How To Stop Being Lazy and Get Out Of A Rut

For one reason or another, we’ve all been stuck in a lazy rut. From productivity guru to average-joe, we’ve all faced our share of down time. Ever since I came back from Israel I’ve been feeling pretty lazy, and just thinking about not being lazy hasn’t fixed the problem.

Laziness is ultimately caused by a fault in our thinking. A great article would dissect this fault and provide a quick-fix. This could effectively launch the earth into a new age of productivity.

I have no quick fix – I’m not THAT good – so you’ll have to settle for some practical techniques to dig yourself out of your own lazy ruts. It will take some work on your part, but I’m sure that whatever works for me can work for you too.

“I will act now. I will act now. I will act now. Henceforth, I will repeat these words each hour, each day, everyday, until the words become as much a habit as my breathing, and the action which follows becomes as instinctive as the blinking of my eyelids. With these words I can condition my mind to perform every action necessary for my success. I will act now. I will repeat these words again and again and again. I will walk where failures fear to walk. I will work when failures seek rest. I will act now for now is all I have. Tomorrow is the day reserved for the labor of the lazy. I am not lazy. Tomorrow is the day when the failure will succeed. I am not a failure. I will act now. Success will not wait. If I delay, success will become wed to another and lost to me forever. This is the time. This is the place. I am the person.”
~Og Mandino

11 Practical Ways To Jump Out Of A Lazy Rut

1. Start Somewhere, Anywhere. We can think of the discipline muscle as a strong pillar. Metaphorically speaking, if this muscle is big and tall it will serve as a Pantheon of productivity. Pick any one of the ideas below, or any one of your own ideas, and get started!

If you follow the action consistently for 30 days, you will build a habit. Once you’re in the “habit of making habits” you’ll be able to build new ones. Maintaining takes much less energy than starting, so you can keep on adding on new habits to your “habit-happy” life.

2. Self-actualize, Be Conscious. This happens to be the most important point in the article. Think. By questioning your source, reasons, and intentions, you are able to transcend whatever obstacle you find in your way.

When you sit down and think you’ll discover all the wonderful things that make you feel passionate, and fulfilled. This will inevitably lead you to launch yourself into life — to live!

3. Improve Exercise Antics. Exercising on vacation is not so easy {convenient excuse}. During my 2 weeks away in Israel I didn’t exercise, and felt too jet-lagged and dehydrated the week after my return to get back into the routine. This turned into another week. The thought of returning to the gym, and running, while feeling out of shape is a bit daunting.

Sometimes I find myself laying in bed, just listening to audio books on my iPhone. Big mistake. The simple hack is to take that one hour, go outside with my iPhone and just walk around the neighborhood. A brisk walk will get my blood flowing, heart pumping, and my body rejuvenated by the time the one hour is up. At an hour per day it more than fulfills my weekly walking requirement as well as enhances my personal growth.

4. Engage In House Cleaning. We all get to the point where we let our house go a bit past, okay- way past, the point of being perfectly clean. This makes me feel a bit guilty because I know that one of the keys to a clear mind is a clean home and workplace. It gets to the point where the cleaning job will either demand a lot of time, or force you to move out.
If you’ve slipped in the clean-as-you go process, you can use the 15 minute rule to get out of your rut. Pick a room, and designate just 15 minutes to clean something up (i.e. just the desk, just the closet, just the floors). Use up all 15 minutes and continue the next day. In the mean time clean as you go and you’ll find a clean room within about a week.

5. Cultivate Reading Habits. It’s a sad fact that most Americans don’t read. One of the reasons I started this site is to cater to such people. My sentiments were that reading a full book, and compressing the gems into a 10 minute read, can be convenient for even the most modest of readers. Incidentally, after running this site for this long, I’ve come to realize that you guys are in the upper echelons of intelligence and do spend a nice chunk of time reading. I feel like you can relate when I say that falling off the reading wagon is a commonly occurring disaster.
The best thing to do with a dropped habit is to get back into it slowly. It’s not about quantity at this point, but about forging a life-long positive habit. All you need is to dedicate 15 minutes, as soon as you wake up, each and every morning. This is when you’ll be most alert to read, which you can do by waking up 15 minutes early. Commit to just 30 days of 15 minute mornings, and eventually expand the hours if you like the new habit.

6. Get Back On Track With Writing. In the creation of this site I have made a 180 turn in my thoughts about writing. It used to be a painful chore, but that’s before I realized what I’m passionate about writing. Now I love writing for this site, and the other sites where I freelance. After all, I only delivered 1 article last week, and it wasn’t due to lack of time or lack of material.

The technique that works best for me is scheduling a writing time the night before. When I set aside 2 hours in a day, I’m able to write anywhere between 1-4 articles. If it’s more than 1, I can give it away, or set it for a future date. However, I need to make sure I’m in the habit of getting back the next day to do some more writing, or else the lazy bug will slip up on me.

7. Hydrate For Productivity. One of the things that I’ve found to be continuously daunting is the reappearance of dehydration. This beast works in such subtle ways that I never experience a thirst, but only consider that it could be a possible problem after it’s taken its course.
Drinking 2 liters of water a day gets every atom of my body resonating and jumping with energy. Not 2 liters of soda, not coffee, and certainly not 2 liters of juice. It must be water, and I think many people underestimate how much they need and the mere fact that this could be at the root of their lack of productivity.

8. End Over-Sleeping. Sleeping is a monster that uses catch-22 to attack our productivity. The more you sleep, the lazier you are. The lazier you are, the more you sleep. By applying a couple of standardized rules in the form of habits we’re able to break out of this sloth-like cycle.
First, when you hear the morning alarm, and before you lay there and question yourself, jump right out of bed! Walk over to the sink, wash your face with cold water and immediately bring yourself to your schedule or to-do list. Need an afternoon nap? Set your alarm for 20 minutes and do not allow yourself to sleep more than this optimal time under any circumstances.

9. Don’t Eat Lazy Food. Have you noticed that with laziness comes bad food choices that are high in fats, sugars, and processed carbs? No? Is it just me? Maybe with bad food choices comes laziness, which is also very feasible.

One of the things that helps me break the cycle is placing some rules on the table. No eating 4 hours before bed, unless it’s a piece of fruit. Using fruits and vegetables as the only snacks between meals. Having vegetables be the entree of my meals, no the side dish. Eating 5-6 smaller meals throughout the day to avoid lethargy. Healthy food gives you more energy, which is one sure-fire way to get out of the lazy hole.

10. Simplify Your Life. Being overwhelmed is a very viable reason for why we might find ourselves in a lazy rut. It’s not our fault per se, but our environment and the world around us makes things way more complicated than they have to be. Think about it, extensive filing systems like GTD require months to learn, just so you can figure out what to do today. Cars come with 5 billion features that will warm your coffee, massage your butt, and orchestrate a bank job if you punch in the right keys.

They even put peanut butter and jelly into the same jar, which I’ll never understand. Your mission — simplify. When you take away as many unnecessary layers and distractions, your mind will be clutter free and excited at the opportunity to tackle what’s important.

11. Embrace Your Laziness. Consider for a moment that you’re run-down. Physically, emotionally, or spiritually you’re experiencing a leak in your battery that’s leaving you sluggish throughout the day. That’s both understandable and reasonable.

Put up the white flag, go to sleep, get hydrated, eat some healthy food, go for a sweaty run and refer to number 2 — think. Perhaps you know what the problem is, but something tells me that if you stand in front of the mirror and look yourself in the eyes for 10 minutes, a little voice will come out and tell you exactly what’s wrong — fix it.

“A person is lazy because he wants serenity and quiet. Comfort-seeking is the root of laziness. But realize that although the lazy way might at first appear to give comfort, in the long run, a person who is lazy will lose greatness. Why? His life will be one of mediocrity!”
~Rabbi Pliskin

About The Author

craig hill

Craig is the founder of LifeGuider, he is dedicated to improving not only himself but also others in being more physically fit and mentally capable of handling life’s challenges. He is not your regular life coach, no fancy clothes or fast cars, just a regular “Ole Joe” who has experienced the ups and downs of life like everyone else.


  1. Helen | 27th Nov 17

    Very good article. At this time of the year, it gets cold, and the day time has lost a couple of hours. I try to get out and walk as long as it’s not snowing or icy. It recharges me to breathe the fresh air, and see the nature. I especially like your item “#10: Simplify your life”. Simple life also means less stress. Many times, life does not have to be that complicated. Do something that we can to simplify it.

    • craig hill | 28th Nov 17

      Great point Helen. Exercise does help get your motor running. Usually I find once I get moving in one form or another that leads to me being more productive in other areas of my life. Taking action is key!

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