Rule 5: The Best Advice for Overcoming Laziness

“A child has no trouble believing the unbelievable, nor does the genius or the madman. Only you and I, with our big brains and tiny hearts, who doubt and overthink and hesitate.”

—Steven Pressfield, Book: Do the Work.

The best advice against laziness is not to hesitate.

As we have already seen, laziness is an energy of resistance that opposes any change that leads to progress. That is why overthinking something you have already decided is a mistake. (see rule 3)

My trick for not procrastinating is simple: I have a schedule in which I write down the goals I want to accomplish in advance, and when the day arrives (unless something unforeseen happens), I fulfill all the points.

Doing this is powerful because 1) it forces you to be selective with what you write down in your notebook, and 2) it generates certainty and feeds your faith.

  1. When you are selective, you seek efficiency, that is, to do the maximum with the minimum resources in the shortest possible time. And that reduces the emotional and energetic cost of pursuing your dreams. You work less time and have more time to rest. And therefore, you get further.
  2. Accomplishing the tasks you write down in your agenda trains you to face your negative internal monologue. You discover that the best way to stop being overwhelmed by a pending task is to do it (which makes you spend less mental energy), and by seeing how you accomplish what you have agreed on the agenda day after day, you gain confidence in yourself. This self-confidence is fundamental to achieving lofty goals or dreams that you think are unattainable: the more significant your certainty, the greater your faith.

To be effective, I apply the 80/20 rule by asking myself, “what is the 20% of the things I do that give me 80 percent of the positive results I achieve?” So I write down my daily tasks. Those are the IMPORTANT tasks that will get me to my goals the fastest.

To gain certainty, I cross off each task in the planner as I complete it with a green marker (the color of hope). So throughout the day, when I am in a low mood, I open the notebook and see all the tasks crossed out in green from that day and previous days. I REALIZE THAT I CAN and continue to work without hesitation, without allowing negative discourse to intrude on my affairs.

(When I fail, I cross it off in red. And since I hate to see red polluting the green stripes on my schedule, I try not to use it. This way, I use my pride to my advantage. )

Daily rule: remember that the longer you take to get things done, the harder it is to get things done. Hesitating, making excuses, and refuting your objections drain your energy. Write down what you want to do in advance in a planner and when the day arrives, accomplish each task and then cross it out with a green marker. Check the schedule every time you feel unmotivated to get the necessary certainty of all the times you did accomplish the goal and overcame laziness. Do it, remember Rule 1.


3 responses to “Rule 5: The Best Advice for Overcoming Laziness”

  1. I recognize the difference between lazy and unmotivated. Thanks for sharing this, Alberto.

    1. Thank you so much for reading it, Nourellyssa.

  2. […] that we know how to overcome laziness (rule 5), we must learn how to channel our will and […]

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