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Overcoming laziness: A trainer reveals tips against defermentitis


Finally doing more sport, learning Italian, not just writing homework shortly: Many projects fail mainly because of their own laziness. If you still have ambitious plans in the evening, you will lack the motivation the next morning. To work by bike? Better not, it’s drizzling so badly today. The Spanish lesson in the evening is also skipped. What would life be easier if you had a little more self-discipline.

The good news is there are strategies against your defermentitis. “Later” and “tomorrow” could soon be a thing of the past. Because laziness is a habit. And as you know, they can be changed. The so-called intrinsic motivation plays a crucial role. “If you really want to tackle something, you have to see the meaning behind it,” says Andreas Hofmann in an interview with, who wrote a book about self-actualization and has been working as a professional trainer in this area for several years.

It is possible to force yourself to work at short notice through pure willpower – for example, to learn about an exam. In the long run you will fail with such a tactic. Therefore, ask yourself why and from which drive you can achieve a certain goal.

Concentrate on one thing

Priorities. Because: “Most resolutions fail because you have too much ambition,” says Hofmann. Tidying up the apartment, doing more sports, finally learning the vocabulary for the Spanish course – often we want everything at the same time. However, this rarely works. Therefore, you should start small and then increase. The expert advises you to look for something that can be easily integrated into your everyday life. For twenty squats a day to get a little fitter, there is sure to be time.

Bring yourself into an action position

Think about how you can best integrate your goals into everyday life. If you want to do more exercise, find a gym near your office so you can go there straight after work. “The trick is to put yourself in a position where you really act,” says Hofmann. There are different strategies for this. For example, if you ask your partner to make sure that you write your project work, this increases the commitment. Or you can meet up with a friend in the university library to study.

Rewarding or punishing yourself is also a way of self-motivation. For example, you can tell yourself that if you manage to lose weight, there will be new pants. If you fail, however, you have already agreed with your colleague to put twenty euros in the coffee cash register. “However, reward and effort should be in a relationship,” warns Hofmann. Rewarding half an hour of jogging with a piece of cream cake is the wrong way to go.

Think about the consequences of your laziness

The project is only due in two weeks? There is still time. At the moment it may be more convenient to lie on your lazy skin. In the long term, however, you can create unnecessary stress with it. Hofmann therefore advises to think carefully about the consequences of postponing things that you will have to do at some point. To avoid pressure, set yourself a deadline. For example, behave as if there would be an interim submission in two days, where you have to present the first results.

Do small things instantly

A long to-do list can quickly put you off. If the tasks stack up, the desire to work through them quickly drops. Tasks like washing laundry or bringing the garbage down should therefore always be done immediately, according to Hofmann. If you don’t always put off small things like this, you have more time each day to devote yourself to bigger tasks.

Take the first step

The hardest part is usually overcoming. Now go to the yoga class even though the couch is waiting at home? Once you have made it to the studio, the most important hurdle has been overcome. The first step has been taken and you are pulling the hour through. To make the start easier, Hofmann recommends a simple trick. Make a deal with yourself. Set an alarm clock to ten minutes and start what you’ve set out to do, but you don’t feel like it. If you still don’t enjoy it after this time, or if you still don’t find it tolerable, you can stop.

Stop when there is no point

Not reaching goals sometimes makes us human. On some days, the motivation may just not work. Or you are working on a work that requires creative thinking, but the bright idea just does not want to come. Then it can also be worthwhile to leave the task for a day. The best ideas often come from a short walk or even in the shower. Treating yourself to some rest on such days can definitely help. Then a bit of laziness and postponement is allowed – as long as you tackle your plans afterwards.


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