Sunday, March 15, 2015

7 Reasons Why You’re Being Lazy

Believe it or not, MOST of us really don’t want to do a bad job.  We’d prefer to do a good job.  Not everybody but most of us want to do well, but…

Have you ever felt lazy?

Are you someone who people do not characterize as being lazy but find yourself being lazy, anyway?

I think I have a few explanations about why this happens.

See Also: 3 Ways to be Intelligently Lazy with Marketing Your Business

It’s true that some people will be lazy, no matter what, and without any doubt there are people who are more ambitious than others.  However, there are sometimes when all of us are lazy, no exceptions as far as I can see.

Many times, I’ve described myself as the hardest working lazy person on the planet.  (Yeah, you read that correctly!)  While there is some truth to this, most of the time, I notice that I’m lazy for one of these reasons.  I bet you are, too, even the most ambitious of you.  (You ordinarily ambitious folks might not ADMIT it, but I bet you’ll read this and identify with it.)

Here are seven (7) reasons you’re (probably) being lazy:

1. You aren’t properly trained.
2. You don’t have enough resources.
3. You’re not working efficiently.
4. You know it’s busy (useless) work.
5. You’re not a natural fit.
6. Your vision is not clear enough.
7. You’re not properly rested.

If you’re curious, let’s take a closer look at each one of these (if you’re not too lazy).
1. You aren’t properly trained.

Most people do not begin a project with the intention of doing poorly.  However, most things require some sort of learning curve.

The smartest people will eventually “figure it out,” but most of us aren’t that smart, and many of us feel too stupid to admit that we’re not as smart as you’re taking for granted that we are.

Actually, someone has probably done a poor job of training you, if they’ve trained you at all.

Personally, I take pride in being one of the world’s greatest trainers, but even I make mistakes here…plenty of them.

If I have not made sure that you KNOW what to do and how to do it really well, then I’m hurting you…and me.

You might keep trying, but eventually, you’re going to feel exhausted and realize that you don’t really know what you’re doing, even if you never think of those exact words.  You know when you know something…and when you don’t.

It’s possible you’re being lazy, because you aren’t trained properly.

Suggestion: Ask yourself whether you know something well enough to teach someone else how to do what you’re doing really well.  If not, then you might not really know how to do it yourself.  Ask for help in the form of more training or an explanation.

2. You don’t have enough resources.

Maybe you’re not feeling motivated, because no matter what you do, it’s not good enough.

You know what to do and how to do it, and you know everything really well, but you keep falling behind.  The work keeps piling on you.

Now, THAT’S motivating, huh?  No, not really!

TIME: If I give you two (2) days to do an assignment that should take three (3) days, maybe you find a way to get it done, but even if you complete it on time, you’ve probably worked overtime to finish it.

If I give you three (3) days to complete two (2) assignments, each of which should take you two (2) days to complete, again, you might find a way to complete them both, on time, but you’re not going to be able to do that on a regular basis.  You won’t be able to do it forever.

Eventually, you might feel overwhelmed since you’re “not going to get it done, anyway.”  You might mistake this for laziness, but you really don’t have enough resources: time, in this case.

WORKFORCE: If I assign you a goal of making sure your working crew of five (5) people to complete a job that usually required seven (7) people, we might get away with it this time.  Next time, we might get away with it, but eventually our luck is going to disappear.

If you and your workers don’t feel like you have a chance without “killing yourselves,” you might feel too lazy to care whether you meet your deadline, or even get anything done for that matter.

We can feel lazy if we don’t have enough time, but there are other resources that can be in short supply that kill our ambition: money, tools, equipment, connections, etc.

It’s tough to motivate ourselves when we know it’s a losing cause from the outset.  Maybe we’re lazy, but sometimes, we just feel defeated from starting in a losing position.

Suggestion: Ask yourself to see what else you might need to get something done.  Do you find that you keep running out of time, money, tools, equipment, or energy?  If so, you might need to put in a request for more resources.  Most of us are wired to equate asking for more help as being weak, but it usually just allows us to be more productive…and more motivated.

3. You’re not working efficiently.

Have you ever felt like something is just taking TOO LONG?

Maybe we’re not trained properly.  (See #1: You aren’t properly trained.)  We might not be efficient, because we don’t know as much as other people doing the same thing who get more done in less time than we do.

See Also: 4 Steps to Being Effective on Social Media without Going Nuts

It’s true that when we’re beginning, we often need time to learn and gain the skill necessary to become proficient.  Sometimes, we just need to be patient and spend more time, and we’ll eventually work more efficiently.

However, sometimes, no matter how well we know how to do something, it just seems like we are working really hard, just to keep falling behind, even when we’re properly trained.

Sometimes, we just plainly aren’t working efficiently.  Maybe there are some distractions we need to remove, but there are plenty of times that we just aren’t getting very much done, even when we’re working hard, and it wouldn’t matter who was doing this.  Nobody would get more done, using THIS method.

Eventually, we’ll feel lazy when we feel like we’re wasting time.

Suggestion: Ask yourself (and anyone else around you who has the experience or background to answer) WHY we are doing something THIS way.  We might be taking a lousy approach and need to find a better way.  If we work inefficiently, eventually, we’re going to be lazy.  We might need to find a better way.  Make sure that you’re trained properly and have given yourself the time needed to gain the skill necessary, but it might be a good idea to explore whether there is another way to get more done with less effort.  That discovery would motivate almost everyone!

4. You know it’s busy (useless) work.

Even worse than working inefficiently is working without any real purpose, other than to avoid trouble (with your boss, teachers, customers, etc.)  There are few people who like working for its own sake, especially once they’ve discovered that the work they’re doing is NOT PRODUCTIVE.

Yes, there are plenty of people who are lazy, no matter what, and they will complain about anything.  They will say something is useless without first investigating why someone might find value in it.

I’m referring to work that really is a lot like the old joke about government jobs.  The first part of the day, the worker digs a hole.  The second half of the day, that same worker refills that hole (that he dug earlier in the day).  Guess what his assignment is tomorrow?  Yup, go ahead and get back to digging that hole!

It’s tough to feel motivated (in a positive way) about doing work that you KNOW is worthless.  You’re probably going to feel really lazy, really quickly!

Suggestion: Ask people to see if there is something that you overlooked.  Maybe there is a legitimate reason why you’re doing something.  If not, you might want to see if you can be reassigned to do something else.  Otherwise, you might want to find another job to do with a different boss, employer, customer, etc.
5. You’re not a natural fit.

You might be really smart…about some things.  However, few of us are naturally good at everything.

Yes, we can learn, but there are some things we learn more easily than others.

In my 30s, my personal career went into a tailspin, because I left something I knew really well (Quality Management) and took a couple of jobs that I didn’t really know at all (Engineering).

I got fired from both of those jobs.  From both places, I was told that if everyone worked as hard as I did, their company (or department) would not have any problems.

However, I was fired, because I was lousy at being an engineer. I’m a brilliant analyst, but I have next to NO mechanical ability, and I don’t have any hidden natural talents there, either.  I can pick out patterns, and numbers resonate really well with me, but I have trouble putting a pen cap onto my pen.

I was never going to be “really good” at engineering, no matter how hard I tried.  I never reached the point where I stopped trying, but my output was similar to someone who was lazy, because nothing came easily for me as an engineer.

Today, there are things within marketing that I’m really good at doing, but there are some things I’m not…and never will be.

You might find yourself in a similar situation.  It’s exhausting when you’re not really a good fit, and eventually, you’re going to feel lazy.

Suggestion: Ask yourself if things seem more difficult for you than other people around you.  At first, maybe we can point to them having more experience, but once people with less experience begin to outperform you, maybe you need to evaluate whether you are in the right spot in life.  Are you lazy about everything?  If not, then you probably need to look into doing something else.  Another (valuable) workaround is to hire people to do for you what you cannot (easily) do for yourself.

Side Note: Today, I’m a really good writer, but I was not always a good writer.  In fact, while I’m good at it, writing isn’t easy for me.  I have to work really hard at it, and I feel drained really quickly.  I hire writers to help me, even though I’m talented.  It helps me get things done, and there’s no shame in that (as long as I’m profitable).  Either find a different space to be or find someone to help with the space that’s causing you to struggle.

6. Your vision is not clear enough.

This, by far, is the most valuable thing you’ll read here, although not everyone will find value in it.

Many times, we mistakenly think that there isn’t any value in what we’re doing.  (See #4: You know it’s busy work.)  Someone we value might have even suggested that we do something, but we just can’t seem to make ourselves do it.

You might be thinking, “What’s the matter with me?”

Nothing is the “matter with you,” but you just can’t see the benefit as clearly as the person who suggested something to you.

It’s easy to feel lazy when we’re not sure that we’ll really benefit from doing something.  How can we not?

Usually, these things aren’t jobs or tasks that have any guarantee of payment, promotion, etc.  We might even really believe that “they’ll work.”

A runner who has the experience to know that you have to build up your leg muscles a certain way might be willing to do an extra set of sprints.  Sprints aren’t fun for most people, and if you don’t understand that they’ll help you perform better during the game or the race later, then it’s going to be hard to feel motivated to push yourself to feel that pain.

You’re not lazy.  You just don’t understand, and all of us fall into that category for something.  Otherwise, we’d all accomplish everything, and I’ve never met or heard of anyone who has accomplished everything (outside of any religious figures).

Suggestion: You don’t know your “why.”  You need to figure why you’re doing something.  Just because you state or list something is a goal does not mean that it’s really important to you.  You need to figure whether it’s really important to you.  Then you need to figure whether this thing that you keep avoiding (or doing at less than full pace) is going to get you closer to that goal.  If you aren’t sure, then your vision is blurred, and it’s hard to be motivated to “do extra.”

Most of us aren’t lazy, but all of us are lazy some of the time.  I bet I’ve covered most of the times you’re feeling lazy.

7. You’re not properly rested.

If you’re tired, you aren’t as likely to have as much will to pull yourself through stuff when things become hard (challenging).

It’s possibly that you’re lazy regardless, but it’s a lot easier to feel motivated when you have enough energy.

Suggestion: Get more sleep.  Many otherwise ambitious people don’t realize they’re tired.  They feel guilty to take time eating or sleeping.  So you might not ever feel really rested, and you’re fighting your body’s urge to sleep (or rest) when you’re trying to get stuff done.  Take naps or get more sleep.  It’s amazing how much more you get done when you have the energy to do it.  Yes, sleep takes time, but trying to work while being sleepy isn’t going to help you get more work done.  Go to sleep!

Those are the times I’m most likely to be lazy.  I’ve left out a few others, but if you master these, I bet you’ll find that you’ll get a lot more things done, especially things you want to get done!

Now, stop goofing around!

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