Lazy Days: Harnessing Laziness for Super-Achievement!
When was the last time you had a duvet day? A lazy day at home where you kicked back, relaxed and did...well,nothing much really? Did you enjoy your lazy day? Or did you feel the nagging sense of guilt that you should be out there achieving, smashing goals, ticking off to-do lists and basically being Superwoman?
Chances are that you felt bad for lazing about and didn't allow yourself to fully enjoy your down-time.
Laziness, in our always plugged in, always online, always rushing 21st century world, is seen as a dirty word. 'What did you do today?', people ask. 'Nothing much' may be the true answer, and that is absolutely fine, yet I bet there's a twinge of shame and embarrassment if you answer honestly, as if you're admitting to being lacklustre or leading a boring life where your 'get up and go' has got up and gone (or, worse, that it was never there to begin with!). But having a lazy day, or a fallow period where you are incubating energy and ideas, does not make you a lazy person.
And laziness may just be a super-power. Lazing on a sunny afternoon CAN be good for us, as an important part of a healthy, balanced life, and the truth is: we can even make our laziness work for us!
How, you may ask? Firstly, we need to realise that we don't need to fight against our inner laziness; instead, we should work with it, treating it as an old friend who just wants to look after us and stop us from going to too much trouble or stressing ourselves out.
We should never fight ourselves, as we end up fighting a losing battle. We need to gently, easily, effortlessly help ourselves to smash our goals without smashing our energy levels and without fighting our in-built need to rest, relax and recuperate.
Tune in to yourself, your body, your mind, and see what you need. Is laziness simply rest, slowing the pace down? If a lazy day to take care of yourself is the answer, then don't worry about the to-do list. 'The ironing will still be there later', my mum would say when the gentle notion of having a 'pottering' day shouted louder than the need to achieve, ticking off tasks on a magically never-ending list!
So listen to the need for a lazy day and just enjoy it, guilt-free!
But, in the long-term, if there's something you do want to achieve, and you're simply not finding yourself motivated enough to actually get up and do it, you could try some of the following laziness hacks which will align living your best life with a little of that lazy day mentality!
Begin by asking yourself:
What are my goals?
What do I want to achieve?
And why do I want this?
By not doing x, what will the negative consequences be?
But by doing x, what will the positive, life-enhancing, beneficial effects be?
Once you're clear on your why, let's go put our laziness to work!
Whatever your goal is, link it to something you already do habitually and automatically.
So, if your goal is to do a 10 min HIIT workout or a yoga routine everyday, you could consider linking it with cleaning your teeth. Once you're up and about and your teeth are gleaming, use this daily habit as a trigger to remind you to exercise.
Or, if your aim is to spend more time being creative, if you regularly have a cup of tea before you go to bed, let that be your prompt, and try to link sitting down to drink your tea with your creative time.
Whatever your goal, use the lazy approach by piggybacking on already-established habits.
REARRANGE THE FURNITURE!
Whilst we don't really need to rearrange our furniture, simply thinking about how our environment supports us (or doesn't) is an important piece of the motivational puzzle.
If we find ourselves constantly distracted by our mobile phone and the 'pings' of social media when we are working or trying to create something, consider switching our phone off, turning off notifications or putting it in another room.
Or, if we want to exercise and have bought some fab exercise equipment to use but we store it somewhere we never see it or that takes too much effort to lug it out, maybe think about putting it somewhere that you will see it and can use it more easily.
Simple shifts to your environment can make a big difference.
HIDING THE FORBIDDEN FRUIT!
We often like the easy option, or the path of least resistance, so if there is something that constantly tempts us off our goal (like the biscuit tin!), why not make it easy for yourself by simply removing temptation altogether?
For example, if you're always snacking on unhealthy treats and your goal is to eat better and become healthier, maybe getting rid of the unhealthy treats is a good idea, or try putting the biscuit tin somewhere out of sight and harder to get to. Instead, put healthy snacks and fruit within easy reach for those moments when you need to refuel.
Laziness is an in-built mechanism to help us relax, freeing up more of our energy for us to handle the unexpected bumps, hurdles and challenges of everyday life, so instead of being ashamed of or fighting against laziness, we should learn to love it, harness it and work with it as a powerful ally that, ironically, helps us to achieve our goals, burnout-free ...