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Have you ever felt lazy? You know you have things to do but you just can’t be bothered? These may even be important things that will help you achieve what it is you want in life, and yet slumping down on the couch in front of the tv or going back to bed seems so much more enticing. What do you do when you’re in these lazy “funks” as I call them?

Last night, before I went to bed, I made a list of my top priorities for the day and I was really looking forward to waking up and getting through a number of major tasks. Yet what happened this morning? I turned the alarm off and went back to bed for an hour – my excuse? I didn’t have any appointments today and I deserve the rest because I’ve been training so hard. Regardless of whether that was true or not, what happened after I woke up was even more interesting – I just felt completely lazy. It was almost as if I was more tired after several hours sleep than before I went to bed. This has happened to me countless times before and I’ve come to the conclusion that our feelings of laziness and boredom are two of our biggest barriers to increased productivity and ultimately achieving our goals. So what do you do when you get in this lazy funk? Below are ten tips, in no particular order for what has worked for me in the past.

How to Instantly Overcome Your Laziness

1. Move Your Body:

When I’m feeling lazy, generally I can’t be bothered to move or get off the couch. So make yourself move. What are some options?

  • Get up and go for a walk. Sometimes, getting some fresh air and light exercise can be just the tonic to recharge yourself.
  • Do some form of exercise, where you are. Sometimes some pushups or situps can be great to get the blood flowing again.
  • Bounce. Jump up and down lightly on the balls of your feet and then start moving around like a boxer. This starts the heart pumping and gets me feeling like I can get going again.
  • Do something that involves next to no mind power. This is often the easiest for me because when I’m really stuck in my lazy funk, I cannot be bothered going for a walk or doing some exercise. So I’ll go and tidy up my desk or file some papers. One of the best things for me (and I know this sounds strange) is ironing. Yes, I’ll go and iron a few shirts. Why? Because, again it get my body moving and after a few minutes, I find myself wondering why I’m spending my time ironing when I could be doing something far more productive. And then I can start being productive again. The side benefit of this is my shirts get ironed when I am at my most unproductive and it ends up being the best use of my time.


2. Shower:

  • Just like with the ironing above, I’m guesssing you’re at home when you’re in this lazy funk. And a shower can be just the tonic. A cold shower might be ideal but I’m quite happy having a hot shower. I always feel refreshed and then I’m able to get stuff done.
  • Ok, if you can’t shower, sometimes just go and throw some water on your face. I can’t tell you how many times that’s helped me when I’m in the midst of doing something challenging. It takes 30 seconds but is an absolute pick me up.


3. Read Something Inspirational: I have a number of autobiographies that I can pick up at any time. Generally, just a few minutes reading how it was someone’s commitment to their dreams that got them to where they are in life is enough to jolt me.

4. Review Your Goals: This can be done in multiple ways, depending on how you are feeling and your personality.

  • Review your annual goals. This is where you see yourself at the end of the year and they should be inspiring to you. If not, then you may want to re-evaluate your goals.
  • Review your daily or weekly goals. For me, this sometimes works better than my annual goals purely because the end of the year can sometimes seem so far away. However, a week is not so far and I know that if I don’t do what I had scheduled today, my entire week is going to be behind schedule, which will mean that I’m going to struggle to achieve what I want for the month. Again, that snaps me out of my lazy funk.


5. Look at the Consequences of NOT doing what you said you would:

  • In the past there have been several times when I’d prefer to do nothing, or something unproductive, rather than being positive and moving forwards. So now, I look at the consequences. In other words, what will happen if I don’t go to the gym today? That’ll mean that I’m behind on my work out schedule for the week. And if I keep doing this for a few weeks, I’m going to be well and truly behind and instead of having the physique that I want, I’m going to end up being fat! That’s all the trigger I need to grab my gym bag and head over to the gym. So sometimes, thinking of the negative consequence of not doing what you said you would do (and allowing yourself a little creative licence :-)) can be really beneficial.

6. Pick up the phone and call someone:

Note I said “pick up the phone” not email someone. The very act of talking to someone gets us breathing differently and forces us to think differently. Now, you don’t need to call someone to tell them you’re feeling lazy and get them to kick your butt for it (although that can sometimes help). Instead just have a short conversation – it’s going to make you think and after a few minutes, you’ll find yourself feeling a lot better. I’m not advocating that you waste someone else’s time so be judicious with how you use this one, but it can be a great “state changer”. If you’re in the office, perhaps walk over to a colleague who you need to talk to about something and have the conversation then.

7. Take Some Deep Breaths:

One of my offices overlooks the water and another overlooks some great park land. So if I’m ever feeling in a bit of funk, I’ll go outside and take 10 deep breaths. This gets the oxygen flowing and I’ll always feel better after this one. Sometimes, even a little tingly from the extra oxygen. Now, there used to be a time when I worked right in the heart of the city where it was a concrete jungle – there was only traffic and buildings around me. During those times, I’d go for a short walk and take some deep breaths, in other words, I’d combine #1 and #7 and that would do the trick for me.

8. Go and do something fun:

Use the time when you’re feeling bored and lazy to inject some fun into your life. What that is for you I don’t know. However, lots of I.T. companies for example such as Google have installed video games and the like which staff can play for a short while. The excitment and adrenalin hit gets people out of their “lazy” funk and motivated to get productive again.

9. Listen to Music:

This is one of my personal favourites – I love music and listening to it on my ipod or via the computer speakers gets me bopping along to the music. Just one or two songs, which is less than 10 minutes total, is enough to snap me out of my laziness.
A side note: If you’re someone who loves to dance as well, and you’re able to, then have some fun and dance to the music. This combines #1 with #9 and can quickly get you out of your lazy state of mind. Just between you and me, this is something I’ll do quite often. Of course, I’m in my home office when I do this :-)

10. Visualise and Dream:

Often, when I’m feeling lazy and in a funk, it’s because I’m focusing on how “difficult” things are, or how much work I have to do, or something else that is completely of no use to me whatsoever. So instead, I’ll sometimes just sit somewhere and dream. I’ll visualise my goals and dreams, what I want to achieve, who I’ll contribute to, what my family and friends will say when I have achieved my goals, what my body will look like when I am in perfect shape for the triathlon I committed to, how driving in my dream car would feel, or whatever the dream is. (I can feel the motivation and excitment rise from within me, just as I write these things down). So think about what it is that you want. Once you get clear on that, doing what you need to do today will seem quite easy because now you’re focusing on your dream and not the difficulty of the tasks.

So they are my top ten tips on how to get out of a lazy funk. Just out of interest, how did I get out of my lazy funk today? I used #3 (Read something inspirational), #2 (I had a shower),  #5 (I looked at the consequences of not doing what I needed to today) and #10 (I visualised what I’m heading towards this year). As you can probably tell, I was really in a funk so I had to use 4 of these tips in combination to get myself moving, but it did the trick and I’m on my way to  having an exceptionally productive day today.

Now, having reviewed what works, I also thought I’d provide a short list of things I have done in the past that don’t work.

Here are some things NOT to do to snap out out of a lazy funk:

1. Go and sleep for a short while:

If you’re feeling lazy, taking a short nap might seem like a great thing to do. What I’ve often found is that when I want to have a 20 minute nap, I end up sleeping for nearly 2 hours. Then, I generally need a pick me up of some nature to get me going. So sure this strategy might work eventually, but I’ve found it’ll end up wasting almost 3 hours. Now, I’m presuming you are getting enough sleep already and we just want to snap out of our lazy “funk”. So when that’s the case, resist the temptation to sleep. Instead, do the exact opposite. Move your body and you’ll find that very quickly, you’ll be re-energised and ready to go again .

2. Go get a sugar hit:

I know this is against popular opinion and might be controversial. However, think about what happens when you do have a sugar hit. You get a spike of energy which lasts a short time, and then your energy sinks back down. I know for me, after a short while, I feel like I have even less energy than before I had my sugar hit. So then what did I do in the past? I’d go and get more sugar. Ok, so I’d get through my day but the impact on my health, fitness and energy levels was terrible. Also I found that my ”mind power” (for lack of a better phrase) was far less. I could not concentrate as much, I was unable to think clearly and I could not think through problems as well. So, this is something I try not to do anymore. I now realise that I don’t need to put any external stimulants into my body to get me out of a funk, especially when there are so many better options available.

A side note: There are still times when I’ll relent and have something sugary. I know it’s not going to be good for me, yet I do it anyway. Thankfully, the number of times I succumb to weakness is now very few (it’s probably now about once in two weeks at the most) and I focus more on the alternatives.

3. Take a “break” in front of the television:

How often, after you have spent a while in front of the tv channel surfing, have you felt more tired than before you sat down to watch tv in the first place? I know that in the past when I’m was working or studying from home, I’d convince myself I needed a short break and plonk myself in front of the television for what was supposed to be about 20 minutes. You can guess what happened – 20 minutes quickly became 2 hours! So not a great use of time at all.

So there you have it: My top ten tips of how to get yourself out of a lazy funk and 3 temptations to say away from. Remember, the key to personal leadership is to be able to perform at your best whenever you need to… not just when you feel like it. However, you need to have the right strategies in place and I hope these help. This list is not exhaustive by any means so please let me know in the comments box below if you have any strategies you believe could work well for snapping yourself out of a lazy funk.


“How You Spend Your Time Defines Who You Are” Oprah Winfrey


If you liked this article, please share it on LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook. I’d appreciate it. :-) And finally… if you feel these tips can help you overcome your laziness and you now want to know how to increase your productivity, then check out my blog post “How To Increase Your Productivity – 15 Tips To Reduce Stress and Have More Peace Of Mind”

Until next time,

To your success,


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68 Comments to this post:

  • October 11th, 2009 | 11:52 am

    Awesome tips Niro. The 2 top methods for me are physical activity and keeping my goals in front of me. I try to run 2-3 miles and I perform AVM = Affirmations, Visualization, and Meditation. All Day Long :)


  • Niro Says:
    October 11th, 2009 | 02:45 pm

    Brilliant Ryan. I’m so glad this was valuable to you. I love the daily AVM as well.

    All the best,


  • Marie Ang Says:
    October 12th, 2009 | 09:26 am

    Personally, I will do some gardening although I do not have a garden but have a few indoor plants! I find that when I do some trimming or watering or at times repotting the plants, it is as though I have been productive and after that energy boost, I can then proceed to the next project…

  • Niro Says:
    October 12th, 2009 | 12:50 pm

    Hi Marie, that’s awesome. Often it does not matter what we do as long we get up and do something! That’s all we need to get the energy flowing again so that we can be productive once more. Thank you for sharing.


  • Frandi Says:
    October 20th, 2009 | 04:58 pm

    Thanks for sharing, Nero. I’m often attacked by this dangerous desease called Laziness lately. Can’t wait to implement your tips ^^

  • October 20th, 2009 | 04:58 pm

    Nice :)

    I like sugar hits :P
    Maybe my motivations are little different to the topic here though…

    Listening to music has been a good one to get me up and about, especially when it comes to do house chores ;)

  • Niro Says:
    October 20th, 2009 | 05:01 pm

    LOL.. nice one Nicholas. Music often works for me too! Thanks for sharing,

    Cheers, Niro

  • Niro Says:
    October 20th, 2009 | 05:02 pm

    Excellent Frandi, good luck with it. Let me know how you go. Cheers, Niro

  • February 6th, 2010 | 02:03 am

    during a recent little funk, i chose to listen to some real Music, soul, blues,jazz etc , becoming so Focused in hearing it live, this then Motivated me to book a holiday to new orleans to be taken immediately. Now that it is booked, my Goal is to work successfully again on my return, to afford myself these short notice indulgencies.

  • Niro Says:
    February 6th, 2010 | 10:06 am

    Hi Liz, thank you for sharing – that’s an inspirational story!! Awesome!,

    Cheers, Niro

  • edda Says:
    October 7th, 2010 | 12:44 pm

    Hi Niro,,,, i use to be excellent in all task i do…but lately i become too lazy that now i am suffering the consequences of it…. i am now starting motivating myself again…. thanks for all the tips…. keep it up….

  • Niro Says:
    October 26th, 2010 | 02:59 pm

    Hi Edda, I’m glad you found the tips useful. Start using them and you’ll be amazed by how much more productive you are.

  • CHANEL Says:
    January 29th, 2011 | 05:29 am

    Hi Niro,

    I really appreciate the article I am currently in a “lazy funk” myself and made myself take notes as I read to do something. It is funny because I did #2 before I even got online and it worked. Now im about to get up and go to the gym and work out some to feel better so I can finish this paper that I have to do.

    Thank again,
    Chanel :)

  • Niro Says:
    February 1st, 2011 | 04:30 pm

    Hi Chanel,

    I’m really glad this article helped. Hope you can snap out of your “lazy funk” and go forwards with power.

    All the best,


  • Rebecca Says:
    April 13th, 2011 | 06:19 am

    Thanks Niro!

    Reading this list, I just know it’s great advice. It’s back to the basics.

    I have been doing all the things on the bottom list of what not to do. The biggest downer for me is thinking of all that I have to do.

    When my kids say something is too hard, usually picking up a mess, I tell them to just pick up one thing. They pick up that one thing without argument, because it’s so easy. Then I tell them to pick up one more. After a few they are actually happy to run around the room cleaning up and finish with a big, “I did it!”
    I guess I need to do that with myself. #1, #7, and #9…and just tackle one thing at first, without worrying about what is next after that. Then I know the momentum will pick me up.

    I can mop that floor! I can do it!

    - Rebecca

  • Niro Says:
    April 15th, 2011 | 03:22 pm

    Hi Rebecca,

    Sometimes you just need to be reminded of what you already know.

    Follow the same philosophy that you teach your kids… and you’ll feel better for it as well.

    All the best,


  • Mark Says:
    August 17th, 2011 | 07:56 am

    Hey Niro, awesome tips, thx. It’s 11:50PM and I’m buggered and trying to get out of a “funk”. So I’m here, just in time to get the “Don’t go for a short nap!” I reckon it’s spot on. I’ve done everything else except 1,2 & 6. Time for a few push ups and a splash of water. Just thinking of doing push ups seems to already do the trick :)

  • Niro Says:
    February 9th, 2012 | 03:50 pm

    Awesome Mark!

  • Niro Says:
    February 9th, 2012 | 03:51 pm

    Brilliant Rebecca. Starting with one thing can get the momentum flowing… and pretty soon you’ll be amazed at how much you can get done. And you might even wonder why on earth you were feeling so overwhelmed in the first place :-)

  • Sarah Says:
    May 7th, 2012 | 09:42 am

    Unfortunately I am extremely lazy. I know all this stuff but I still wont get up and do it. I have IBS-C so I’m scared to go walking because I’ve suffered serious pain that I’ve collapsed while being out for a walk but at the same time that walking is probably the best thing to get everything working properly. I’ve recently lost 9kgs just by changing food (no exercise) and now stopped. And as much as I want to lost the rest of the weight (16kgs) I can’t get myself to exercise to do the rest. No matter how much I want to, at the same time I can’t. I’m a member on MyFitnessPal.com and that helped for a week or two, was up and exercising everyday. Then I “got over it”. Even when I return to MFP in the hopes that having all these people around me exercising would motivate me, it doesn’t.

  • b.s.lavanya Says:
    June 29th, 2012 | 08:39 pm

    grea suggestions thanks alot

  • malavika Says:
    July 19th, 2012 | 03:23 am

    its really usefull, and helped me to overcome frm the lasiness
    and i understood frm the above that only i can change my attitude, not by other person.
    only i can create positiv energy in my soul

  • Niro Says:
    July 27th, 2012 | 06:10 am

    Well said Malavika!

  • William Says:
    August 11th, 2012 | 11:35 pm

    Hi, thank you so much for your article. I started doing some running this morning after 2 years without exercising. I started by just putting my running shoes on. Once I was outside, the good feeling of exercising just came back to me. It felt good. Thank you so much Niro.

  • Niro Says:
    August 22nd, 2012 | 07:42 pm

    Awesome William!

  • Ved Says:
    August 23rd, 2012 | 03:02 pm

    Its really usefull, Thanks for sharing :)

  • Niro Says:
    August 28th, 2012 | 09:56 am

    Glad you enjoyed the post Ved

  • Pooja Says:
    August 28th, 2012 | 06:27 pm

    this was great article. It stikes the right cord and exactly how i feel….liked every tip specially visualise and dream, Consequences of not doing and reviewing your goals :)
    Thnx for sharing

  • Niro Says:
    September 12th, 2012 | 06:22 pm

    Pooja, I’m glad you enjoyed the post. Keep making small steps towards your goals… and in a very short time you’ll be amazed at how much you would have achieved. Thanks, Niro

  • David Says:
    September 17th, 2012 | 09:53 am

    Thanks Niro! You really helped me out! I’m kind of a really lazy person but your article really entuthiasted me to move forward! especially with school projects! it makes me do them a week in advance!

    I really appreciated it Niro!

  • Niro Says:
    September 25th, 2012 | 06:01 pm

    That’s awesome David! Keep it up!

  • aniket rajput Says:
    October 21st, 2012 | 05:32 pm

    hey niro….
    thnx.. for sharing this….
    relly its very useful for me to overcome my laziness……
    and from now onwards , i m goin dis to tell my frnds nd family also…nd earn their respect in free fund… :p

    u mention about fun…
    wanna tell u that i use to do some mimicry to entertain others… nd making fun….:D

  • brian Says:
    November 14th, 2012 | 09:38 am

    Really good tips, however I feel the internet is one of the biggest distractions for young adults and teenagers. So when you asked to share this article on Facebook and other sites, I found that slightly amusing.

  • Myxx Says:
    December 28th, 2012 | 04:27 am

    I sometimes get my ass off and go sing into a mirror infront of th mirror with some earphones banging the best jams out there…thn wen am psyked i take a shower,some friuts…i go out for a walk thn i get down to business:-)

  • Niro Says:
    January 3rd, 2013 | 04:33 pm


  • Malik Hitzler Says:
    January 9th, 2013 | 10:15 pm

    Thank you for another great post.

  • natalie Says:
    January 18th, 2013 | 05:30 am

    how can i get others to stop saying rude things to me i am really trying to change but no one seems to relize. they still call me lazy and to get on with my life

  • Niro Says:
    January 21st, 2013 | 01:01 pm

    Natalie, I know it can get you down. The best thing to do is to ignore them and go about your own business. After a little time, when you and others can see the results of your changes, they will stop being rude… and start asking you how you did it. And that feels great!

    Good luck – and stick with it,


  • robert Says:
    February 27th, 2013 | 03:50 pm

    hi Niro ur tips are fantastic

  • robert Says:
    February 27th, 2013 | 03:53 pm

    how to do justice for many tasks in short span of time plese tell me brother.

    robert from India

  • Uzma Says:
    March 18th, 2013 | 10:08 am

    Thank u very much Niro.This s a wonderful post.I m gonna act upon it. Its very hard for me as I am a very lazy person but still I m gonna try :)

  • Niro Says:
    March 21st, 2013 | 05:56 am

    That’s fantastic Uzma. I wish you all the best. Niro

  • Niro Says:
    March 21st, 2013 | 06:00 am

    Thanks Robert

  • Niro Says:
    March 21st, 2013 | 06:01 am

    Robert, check out my post on how to increase your productivity I hope that helps? Thanks, Niro

  • Katie Says:
    March 27th, 2013 | 09:24 am

    I liked your article a lot!! I’m rubbish at doing housework and this is really motivating!! However, it doesn’t work on the kids!! Any ideas?? Thanks

  • Rahila Says:
    April 4th, 2013 | 10:09 am

    This post really put a lot of things in perspective. I’ve become so lazy and unhealthy that it is effecting my school work. Thus failing is making me angry. So great! Now not only am I lazy but now I’m angry too! anyhow I digress. Thanks Niro!

  • Niro Says:
    April 13th, 2013 | 12:20 pm

    My pleasure Rahila. I’m glad this helped.

  • Niro Says:
    April 13th, 2013 | 12:22 pm

    Katie, glad they helped you. Kids however are a completely different ball game. Not my area of expertise I’m afraid. All the best!

  • S C Sharma Says:
    May 10th, 2013 | 12:47 am

    Thanks Niro for such useful and productive tips……..I learned so much from this Article …….Once again Thanks

  • Niro Says:
    May 22nd, 2013 | 06:43 am

    My absolute pleasure!

  • Sarah Says:
    June 26th, 2013 | 05:36 am

    Tnx Niro.. It really is a great article.. this part “Here are some things NOT to do to snap out out of a lazy funk” was really awesome !! Tnx 4 the positive energy u r sharin’ with other ppl :)

  • Naren Says:
    July 3rd, 2013 | 07:06 am

    this’s exactly true. Good experience of having an issue n also the process of overcoming n the best of it to tell us all. Of course the time to publish this was productive. Thank u bro

  • Niro Says:
    July 16th, 2013 | 03:51 pm

    Glad you liked the article Sarah

  • Niro Says:
    July 16th, 2013 | 03:52 pm

    Hope it helps Naren. Cheers, Niro

  • Niro Says:
    July 29th, 2013 | 02:17 pm

    Good luck Grace!

  • Curtis maxwell Says:
    September 20th, 2013 | 10:48 pm

    Great article!

  • Niro Says:
    October 3rd, 2013 | 06:31 pm

    Thanks Curtis

  • gowtham Says:
    February 14th, 2014 | 05:59 am

    hi niro,
    wonderful tips..
    my surroundings have made me a guy with a lot of self confidence until i became a victim of laziness… it does make me guilty wen i dont do wat i am supposed to do..wat u said r real,practical suggestions :-D..thanx a lot

  • Niro Says:
    February 18th, 2014 | 11:44 am

    Make your life something to be proud of Gowtham! I’m glad you enjoyed the tips

  • Cia Says:
    February 23rd, 2014 | 05:03 am

    I’m feeling so unmotivated and overwhelmed with everything I need to do. I’m going to follow everything on this list to meet my Tuesday deadline and let you know how it works out. So far I’m hopeful!

  • Alister Says:
    February 25th, 2014 | 04:13 am

    Thanks it inspired me to come out of my funk…

  • Niro Says:
    February 25th, 2014 | 09:22 am

    That’s awesome Alister!

  • Niro Says:
    February 25th, 2014 | 09:23 am

    Good luck Cia! I’d love to hear how you go! Having a deadline and a consequence for not achieving the deadline is a great way to motivate yourself!

  • Bobby Says:
    March 3rd, 2014 | 03:07 pm

    sometimes I just need to get up and slap a bystander in the face, it wakes me up from being lazy and most of the time wakes them up a bit too.

  • Niro Says:
    March 3rd, 2014 | 04:21 pm

    LOL… let me know how that goes Bobby! Of course, you could always just ask a bystander to slap you in the face. Should work just as well… without the collateral damage ;-)

  • Dawn Says:
    March 15th, 2014 | 07:19 am

    I should probably do something, anything, above since I literally googled “I can’t get off the couch” which is how I ended up here. Thanks, and happy to know I’m not alone. Because for sure there’s no time to waste heaping self hate and guilt on top of everything! So I’ll take that as practicing a productive awareness (which is exhausting!) and then physically get up in about maybe 30 minutes… ;)

  • Delilah Says:
    May 1st, 2014 | 06:26 am

    I really do love your tips!

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