Banish Laziness

While I'm sure you've never had this problem, I've been fighting laziness lately. It's not to the point where I'm sacked out on the couch all day, but I feel like there are many areas of my life that I could be more productive. It all comes down to my laziness preventing me from doing what I know I could (or should) be doing.

Ecclesiastes 10:18 says: By much slothfulness the building decayeth; and through idleness of the hands the house droppeth through. I can vividly picture my home, my family and my church falling apart brick by brick if I give in to laziness. Yes, there is a time and place for rest and relaxation, but there is also a need to follow through on my responsibilities.

So can we overcome the urge to lounge or look for entertainment before it affects our service?

1. Are you truly lazy? Or are you just distracted, bored or disinterested? There may be no good reason why I stray from the task at hand except that something else catches my attention and it seems better at the time. That isn't being lazy, it's being drawn away when I should be productive. This can be attacked by setting time limits on how long you have to stay at each task. It may also be as simple as having a written list so you can visually see what you're crossing off. It may not be laziness at all, but a silly mental block.

2. Is this truly important? If you're discouraged about starting a project or dreading have to get involved in a chore, decided then and there if it's something that has to be done right now. If it's something you can't afford to ignore, get to it. If it's a chore you've given yourself, there's some wiggle room to rethink deadlines and plans of attack. There's clearly a reason you're being lazy in this case - think it through.

3. Can I set up a reward system? Bribery works with dogs and little children, so why not with grown women? If I get something done that I really didn't want to do, I reward myself with some reading time or a big cup of cocoa. When I'd rather be writing than cleaning the bathroom, I promise myself that I can have both - but the cleaning comes first. Most times that's all I need to get out of that laid-back mindset.

4. What is my deadline? If you have no deadline for a project you're feeling particularly lazy about, then set one. Tell someone what that deadline is and ask them to help keep you accountable. Sometimes we just need a little oomph to get us headed out of laziness and in the right direction. If there is a deadline, break your task up into manageable pieces. Sometimes frustration comes from feeling overwhelmed and not true laziness.

5. Isn't the task fun too? Try talking to yourself - in a healthy way. If you can convince yourself that there is true joy in whatever you're about to do, you can face it without the laziness creeping in. When we're in a better mindset, like realizing how great that room will look when it's organized, the journey to get it that way is much easier. We often think about the effort involved and not about the service we're providing or the actual need for it to be done.

6. Am I prepared for the effort? Put on some inspirational music. Gather all the necessary tools for the job. Set your time limit for the first portion of the chore. Have a reward in mind. Get rid of distractions. Then dig in.

7. Am I just being a frump? Is there something else going on besides laziness? You can't be too hard on yourself if you're not feeling well, have too much on your plate or feel a little depressed. Take some time in prayer, get your attitudes settled with God and then see how productive you can be.

The desire of the slothful killeth him; for his hands refuse to labour. Proverbs 21:21

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