out of the gate, but you really won’t be able to produce your best work.

Try working in 25-minute, hyper-focused bursts that are broken up with a 5-minute walk outside, a phone call to a friend, or a cup of coffee in the break room. 

This is called the Pomodoro method, and it’s one of my favorite ‘tricks’ to get myself working when I’m feeling lazy and really don’t want to start a big project. Use a timer to keep you on track. I like this free Tomato Timer that opens right in your browser. You can also use your phone or a smart device like this Alexa-enabled Echo Dot speaker.

Feeling like you’re ready for a deeper work flow? Try working up to a 75-minute or 90-minute session with a 15-minute break.

Related reading: 7 Ways to Clear Your Cluttered Mind in About 15 Minutes

Check Your Attitude and Practice Gratitude

And… here’s the tough-love talk… 

You have a job. 

You have the opportunity to improve your life through improving your job performance. 

You earn money every day, and you can use that money to positively contribute to society through your spending choices. 

Many people can only dream of those things, and YOU HAVE THEM. 

If you’ve lost your motivation and appreciation for your current job, then get busy making a change. But in the meantime, don’t give in to negativity. It doesn’t look good on anyone.

Make it a goal to brighten someone’s day today as part of your efforts to stop being lazy at work. They’ll feel better. You’ll feel better. And you’ll probably both have a better workday.

More Reading to Improve a Lazy Lifestyle

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

6 Powerful Life Hacks You Need to Stop Being Lazy

Living An Intentional Life: 7 Powerful Steps to Make It Happen

How to Change the Habit of Laziness With 3 Real-Life Tips

‘Will I Be Able to Stop Being Lazy at Work?’

It’s a valid question.

Now that you’ve read through those tips and tricks, you may be wondering if you can actually follow through and improve your situation. I absolutely believe the answer to that question is YES! 

YOU have the power to make that change.

Everyone can break a bad habit or change their lifestyle for the better. There is not a single person on this planet who is not capable of doing so. What stops us from changing is the energy it takes to rewire our brains and our habits.

But we can do it.

So what do you say… are you ready to stop being lazy at work?

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