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How To Follow Your Plans When You Feel Lazy

I’ve always found coming up with ideas and making plans to be easy, but when it comes to following through with those plans, I don’t always feel like it.

You might start with the best intentions by doing a brain dump or making a to-do list or even putting your tasks into your calendar. Because surely if they’re in the calendar then you’re going to get them done, right?  But then you find yourself doing anything else to avoid the tasks you had planned. Whether that’s editing your to-do list,  scrolling through social media, checking your emails, making a cup of coffee, or maybe the pile of washing in your room is distracting you, so you decide to have a spring clean instead. Anything to avoid the task you planned!

1. Stop waiting for motivation

If you want follow your plans then you need to stop waiting to feel motivated. You don’t need to be motivated to follow through with your plans, instead you need to expect that there are going to be times when you’re not motivated and know that, that feeling is normal.

When I make plans to work on my blog, to exercise or even just to cook dinner, I know that I’m not always going to feel like it, even if it’s something which I usually enjoy doing, such as writing a new blog post. Because if you always wait until you’re motivated then you’re going to waiting a long time.

Giving into what you feel like doing in the moment will never get you to where you want to be, so know that most of the time you won’t feel like it and that is completely normal.

2. Create a time limit

By creating a time limit you can make sure you re allowing yourself enough time to work as well as plenty of time to rest. Because doing both work and watching TV is neither productive or relaxing. So make sure you setting a time limit when it times to focus and for when it’s time to chill!

3. Remove distractions

To stay productive you may need to remove distractions. I have a brilliant app on my phone called Forest, on the app you can set a timer of how long you want to be distraction free for. During this time a seed is planted which eventually grows into a tree, if you look at your phone during the set time, then the tree dies. It’s a good way to stay focused and keep you away from your phone.

4. Know when you’re most productive

When are you the most productive? Is it during the morning or do you work best after lunch or maybe in the evening? Knowing when you’re the most productive will help you organise your day and schedule your tasks at the best time.

5. Block a time to work

In order to follow your plans, even when you don’t feel like it, try blocking time in your diary to work on a goal, task or project. Have a think about your schedule and when you can dedicate time to your goals and other important tasks. I suggest starting with your morning routine if you set your alarm before the rest of the house wakes up and before you need to start your day, you can dedicate time to specific things. You might also find that you’re more focused in the morning with less distractions.

6. Work on one tasks at a time

I catch myself doing this a lot, I have way too many tabs open and my mind is all over the place. I’m thinking about several tasks and projects and I don’t know  where to start. I’m trying to write a blog post, then I start creating Pinterest images, and then I remember that I need to do an online food shop. It’s exhausting when this happens, because you don’t get anything productive done but you’re making yourself busy and tired by trying to do everything at one. When you catch yourself doing this, stop, close your tabs if you’re on the computer, and pick one thing to focus on.

7. Tell someone your plans

It’s easier to let yourself down if you don’t follow through with your plans, but much harder to let someone else down. Imagine if you planned to get up early and go to the gym, it would be much easier to lay in bed if you was going to the gym alone. But if you planned to meet your friend there or if you had paid for a personal training session, then you aren’t likely to cancel your plans. If you tell someone the tasks you have planned for the day then you will feel more accountable to get them done, you could even ask your friend to check up on you to see how you’re getting on.

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The Comments

  • JMAZ

    It’s tough when I’m feeling lazy and unmotivated. Your advice is spot on regarding following through on your plans. I took a course by Nir Eyal and learned a lot about getting things done without distractions. Once I get going, I find it easier to finish essential projects and tasks.

    I write everything down I need to get done, and that works best for me. If I keep everything in my head, I may forget.

    Take care.

  • O'Luminous

    It can be hard to follow plans when feeling unmotivated and lazy. This was a good read and blog.
    Thank you

  • Pete

    Planning ahead is a great way to avoid getting caught in that unproductive trap – set up a good template (I like to use excel) and plan the day
    . Schedule everything you need to get done, including 3 main tasks for your own goals, whatever they may be, and a couple of extras too in case you are super productive. Sticking to it also helps you to eliminate wasted time, scrolling through social media and the likes!