Most people are lazy. Not only when it comes to working hard and exercising, or else that actually takes a lot of energy, but also to thinking, being creative, doing little things that can help them succeed in the long term.

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Many of us are too lazy to focus, to live now (as it goes together with letting go of the past and not worrying about the future), to read, to stop watching TV or turn off the computer (as it engages the mind in a way that requires no effort at all, and actually switching to another task causes us discomfort).

Ridiculous, right?

And there are many more other things we do daily that only lead us astray from our path in life. And it’s no wonder that we don’t change, achieve goals or move forward.
It’s just easier to keep things as they are. And to not even think about the fact that we’re unsatisfied with our current life.

What to do about that then?

It’s quite a big problem, and it’s something the majority of people are used to.
But I think it all starts with mindfulness.

If you know what your lazy habits are, how they affect you and see the bigger picture of your behavior, you’ll become aware. And will then notice it when you’re doing any of these little things, and will often stop and do something else instead.

So here they are:

The 22 Habits That Make Us Lazy

1. Making excuses.

When you hear the first alarm in the morning, your mind tells you why you don’t really need to get out of bed right now. And you listen to it.

That’s a lazy habit. And it’s a powerful one, as it often makes you sleep in, feel bad about yourself, be unproductive or even late for something important.

It’s a proof that your mind controls you. But if you notice it when reasons for not doing something pop up in your head, you’ll be able to eliminate them, and do the action instead.

That will help you achieve so much more in life. And you’ll be in charge of your behavior.

2. Checking email.

Doing it more times than you should is a sign of putting off other tasks you need to be doing. So it’s another tiny lazy habit.

It may not sound like something important to you, but in the long term it makes you weak and lack willpower. As each time you check email you listen to your “lazy voice” and aren’t doing something else that’s more urgent.

The way to stop doing that is to have a fixed time for emails, twice a day – once in the morning and once in the afternoon – will do.

3. Not defining exactly what you want in life.

Some people are so lazy that they don’t even try to figure out their dreams, desires and direction. And then they keep wondering why they get nowhere and feel confused.

The mind wants to make you skip that success practice, as it requires a bit of a long-term thinking, listing some goals, making a plan, and so on. Which leads to taking action.
And it doesn’t like action.

But being aware of the exact life you want to live and the person you want to become
is one of the first steps to changing and actually reaching that ideal lifestyle.

So take some time now. It’s creative thinking, after all. And can be like a mind game.

4. Giving up after one try.

Persistence is an amazing quality, but it’s not for lazy people.

It means trying again after you fail, which is connected to finding the willpower to do it, investing more time, energy and effort, forgetting about the past failure and being motivated that now you’ll succeed.

But imagine how much stronger you’ll get if you try this. It’s worth it.

5. Not reading enough (or at all).

I’m not talking about studying here, or reading philosophy or else that engages the mind and requires us to stay concentrated and not miss a thing.

But with every new generation people are reading less and less. And for a writer and book lover like me, that’s such a sad fact.
I don’t think people who don’t read are stupid. I can’t really judge them just on this one fact as they may be doing many other great things with their lives, and learning and growing in other way.

I included it to the list of lazy habits, though, because most people don’t even want to look at a book, or check out the newspaper, or read a poem, or even a longer label on a product they are going to buy.

One of the reasons may be that one of the things school did to us was to make us read and write, and do stuff we didn’t want to do at that time. And we started connecting these activities with hard work, bad mood and something we’re supposed to do.
And that makes us miserable.

But school is over. And reading is one of the most powerful, easy and pleasant habits, success practices, learning exercises, ways to think better, chances to grow, information sources, free time activities, creative tasks, etc.
It’s all that. But only if you give it a chance.

So if you have stopped reading a long time ago, think about it.
You have no idea what you’re missing out. There’s so much mind-blowing information about life out there that can only be found in some old books, for example.

And, personally, I’ve learned so much from some blogs on the Internet. I can honestly say that some successful people have changed my habits and way of thinking just because of the content they share.

Check this out:
How Successful People Read Online
The Art of Optimal Reading
5 Awesome Blogs I’m Currently Reading and What They Taught Me

6. Spending time on social media platforms.

That’s one of the most common habits these days.

People can check for new notifications every minute, can engage in meaningless conversations just because the mind isn’t really bothered, can check out other people’s updates and fill their heads with quotes, pics and events that others felt like sharing.

And if that takes a significant part of our day, and we do it daily, soon we only think about stuff like that. And leave behind the goals, ideas, things we wanted to do, etc.

Consider that if you want to leave the mundane lifestyle and feel like there’s more to life. There are far better things to do with your time than that.

7. Not keeping promises.

Making a promise is easy. Actually it too is a lazy habit. Because it’s easy to stop talking and thinking about something just by saying you’ll do this, or that.

But when it comes down to actually doing it, you feel such resistance that you don’t even need excuses. You simply don’t do it.

That affects relationships, others stop respecting you, you have a low opinion of yourself, become lazier, aren’t responsible, etc. Not to mention how it affects your personal development.

8. Not taking actions towards your goals.

It’s sad how much potential is being lost daily.

I believe everyone is worthy of success, and has what it takes to have it. But it takes action to get there. And it must be taken daily.
But that means finding the will to do it, to leave the stuff you feel like doing at that moment, fight the resistance, win the battle with procrastination, and just go and do it.

So many more goals would have been achieved. And we would live in a world full of successful and purpose-driven individuals.
And it would be organized, with positive vibes, and energetic people.

9. Not wanting to learn new things.

That’s another one that may be considered a result of the education in the early years – a consequence of the way teachers, parents and other authorities made us learn (stuff they thought was good for us) when we felt like playing outside.

And here we are now, avoiding any possibility to gain some knowledge, experience or grow spiritually.

Reading is the first sign of that, but there’s also us not wanting to do a crossword because it feels like work and we may just learn something new from it, not watching the news, nev choosing an educational program instead of a reality show, not going to museums, art galleries.

That’s why shopping is preferred over sightseeing, and why kids can be seen with a tablet instead of an interactive toy or a children’s book.

The habit of learning is still alive somewhere inside us. And if we manage to let it be again, our future and potential can still be saved. And we can still live a happy, fulfilled life.

10. Not going the extra mile.

It’s obvious that if people usually try to avoid any effort and hard work, they’d also never go the extra mile.

But the benefits of offering more value than expected, working more than others, and performing better than you are paid to, is the main difference between high achievers and average people.

I talk more about the habit of going the extra mile here.

11. Not washing your dishes right away.

Little actions like that matter a lot. They are a part of your approach to life, your way of dealing with things, whether you choose procrastination every time and let it win, or find the willpower to do what you have to do right away.

By the way, it’s one of the easiest things to start with if you want to remove laziness from your life.

Just wash you dishes after you finish your meal. You’ll feel much better, and will see the profound effect of acting immediately and making small changes in your daily habits.

12. Buying food and not preparing it.

The latter takes time. You also need to go grocery shopping, to use dishes, which you’ll then have to take care of.
And that’s why we became a generation of fast food lovers. It’s just easier, faster and simpler.

You don’t really need to change that habit, but you must be aware that it’s a bad one, and even if you’re eating good stuff when out, or when buying stuff for home, you’re still putting off what you should be doing – taking the time to prepare your meal, turning it into a ritual and actually eating it slowly and enjoying it.

13. Not communicating enough with your loved ones.

Relationships take a lot of energy. Not to mention the compromises, the talking, sharing, the daily problems and chores, etc.

And we choose to take for granted the people around us, to communicate less, not to call them just to check how they are, not to ask how they feel as it may turn into a big talk about life, etc.
But these questions, and taking the time to hear the answer, are crucial.

So work on that habit if you’re feeling like your relationships aren’t going well.

14. Watching TV.

No second opinion here. It’s the mother of all lazy habits. And where it all started.

Lying on the couch, switching channels, just staring at the TV set and munching on junk food.

I say ditch the TV. Or just ignore it. It doesn’t have anything to do with the person you want to become.

15. Not writing things down.

Carrying a notebook with you to write down things when something comes up, or just making a list in the beginning or end of the day of what you have to do, is a quick and simple method to stay on track and be productive.

But you need to take an action for that – put pen to paper. And although it takes less than a minute, people prefer to ‘remember’ it, or to ‘write it down later’.
No need to tell you how that ends.

So if you’re looking for small daily changes to start making, that’s a great one.

16. Not emptying your email inbox in the morning.

It’s a good thing to do after your morning routine and before you get to work.

You know how much time that takes you, so you need to organize things so that you’ll have time for it. It may mean not doing something else you want to do now, but you can always get up earlier, or do things faster. The point is to get to inbox zero so that you don’t need to do that later and let it distract you from your work.

17. Using public transport or driving short distances.

That’s an awful one. And you know how to change it. Just walk when it’s a stop or two from your home.

18. Sitting all day.

Probably a third of the population spends the day sitting for many hours. And I don’t ask you to quit your office job and find another one.

But there are ways to optimize the time spent sitting, little things to do in the meantime that will help you be more active and move a little.

Use a standing desk, or just stand up while you work, move around, take the stairs, stretch, do a quick morning workout, do some pushups, crunches and squats a few times per day.

These are quick hacks and you have no excuse not to do them.
And you can still be active behind the desk if you make them a habit and put into practice one of these ideas every hour.

19. Not flossing.

This one is again about willpower. It’s close to the ‘washing dishes right away’, I might say.
That’s because it’s a quick thing to do, something we know is good, but prefer to skip.

But it’s not hard to implement, as you can do it immediately after you brush your teeth. It’s easier when you have a reminder for your habit, and a fixed time.

20. Not expressing gratitude on a daily basis.

That means you’re lazy, yes.

Not appreciating what you have, and taking it for granted is what makes you miserable, wanting more and never being contented.

What if instead your start thanking for it every day?

You can keep a gratitude journal, start letting people know you appreciate them, or just stop every now and then to look around and feel good about the way things are.

21. Not being productive when working.

It’s never a good feeling when you know you’re working for someone else, are surrounded by people you have nothing in common with, while tasks you don’t enjoy are piling up.
Especially if you want to work for yourself and have side projects that will one day be the reason to quit this job.

But you need to be productive now, too. It’s part of your self-improvement process.

You need to put some effort in, because it forms your character, lets you feel good when you go home and more motivated to keep working on what you believe in, makes the working day more bearable, improves your skills, and, after all, you need to offer some value for the money you’re given.

So instead of browsing the Internet, waiting for the workday to be over, chatting and doing things slowly, push yourself every now and then, be focused, eliminate distractions and get things done.

22. Putting off tasks that need to be done today till tomorrow.

Another example of procrastination.
But if you do that daily, you end up being one lazy person that never completes his to-do list.

And there are many urgent things, other people depend on your actions, you feel disappointed and discouraged.

Fix that this way: start by making your to-do list the night before, and preparing the things you need.
Wake up early, have a morning routine to kickstart the day and then define how long each task will take and which 3 are most important.
Then start with the first of them.

This way before lunch you may have finished your toughest work, and the rest of the day will be easier.

***
So many lazy habits, right?
And the number of them we all have developed is scary.

And just like any other habit, it’s something you need to work on. But don’t try to replace all these at once. It will never happen.
Instead, choose just one. A tiny step to take daily that will make you more comfortable with change. And will let you see progress and feel good about yourself, which will then motivate you to keep doing it and develop other good habits.

As I said, awareness is the first step. Be mindful when doing any of the lazy stuff on the list. And the many other activities that go together with them.

Usually we can tell when we’re putting off something, choosing an easier and faster way, and doing a thing so that we don’t do something else that’s more important.
We feel bad for a few seconds, before we engage in the bad behavior. And we feel it even if it’s on a deeper level.
But soon it goes away as we’re surrounded by many other people who do the same, and our mind thinks it’s the norm, so it keeps doing it without any guilt or doubt.

But it’s all fixable. And you can start right away.

Even if you just grab a book now, or go read an article, or floss, wash your dishes, make your bed, let people know you love them, cook, or else.
It’s all worth it. And others always notice it.

If each of us starts making little changes like that on a daily basis, that will affect the generation after us. And we might just make the world a little less lazier.

Which of these lazy habits have you developed through the years?
Do you want to change them? What more can you add to the list?

See also:

12 tips to overcome laziness
Why you should avoid the easy life at all costs
How do I stop being lazy?
5 ways to get energized and motivated when you feel lazy
8 easy steps to beat laziness

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Lidiya K

Lidiya K

Author, blogger and podcaster in the fields of self-improvement and life hacking. Creator of Let's Reach Success.
Full-time freelance writer. Lifestyle designer.
Lidiya K

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