Start acting right now: ways to overcome laziness, apathy and fatigue



Based on my experience, online course and book, I wrote a post about “how to get rid of laziness?”

Throughout my childhood I was called lazy and other forms of the word. In fact, this word is usually used to describe a person who does not want to do something. And I realized that a person is lazy because he has reasons for it. How to get rid of laziness, how not to live your life in vain - you just need to eliminate at least some of these reasons. There are a lot of these reasons, but the ways to solve them are very simple. Take steps towards activity, and laziness will recede.

What is laziness

Laziness is the lack of a person’s motivation to be active. This is a refusal of one’s own success and self-development, and satisfaction of current needs. Laziness may be based on:

  • lack of motivation;
  • unrealistic expectations;
  • mental disorders and conditions (depression, apathy);
  • mistakes in education;
  • excessive demands on oneself or on the part of others;
  • emotional burnout, fatigue;
  • failure;
  • individual psychological characteristics.

Laziness manifests itself in a person’s tendency to engage in passive activity (lying on the couch) or, conversely, to spend time actively but carefree. As a rule, laziness occurs only in studying, working, developing, but not walking, playing, or drinking. Thus, we can say that laziness is a lack of activity caused by the unformation of the system of needs and life goals.

Laziness is the psyche’s response to what it subconsciously considers a meaningless pastime. So, the basis of laziness and getting rid of it is working with the motivational-volitional sphere of the individual and worldview.

Interesting fact: there is an opinion that laziness is, in principle, characteristic of Russian people. Perhaps this is partly true if we compare us, for example, with the workaholic Japanese. We tend to celebrate on a grand scale. But on the other hand, if a Russian person needs something, he will achieve it at any cost. So, if we look at it from the perspective of motives, we can hardly be called a people with a weak will.

The origins of laziness

Laziness can be congenital or acquired. True, in the first case it would be more correct to say that we are talking about a congenital disability, that is, weakness of will, motives, needs, abilities at the level of neural reactions. Acquired laziness can have several roots:

  1. Suppression of activity by parents, that is, the so-called learned helplessness. This can result from excessive care, indulgence or suppression of the child.
  2. A psychotraumatic situation where laziness acts as a defense mechanism. For example, if a person does not have the competence to overcome some life problems, then he will avoid such situations.
  3. Laziness as a protest. “I won’t do anything” or “I won’t do anything until you…”.
  4. Laziness as attention-seeking.
  5. Loss of meaning in life. You can read more about this in my article “How to find the meaning of life if you don’t want anything - advice from a psychologist.”
  6. Society's orientation towards consumption and an idle lifestyle (advertising, media).
  7. Focus on the result (product), rather than on the process of achievement. For example, a student downloads an essay from the Internet, thereby achieving his goal, but fostering laziness.

Reasons for laziness

Laziness is being stuck in your comfort zone. What could justify your reluctance to move on?

  1. Conservative. Performing habitual activities that satisfy basic needs, but at the same time drive us into a routine and stop development.
  2. Fears, concerns, self-doubt.
  3. Intolerance, misunderstanding and at the same time awareness of the remoteness of the result. It seems to us that nothing around us is changing, and that’s why we give up what we started.
  4. Long forced rest. For example, after an illness. We all know how difficult it is to get into work mode.
  5. Doubts. For example, the principle of losing weight is simple: you need to burn more calories than you consume. But due to the delayed result and the prospect of long-term work, self-doubt creeps in about the result.

Signs of laziness

Laziness as a complex of weak personal characteristics and underdeveloped areas is manifested by the following phenomena:

  1. Lack of high social needs for self-development, work, activity, self-actualization.
  2. Weakness of will and self-regulation.
  3. Lack of desire for success and competition (“this will do”, “I don’t need anything else”, that is, a boring comfort zone).
  4. Inability to think broadly, to predict, to build connections in time (life one day and primitive desires, instincts).
  5. Complete indifference to external conditions and changes (“it doesn’t concern me”).

Did you think that laziness is the lack of energy to brush your teeth in the evening? No, this is just one of the petty manifestations of global processes of stagnation or personality degradation.


  1. Disorganization can manifest itself due to banal clutter. Moreover, if it is observed on the desktop, then in relation to one’s life too. When a bunch of garbage accumulates, of course, you don’t want to approach it later, because you become confused, because you don’t know where to start.
  2. It’s better to start with the most difficult tasks, and in the very morning, even if you haven’t gotten enough sleep. Otherwise, by the evening the body will be in the mood for rest, and then you will probably postpone urgent matters until tomorrow. Read an article about human biological rhythms, and you will understand that completely different processes occur at different times of the day, and if you disturb them, you risk driving yourself to exhaustion, illness due to stress, and other difficulties.
  3. Bring variety into your life. If it is not possible to travel to other countries and cities, go to a park, museum, theater, cinema, etc. The main thing is to avoid routine and monotony.
  4. The carrot and stick method will always be relevant. Therefore, do not forget to reward yourself even for very small victories over yourself and achievements. And in the case when they did not show willpower, double the load. And then, realizing that later you will have to give it your all, you will not allow yourself to give up on an insignificant task.

Why is laziness dangerous?

If laziness does not bother the person himself, then it does not annoy anyone except those around him. Although, of course, his personal development suffers. But if a person avoids something through laziness, and also understands that he does not have enough abilities to overcome a problem situation, intrapersonal conflict and nervous disorders may develop.

Awareness of your own laziness can affect self-esteem. Such people really need help, despite their negativism and stubbornness. After all, in reality, this is nothing more than fear of life’s circumstances and lack of confidence in one’s abilities.

Help from psychologist Daria Milai

If you can’t cope with constant apathy, it makes sense to sign up for a consultation with a specialist. I will definitely help everyone who needs my services. After fruitful individual lessons, as well as practical advice, you:

  • learn how to eradicate and shoot your laziness;
  • how to force yourself to act despite apathy;
  • you will be able to achieve any goal;
  • learn to think correctly and save your time;
  • you will forget about idleness and will be able to receive satisfaction from active activity.

And that's not all. With a personal contact, you will receive much more than just recommendations on “how to live further.” Entrust your problems to someone who will tell you exactly how to deal with them.

What to do

First of all, it is important to understand that laziness is inherent in the human body. It is akin to a defense mechanism or sleep. When a person works to the limit, laziness can be a sign of overwork and burnout. So it is always important to maintain a work-rest schedule.

But laziness must be fought in any case. To overcome laziness you must have:

  • perseverance;
  • developed attention;
  • formed worldview (personal stable belief system);
  • hard work and responsibility.

And also be able to resist external influences and regularly increase psychological stability, master self-regulation techniques and learn to resist manipulation.

You can overcome laziness using your strengths:

  • If you are a gambling person, then challenge yourself. Create a critical situation in which problems go from deferred to urgent.
  • If you are a responsible person, then ask someone close to you to push you, make promises, sign you up for courses.
  • Argue if you are susceptible to such influence.

In general, decide for yourself what can force you to act: carrot or stick, duty or creativity. Every person has strengths, even if they are lazy. Or, on the contrary, weak ones that will allow you to use them wisely. For example, you cannot refuse help, then ask your friends to invite you somewhere more often.

Opportunities, not obstacles

We need to change our perspective on life's difficulties. Let me remind you that laziness is often caused by fear, panic, and other primary reactions. Your task is to control these conditions, that is:

  • objectively assess the situation;
  • with the help of self-regulation, maintain a stable emotional background and relieve nervous tension;
  • identify the advantages and merits of the current circumstances;
  • ignore the experiences of other people (even if it limits them, but not you);
  • see the prospects of the situation;
  • navigate in the real moment (draw a single time thread);
  • identify what can be controlled and monitor it.

“There is more laziness in the spirit than in the body,” said the French writer La Rochefoucauld. You, dear readers, probably have no idea how strong your body is and how much it can endure if not for your mind and distorted perception. That is why it is necessary to change your worldview. Fatigue, fears, failures are born in the brain.

What kind of thinking leads to success?

How do strong and successful people differ from unsuccessful ones? They are not lazy and look at the world completely differently:

  1. They always see the result and meaning of their actions. "For what? And just like that, for fun!” – not about them. But at the same time they give an account for every step they take.
  2. Patience, perseverance and energy are the basis of success. As a rule, knowledge, skills and abilities are easier to obtain.
  3. No retreats. It is only permissible to change the strategy to a more profitable one.
  4. There's no rush. It is important to know that everything is going according to your plan and you have an answer to everything, and time is of secondary importance.
  5. No worries about trifles. There will always be deviations from the plan, you need to be calm and mobile.
  6. You can't fall into despair. You can always correct the situation or your worldview. Nothing is decided until you agree to that ending.
  7. Constant movement. They stopped - they stopped personal development, or even began to degrade altogether.


Needs underlie action. Laziness arises from a lack of motivation, that is, insufficient expression of needs or their dissatisfaction. Although it seems to be unsatisfactory, it works. But no, a person with the mentality of a sloth will cry about how bad everything is, “interrupt” and “tramble” on the same level of needs. By the way, I would like to remind you of these levels (according to A. Maslow):

  1. Lower or physiological needs (sex, food, protection, breathing, safety).
  2. Need for reliability (health, stable income).
  3. Social needs (relationships with other people).
  4. The need for respect and self-esteem (prestige in the group, marriage, achievements at work).
  5. The need for self-realization and self-actualization (global contribution, heritage).

Action in its broadest sense is not possible without higher needs. But in order to achieve the highest, it is necessary to fully satisfy the previous needs. Find out where you are stuck. By the way, the higher the level of needs a person has, the more ready he is for action. This is such a vicious circle.


“There is no worse suffering than doing nothing,” wrote the publicist Alexander Ivanovich Herzen. Have you ever noticed how quickly time passes when you are busy? And what potential of the individual is revealed, what kind of power and strength is felt? In any business, the main thing is to start, and then everything will go much easier.

There will always be problems and difficulties. They cannot be ignored or avoided, but must be faced and addressed with dignity. What does it mean to act honorably and correctly?

  1. Be energetic.
  2. Be persistent.
  3. Have relentless persistence.
  4. Make a constant effort.
  5. Be pragmatic; see perspectives, but in the unity of time.
  6. Be able to develop strategies.
  7. Have resourcefulness and common sense.
  8. Take on opportunities that present themselves.

It makes no sense to wait for a push from the outside, for ideal life circumstances. You yourself create ideal conditions if you act. It's important to keep trying. If you try, you will in any case have a new experience, several options will appear. And if you don’t try, nothing will change.

  1. The action starts small. Read the book that everyone hasn't gotten around to. Talk to the person you're afraid of (or the topic itself confuses you). Sign up for courses and training to develop the competencies you lack. Keep taking action and moving. If you want something, then it should come true. Look for loopholes. They are always and everywhere, just sometimes disguised or broken down into small steps.
  2. Be systematic, consistent and persistent. Always remember your situations in which you were a winner. If nothing specific comes to mind, then imagine how a child learns to walk and read. How did you learn this? A banal but effective example. The child’s goal is to explore the world, run, touch, grab, move, develop. He falls, but moves forward with crazy persistence. I agree that it is more difficult to overcome problems on a mental level, but in essence it is the same.
  3. Action is impossible without resistance. There will always be external unfavorable factors, people, conditions, but that’s the beauty of it. This is the interest and test of you as a person. Development of you as a person. We all know the phrase “He who does nothing makes no mistakes,” so mistakes cannot be avoided. But think again: everything that is common and personal in the world is based on someone’s mistakes. The ability to make decisions and take responsibility for them is a trait of an adult, mature personality.
  4. Make it a rule to finish what you start. Whatever it is. This is the only way to cultivate will, perseverance, motivation, and goal orientation.
  5. Keep the outcome in mind, but also be process-oriented. That is, focus on actions in the present.
  6. Plan alternative courses of action in case of failure and do not rule out failure. Don't rule it out, but don't expect it! It's a big difference.


What is will? This is the ability to be resilient to changes in the world. Assess why and how obstacles are built into our lives. This is preserving your inner world, cultivating your confidence and perseverance. How to develop will and what it means to be strong-willed:

  1. Think positively, but always be prepared for the situation to worsen.
  2. Have the courage to accept what does not depend on us and what we cannot change (bad weather, the death of someone close to us).
  3. Be realistic, especially in expectations. It’s useful to dream (“if only we could fly”), but you need to plan feasible things.
  4. Accept the life changes that occur. You are unique, as is your destiny. But remember that in many ways you determine it.
  5. Protect your inner world, values ​​and beliefs. No matter what happens, you must maintain your core.
  6. Focus on high needs (self-actualization, development, creativity). Dedicate yourself to what is above the earthly, above the biological.
  7. Remind yourself that we are all mortal (this is if it has become completely scary or passivity has overcome us again).
  8. Be prepared to go through these steps over and over again.


Volitional effort causes neuropsychic tension. The moral, mental and physical forces of the individual are activated.

Have you noticed that successful people are active in everything and also look great in appearance? The body is the carrier of your mind and soul. Everything should be in harmony. Appearance is a reflection of the inner world (scientific fact).

Take care of yourself. Don't look for excuses. Even if you look good, go in for sports. Start small again - twenty-minute exercises. There is no limit to perfection, there is no limit to the development of willpower. In addition, sports have a positive effect on brain activity. There is no other option but to force yourself. There is no other way to overcome laziness.

Success in life, activity, content and beautiful appearance are not coincidences. These are interconnected components of one system. In addition, you must be sure that your body will not let you down when achieving your main goal.

Quick Guide

Thus, to overcome laziness it is important:

  • to feel desire;
  • evaluate its realism (possibility of implementation);
  • draw up an action plan;
  • assume all possible consequences (advantages and disadvantages);
  • find resources inside and outside to fulfill your desire;
  • make your wish come true.

It is also important to always set yourself clear deadlines and highlight stages in your activities. This is the only way you can achieve your goals.

Why do people become lazy

Many people who want to overcome laziness in themselves begin, one way or another, to think about the question of where inaction comes from. Instead of fulfilling the tasks of life, a person prefers to drown out the voice of conscience within himself and continue to sleep. The reasons for laziness as a personality trait lie in a lack of understanding of one’s life purpose. When a person does not have global goals, the implementation of which makes his soul tremble with delight, nothing else can truly captivate or excite.

Another reason may be that the person was once forced to give up achieving his dream and has since been living someone else's life. But, living by someone else’s rules, you cannot feel self-sufficient and happy. So a person rushes about from inner despair: every year dissatisfaction with himself grows, bad habits become stronger, and the feeling of the meaninglessness of what is happening grows.

How to find and check a target

Goal setting is the basis for getting rid of laziness and taking action. You can find the target using the following plan:

  1. Answer the question “Why do I need this?”
  2. Understand your interests. It is important that the activity at least partially corresponds to them.
  3. Find out your abilities, analyze your resources. Think if you lack something, whether you can develop it. And if so, where and how.
  4. A goal is a point of contact between motives, interests and resources. Think about what it could be.
  5. Formulate and write down your goal. For example, “graduate from music school and become a pianist.”

Now it's important to check if you made a mistake. To do this, imagine that the goal has been achieved and honestly answer the questions below.

  1. Have you betrayed yourself? Is your soul in place?
  2. Did you lose your health on the way to your goal?
  3. Have you become lonely?
  4. Have you lost your freedom?
  5. Have you realized your potential?

It is important to focus on your priorities, that is, life values. Remember that no activity will bring you satisfaction if you come into conflict with your own worldview. This is exactly how laziness, passivity, depression, and internal fragmentation are born.

Exercise No. 3 – Add interest to yourself

The real way to be more willing to complete a task is to make it interesting for you. This exercise works great with young children. This type of activity includes play-based learning. Even a school essay is written easier if the child uses his favorite colored pens.

For adults, this task is more difficult to accomplish. You should not be shy to use your imagination and imagine yourself as an actor. While mopping the floors, turn on your favorite music and dance with the mop. If you need to write a report or article, you can imagine yourself as an established writer or scientist writing a scientific paper. While working in the garden, imagine yourself as a gold digger. Reincarnation helps you do an old thing with a new passion. Sometimes you may think that what you are doing is funny, and you are slowly going crazy. Get rid of these thoughts. The main thing is that it helps you and makes you happy.


Perhaps laziness is called the engine of progress because its awareness gives a “magic kick” to a person? He begins to work on himself with even greater persistence.

In any case, if laziness bothers you, then you need to get rid of it. I recommend remembering a few basic positions for work:

  1. Love yourself and life. Find the meaning of life.
  2. Be socially active.
  3. Wish, dream, create.
  4. Take the phrase “here and now” as a principle. Don't put anything off until later if you have every opportunity to do it now.
  5. Trust yourself and people.
  6. Plan your life.

How to stop being lazy and start taking action? Just start taking action. Through “I don’t want”, through “I can’t” I force myself. Athletes return to professional sports after serious injuries, people lose a hundred or more kilograms of weight, but what is holding you back? Find sustainable motivation, a goal and a set of tasks to achieve it.

  • At the same time, develop the will that will allow you to resist any external and internal troubles and regulate your behavior. Will is based on motives.
  • Motives, like needs, shape personality traits over time. That’s why it’s so important to have your own system of values ​​and needs and focus on high goals. It's about finding your meaning for the world, that is, the meaning of life.
  • Why are you lazy? Maybe you yourself don’t know your potential, abilities, interests - get diagnosed. Or someone is suppressing your potential - get out from under the influence.
  • The main types of activities include work, education, play, social, and communication. Choose the one that is closer to you in terms of age or priorities. But you should not give preference to the game, if we are not talking about a creative profession or professional sports, family life (social roles also relate to gaming activities).
  • Next, set a goal within this activity, for example, to obtain a higher education. Think about what this goal is for you. It’s good if you say that knowledge and further work (self-realization) are important. Now select the means and move towards your goal.

In fact, everything is very simple. Of course, you can ask someone to beat you with a stick, but in the end, only you lift yourself up, change and act. Remember that laziness is a sign of internal dissatisfaction. Ask yourself, what are you doing wrong? What do you really want?

I’ll give you the simplest example: you’re not too lazy to eat when you’re hungry. Why? Because you really want it. But sometimes I’m too lazy to go to college. Why? Because you don’t see the meaning, goals, prospects, interests. Everything is very simple.

Let me remind you of a thought you probably already know: “sow a thought, you will reap an action; sow an action, you will reap a habit; sow a habit, you will reap a character; sow a character, you will reap a destiny.” So start thinking that you can do anything! And decide what you want now and why you need it. And then stop being lazy and start moving towards your goal.

Anton Grigorievich Rubinstein in his theory expressed the idea that a person and his psyche are formed, developed and manifested only in activity. So in the question “How to stop being lazy and start taking action?” There is already an answer: stop being lazy and start acting.

Exercise No. 1 - Knock out a wedge with a wedge

The essence of the exercise is to attack laziness with total inaction. But there is one condition: you cannot doze off, watch TV, read a book, listen to the radio or talk on the phone. You can't even sit. If you feel a strong desire to put off work until later, and your body dictates that you sit back a little, follow its advice.

Stand in any place convenient for you at home. At the same time, turn off the TV, music and put your phone aside. With a smartphone in your hands, the exercise will lose its meaning. After a couple of minutes, you will be overtaken by a strong desire to sit down, turn on the TV or talk to someone. All of these are prohibited practices. You just need to stand without closing your eyes.

In this position, you can “idle” for no more than 15-20 minutes. The goal is to achieve a strong desire to occupy yourself with something. If you can't bring yourself to sit down and write a report, just stand in silence. Don't try to simplify the exercise by replacing standing in silence with mindlessly clicking your phone or switching TV channels. You can spend more than one hour doing these activities, and then be sincerely surprised at where the time has gone.

Literature on the topic

In conclusion, I recommend books on the topic.

  1. R. Holiday “How strong people solve problems.” I have already taken her supporting theses for my work, but I think it will be useful for you to read the original source.
  2. S. Zanin “How to overcome laziness, or how to learn to do what needs to be done?” This is an interesting work, written in everyday language. The phenomenon of laziness is analyzed from the perspective of everyday life, and practical recommendations for overcoming it are given. Separately, information is presented on the topics of fitness, smoking, waking up early, and learning a foreign language. As you understand, we are talking about how to get rid of unwanted habits and phenomena, and how to overcome laziness and cultivate the desired attitudes.
  3. N. Faibyshenko “Realize. To want. Find: from dream to reality one step." The name speaks for itself. The book describes in simple language the peculiarities of human life. Needs, motives, actions, goals, the specifics of their construction and much more are analyzed. Perhaps this is the work to start working on your worldview.

Exercise #2 – Find Motivation

Often this exercise turns out to be the most difficult, since it is very difficult to independently motivate yourself to complete a particular task. It is much easier when the push comes from the outside, but this luxury is not available to everyone. Therefore, you need to gather your willpower and create your own inspiration.

Also read:

How to cut your own bangs

Method one (the most effective): sit down on the sofa, turn off the TV and eliminate all extraneous sounds. Close your eyes and transport yourself to the future. Your task is to imagine that the task has been completed. If you can't start studying for an exam, close your eyes and imagine yourself with a record book in your hands and a smile on your face. Feel lightness, happiness, imagine how proud your parents are of you and how envious your classmates are. If you cannot get down to work, imagine that the task is completed, you have been praised by management, and you are happy to spend the money you earn on your own needs. If you are too lazy to start cleaning, imagine yourself in a clean house, try to smell the freshness. This is the best motivation to overcome a bout of laziness.

The second way is to get motivation from outside. Psychological motivational videos, books and reading quotes will help you with this. It should be understood that this type of motivation does not work in 100% of cases. When starting to read such literature, most people understand that this information is not new to them, and it was enough to simply work on their own willpower. The question arises: why waste time watching videos and reading literature if you can force yourself to work on your own.

Common causes of pathological laziness

The causes are varied and most often affect adults, but can also, although with less frequency, occur in children and the elderly.

Here are the most common ones.

  • The desire for passivity. Leading a serene life, postponing everything until later are the main manifestations of pathological laziness. The pathological lazy person even picks up the remote control from the coffee table with his toes, like a skilled juggler, so as not to get up!
  • We have too many responsibilities. It may be that daily activities (work, social life, sports, family obligations, etc.) can be so burdensome that they put our brain into a state of procrastination. The mind, protecting itself from overload, simply does nothing. In this case, laziness is an important signal that the body sends to us, trying to tell us to slow down a little.
  • We experience fear or anxiety about certain things, people and/or situations. The new boss seems sullen and conflicted. The university teacher is looking for you with a menacing look and it seems that he will definitely “fail” the exam. The deadline for filing tax returns is approaching. Today you can find many reasons that cause fear, psychomotor agitation, anxiety and stress in us every day. For some people, this leads to problems with sleep and stimulates a kind of hyperactivity; for others, it acts as a powerful inhibitor, developing a state of pathological laziness.
  • Living in a state of depression and denial of reality. Of course, true depression is a rarer cause of inaction and apathy, but it is the most serious. There can be many reasons for depression, from hormonal imbalances in the brain to difficult life situations that force you to completely abandon the reality in which you live. Even in these cases, one of the most obvious manifestations of discomfort is precisely pathological laziness.

Negative emotions

What is lack of will in its pure form? This is an unconscious desire for peace, endless rest, oblivion. It has been noticed that a person with a reduced energy resource gets tired more, sleeps, eats, and moves less. He can go to the store, buy groceries for the week, and do whatever is required of him. But he is always busy with everyday affairs, immersed in the demands that society makes. This is what the problem of laziness and lack of will is. Strong people are always simple in reality. Anyone who wants to improve themselves always finds time for their hobbies, new interesting ideas, and promising activities. He also works, but in a different way: for him, activity is not just a source of income, but a way to change himself, show his best character traits, and cultivate talents and abilities.

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