In the article you will find the cure for laziness. That’s a tall claim. But unlike tactics that you hear all over the internet, this one solution – broken down into three actionable steps – will work immediately.
Growing up, I was not in the habit of reading books. I knew I should read them, and I would buy a book – lots of them – and feel good about them. But months would pass, and I wouldn’t even read the first few pages of the books I had bought.
And at the same time, people around me would complement me for having the books.
Some would ask, “hey do you even read these”.
And I would say, “I am in the process of doing that!”
That wasn’t a lie. But the process was so slow that it was non-existent.
I knew what I should be doing: reading the books, finding the time to do it.
But I was not doing that.
We know what to do, but we don’t do it.
How many times have you:
- wanted to lose weight, but can’t resist the temptation of a delicious meal?
- wanted to start the business, but have not learnt any new thing to help you move forward?
- wanted to learn a new skill, but did not even open the course you bought, or the book you got?
I understand that what you know may not be enough. It can be flawed. Incomplete. Even useless.
But you’d never know.
Because you never tried.
Our initial attempts to fix this fail
So what do we do when we feel lazy?
Unfortunately, we have throw-away strategies like:
- set a timer
- do a morning routine that we saw dude on YouTube talk about
- force ourselves to do difficult things
These tactics actually do work. But for how long?
Soon you’re back to “being lazy”.
Then it becomes part of us
Then it becomes part of our identity! God forbid when that happens:
- we become “OK” with being late
- we become “OK” with being average,
- we become “OK” with not doing what we said we would.
I am writing this so I can share with you the solution that I found.
The solution is far more fundamental.
The solution is boredom.
The solution and the problem are the same.
The reason you are not doing the task, is because that task feels boring to you.
Why would you do that when you can check instagram or browse TikTok or YouTube your day away.
The task is boring. You don’t want to do it.
The solution is that you remain bored.
You give yourself no other option but these two:
- Do the work, or
- Do nothing else and stay bored.
You ALLOW yourself to sit and do nothing. And then, very soon, you will find that you are almost “forced” to do the work.
But please take notice, this solution works immediately! This is not something that you need practice in. This is not something that will take weeks or months.
This works now!
Step 1: Remove distractions
Remove all distractions. Make sure you have nothing else to do.
For example, when I am sitting here writing this to you, this is work for me. And I am not allowed to do anything else during this time. I have removed the social media apps from my phone.
What needs to be clear in my head is this: I must remain bored to do the work. Distractions will only allow me to escape boredom quickly. So distractions relative to the work must be removed.
It is this simple and cold and brutal.
- you can physically remove distractions. I removed my guitar from my office, because when I got “bored” I would start messing around with it. Remove social media apps from your phone (access only via PC). These hard boundaries work like magic “to keep you focused”.
- you can mentally remove distractions. Many times, we have “trained” ourselves to open the social media app on our phone, or to watch a video while eating something. And when we know that we’re hurting our future self but distracting ourselves now, it becomes easier to remove distractions. But a word of warning: it is better to physically remove the distraction than to mentally remove it.
Now, if you sit in your workspace, it is blank for you. There is NOTHING to do except the work.
Step 2: It’s OK to do Nothing
But before we even attempt this simple strategy, our devil mind tells us, “but you won’t do anything, you’ll just sit there and waste time”.
That is actually not true.
There was a study where they put together a bunch of students in an empty room with nothing to do. Except one thing: electrocute themselves.
And 67% of the subjects ended up shocking themselves once in a while. This is shocking (pun intended).
We HATE being bored.
So use this to your advantage!
It is OK to do nothing but you MUST NOT do anything other than the work! Makes sense, right?
Step 3: Have Clarity
Laziness is a symptom, not the disease itself.
- Darkness is nothing on its own, it is simply the absence of light.
- Laziness is nothing on its own, it is simply the absence of clarity.
Once you are focused, laziness disappears.
Why? Because focus by definition means “removing distractions”.
We are told that focus is “paying attention to just one thing”. But it also means, “not paying attention to any other thing”.
That’s why – it makes so much more sense now – in the Quran, God tells us that the successful ones are those who “avoid all distractions” (Surah Mominoon, verse 3).
To start doing what you know you should be doing:
- Enforce boredom: you do the work, or nothing else. I suggest the time-blocking method and the Pomodoro technique
- Remove distractions: start by allowing social media only twice a day, for half an hour each. I used ActionDash app for the longest time to automatically block certain apps after using them for a predetermined time.
- Have clarity: you see where you’re going, so you don’t see where you don’t want to go. Making sense? 🙂
Hope this helped. If you found this useful, do forward this to your friends. Want to join the 13,000+ subscribers who get my weekly emails in their inbox for free? Consider joining us at https://momekh.com/subscribe
InshAllah talk soon,
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