You walk into the office at 9:00 A.M, open your laptop, and crack your knuckles – today you’ll do work. Goddammit, you’re going to be productive. No more messing around. It’s #MotivationMonday, and you want success #AsBadAsYouWantToBreathe.
Three hours later, you’re on YouTube watching… whatever this is.
Then it’s lunch time. Then, the carbo coma period. Then the end of the work day.
Time to go home and recover from all the stress and anxiety from doing… absolutely nothing.
If this sounds like you, guess what – you’re not alone. I used to (and still do sometimes) have those days too. The good thing is, now I have a job which lets me research what makes me such a lazy shit (and how to stop being one).
Here’s what I found out.
You’re not getting enough sleep
You know how it feels to binge-watch 13 Reasons Why on Netflix and barely make it to work in the morning. All you wanna do is flop at your desk and close your eyes till lunch.
Obviously, trying to work with less than your usual amount of sleep is gonna make you lazy. I’m not going to waste your time explaining that.
But what I am going to talk about, is that the amount you think is actually enough for you, is probably not, according to the latest statistics.
9 out of 10 Malaysians are not getting enough sleep, and more than half (52%), cite depression as a reason for their insomnia.
This article by the National Sleep Foundation says that while the amount of sleep differs between each individual, adults between 18 – 64 should be having between 7 to 9 hours of sleep. Also, it’s not just the hours of sleep you get, it’s the timing too.
Your body sleeps in ‘cycles’, and the idea is that you have to adjust your sleeping pattern to your sleep cycle. Most of us react to daylight, so the only way to get quality sleep is to sleep earlier at night.
I’ve personally tried this. A doctor friend of mine told me I needed better sleep hygiene, so I tried sleeping at 11pm and getting up at 6.30am for work the next day.
The difference was huge.
I felt like superman. I was energetic, motivated, and my mind was razor sharp. There was no lethargy or brain fog at all.
In fact, I was most productive during that period than I had ever been in my entire life. I did work so efficiently, I usually cleared everything up before lunch. All just from sleeping and getting up in a proper cycle.
So, if you’re being lazy and unmotivated at work, try sleeping earlier between 10 to 11pm every night. Also, make sure you get at least seven hours of sleep.
Trust me, the difference is huge.
Here’s another thing that’s making you lazy…
Stop eating crap for lunch
‘Carbo coma’ isn’t just a saying – the reason you’re feeling sleepy after lunch is literally because you’re eating too much carbohydrates.
See what happens when you eat something like a plate of nasi goreng or mee goreng for lunch is, your body gets a flood of carbohydrates running through your bloodstream.
That explains the ‘sugar rush’ you see in kids.
High levels of glucose in the bloodstream is actually toxic (just ask diabetics), so your body works overtime to try and lower it. But in the rush, it ends up overcompensating and takes out more glucose than necessary.
That’s when you crash.
It doesn’t have to be lunch – this can apply to any meal of the day. You probably feel it less in the mornings since you’ve just woken up, but generally, feeling tired after a meal is a sign that your diet is out of whack.
The solution? Have a balanced diet. Make sure your meals consist of everything – carbs, protein, fat, and fibre. That way, your body absorbs carbohydrates slower, and can regulate your blood-glucose level properly.
This article is actually about to hit the word count so let’s jump to the final reason…
You’re stressed/ anxious/ depressed (or most likely suffering from all of them at the same time)
I foreshadowed this with the statistic at the beginning of the article – depression’s a bitch. It doesn’t just affect your sleep, it affects your entire psyche.
When we’re anxious about something, we procrastinate and do whatever it is which brings us pleasure and comfort. We self-medicate with food, alcohol, TV… any type of intoxicating substance really.
I’m not here to judge – I do it too. I love video games, but it’s easy to get addicted to it and escape from real life.
Here’s the thing though – I don’t believe that any of us are actually lazy.
I mean nobody was born lazy. Have you ever seen a baby that didn’t try to learn how to walk?
I think if you were to really examine anyone’s life, you’d find periods in their lives where they worked their ass off for something. In fact, this therapist thinks that a lot of people who procrastinate are often smart, capable, hardworking people.
And you’re no different.
The reason you’re lazy is because there’s some sort mental barrier you haven’t yet overcome. That’s what’s really stopping you from being productive every day.
I could tell you to sleep more and eat better, but these are secondary. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson for example, sleeps only 3 – 5 hours a night. His motivation is so on-point, he doesn’t need as much sleep as the rest of us.
The real problem here is your psychology. If you want to be productive, you must be honest with yourself and work on whatever personal issues you might have. Whether it’s nagging doubts about your career, your relationships, or just your own personal insecurities – do something about it.
Personally, for me, how I deal with my personal issues is by setting goals. There’s about a billion things I need to fix in my life right now, but I tell myself – I can only do what I can with what I have.
It also helps for me to question my issues. Like if I was playing a game and actively procrastinating from doing something, I question myself “Okay, what’s the real reason you’re avoiding doing this right now?”
Questioning that forces me to confront my issues, and then I just can’t do anything in peace. Sure, I can continue gaming, but because I brought it up, it becomes a nagging doubt at the back of my mind. It comes to the point where it’s just easier to get up and do it.
Of course, this is easier said than done. Overcoming personal issues is no easy thing. You might even need professional help getting there.
But think of the alternative – would you really want to be stuck at a dead-end job, relationship, or anxious mental anguish for years?
You’re worth so much more than that.