A Psychologist's Best Secret for Combating Laziness
Misha Taylor for Harper's Bazaar Germany
We've all been there: You're about halfway through a task and you lose all manner of motivation to keep going. Suddenly, you've somehow convinced yourself that you've already done so much, and it's okay if you take a break.
The challenge of the follow-through is twofold: Giving up, after all, is both conscious and sub-conscious, internally and externally motivated. Our own brains tell us it's acceptable to give up, which may lead us to actually believe that! Meanwhile, another person might be telling us that we were being unrealistic in the first place.
According to a Business Insider video featuring performance psychologist Dr. Jonathan Fader, you need to learn to talk back to your brain in order to combat the laziness reflex that has your brain saying things like I can't do anything more and I'm done.
In order to do that, it's helpful to create a contingency plan, a technique that helps us deflect external forces as well as intercept our brain's messaging that what we've done is enough and it's okay for us to throw in the towel.
The best way to do that, says Dr. Fader, is to think like an elite runner.
What does that mean exactly? Segment your tasks into smaller, attainable groupings. Entertain the thought Let me just see what happens if I can get another 10 minutes in. Push yourself just a little bit further just when you find yourself passively thinking that what you've done might be enough.
Essentially, this practice helps us exercise, to the best of our abilities, the only control we maintain at every turn of life—what we do and what we think. It gives us a plan, and if you don't have a plan in place, it's likely that our own minds will defeat us before we even know we've been steered off course.
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How do you overcome the lazy bug and stay motivated in life? Tell us in the comments!