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How do I tackle extreme laziness to increase productivity? For example, here are some problems associated with it:

  • Writing down tasks to do, but executing none
  • Getting bored at all times
  • Feeling sleepy at all times
  • Reading blogs and self help books, but not implementing them
  • Not looking at big picture
  • Not able to concentrate on one small thing.
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Ironically the self-help books can make things worse by making it seem like you have to do something big to "fix" yourself.

There are lots of factors here, but here a few things to try:

  • Drink more water. Hydration is vital to the proper production of energy; I aim for 2 litres a day and keep a jug next to me at my desk to keep it easy.
  • Consider what and when you eat. Not a big deal, but eat sensible portions, eat at regular times, don't eat fast food, avoid junk food and so on.
  • If you're making lists and failing to complete them focus on why you need to complete them rather than that you have to complete them. I have lots on my list every day, all to do with different focuses (game dev, writing, etc..) and this leads to stressing out about how much you have to do and doing nothing as a result. Now I focus on one area a week, so that I have a whole week in which to achieve something.
  • Life can be boring, so find things that you enjoy and make time to do them. I listen to music all day; even in work with a set of in-ear headphones (consider politeness in the office though, obviously)
  • Don't hate yourself for failing, and on that note, don't call it failing! If you create a negative status around it you'll perpetuate it.
  • Sounds stupid but look at how you sleep. If you go to bed at 3 in the morning you're going to be tired all day, I know that’s obvious but if you've been sleeping little for years you may not even realise it.
  • And finally, forget the big picture. It helps to be aware of it, and to work towards it, but it's the small things that make the big picture so they matter most.

Good luck :-)

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+1 for the water part. I'd say it's the critical factor in energy / motivation because so many people are chronically dehydrated. – Tool May 26 '13 at 12:40
Too true @Tool; I only discovered I suffered from chronic dehydration after a severe bout of kidney stones (worst pain I've ever known) and a talk with a doctor revealed that the apathy, the headaches, the dizziness and the tendency to pass out when exerting myself were are related to it. My blood had gone thick like syrup apparently. So yeah... water! – CLockeWork May 28 '13 at 8:22
+1 for alimentation and drinking water. Eating at regular times is VERY important since it creates the rythm of your body. – Yves Jun 10 '13 at 19:19

I bet you make your todo list too big, just pick one and do it. Right now I am thinking about 10 things that I would like to do today, but If I won't pick one then I will do nothing.

Don't think that you have to do all items from list, just go with one, and do it until you finish. Stop thinking about all your tasks, go for one and complete it, don't jump onto easier tasks if one you picked up is not working out. Stick to one and drill it!

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It is refreshing to know I am not the only one that has encountered this!

  • Kudos to the person who brings up staying hydrated as part of their answer...sound advice indeed!
  • Diet is important. Upon awaking if you fill up on carbohydrates like cereal can effect a person making them tired. If this sounds like you, it is best to stick with whole foods fruits and/or protein, like an egg. Eating smaller light meals will help as well. You truly are what you eat
  • I've listed a number of good habits (which is just an action done repeatedly until it becomes second nature) to help get back on track:
    • Aerobic exercise like a walk, jog, bike ride = endorphine rush & increased energy
    • Create a goal: do the things you least want to do first, rather than letting it pile up and becoming overwhelmed by it (wanting to sleep is a way some people react to stress).
    • Be mindful of your thoughts. Notice if you are being your own harshest critic, be grateful for what you have and think of all the positive things you have done.
    • Stay busy with things that will help you achieve your goal. It's easy to think 'I'm busy because I'm finding all of these organizational tips on (lifehacker or wherever)'
    • Keep positive influences around you. Talk to friends and family you can confide in this will help you feel accountable. You may feel like your lacking self-discipline at the start.
  • Many of the issues you mention are signs of depression (also previously mentioned, good point!). I had similar symptoms last fall, possibly Seasonal Affective Disorder (very common). If you don't have goals/not looking at big picture, it could be you are feeling a bit down. If this might be you make sure you are getting enough sunlight or take a vitamin D supplement.
  • Information overload is a common problem today. At the touch of an ipad or laptop one can have 1000's of self-help book options and organizational tools. There are so many ways of doing things that having so many options can be counter-productive. Also, you can feel like your getting stuff done by looking at sites but is it getting you towards your goal. Pick one organizational system you like and stick to it.
  • If you've read self-help books then you already know what to do. Reading more of the same will just be wasting your time. You need to become a person of action. At the risk of sounding contradictory, I recommend a extremely short, not-traditional book written by Jerry Jamplosky an 84 year old w/a PhD in Psychology from Stanford. It's a great book for anyone & everyone as Jerry uses sound logic & his years of wisdom to remind people how to be the people they want to be. To be a bit kinder to themselves and others. It is small & thin with large print but is loaded with wisdom delivered in a comedic way (even has pictures). I picked it up at my local library. Please see the reviews (all 5 Stars) It's called The Oh Shit Factor: Waste Management for Our Minds by Jerry Jamplosky which I've hyperlinked to amazon's reader reviews.

Hope this helps. Best of Luck to you!

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I'm always amazed (whether it's my answer or another persons) to see a down voted answer without a comment. If one takes the time to "attempt" to help someone out, I feel it's a common courtesy to comment, offering constructive criticism, pointing out a wrong fact, etc. After all isn't this a community-based site to help one another out? As I look back at my answer I see some things I could've more clearly conveyed & without my own experiences. But was it that? Or seeing sleeping, no motivation, etc. as a bit of depression? Was it not clear I was giving kudos to the water suggestion above? – Charlie Brown Jun 26 '13 at 2:26
Or maybe is it because the highest voted answer starts out with self-help books being the worst thing one can do and my last point I mentioned a book I referred to as self-help (although it has drawings, comedy & is in big font, the meaning inside IMO can be thought about and put into action & the world would be a better place). Maybe calling it Self-help was a bit of a misnomer and elicited an instant negative response? link book review – Charlie Brown Jun 26 '13 at 2:57

Also are you depressed or feel sad a lot? That can wreak havoc with your productivity, motivation and quality of life.

If that is the case, then you gotta decide whether you want to be happy. Once you decide that and fix your goal on being a happy, cheerful person, there are several ways to get there.

I will mention what worked for me and was imparted to me by a student of Tony Robbins. Smile regularly especially when you feel negative or under the weather. Say to yourself aloud that you choose to be happy. Use different techniques to snap yourself out of bad moods such as snapping your finger, jumping up and down or clapping your hands.

Another possibility and very likely is that you have ADHD. If so there are different techniques to help you mitigate your symptoms like adhd medication(ritalin, adderall, Marijuana in some cases), meditation, neurofeedback(though it is very expensive it could help)

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Try the Pomodoro Technique. It's very good for building focus. 25 minutes of straight directed focus entirely on one task, then a 5 minute break. (I do exercises, quick walks, meditation break - anything that is very different from the task). Once you've done 4 of these in a row, take a longer break. Doing this gets easier and you see progress in ability to focus on tasks each day. - there's a free quick read book available. Since you get hung up on reading the books but not taking action, you may want to start with the cheat sheet on this page.

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