Failure · New Hobbies · Reflection

Let’s Start At The Very Beginning (Or How To Motivate The Laziest Person On Earth)

The Problem:

I am the laziest person I have ever met. I’m not lazy in a super obvious way. (In my professional iteration, I like to think I’m a hardworking, high-value employee who produces good quality work very efficiently. Mostly because they pay me and keeping busy means the days go by faster.) Instead, I’m lazy in an “I’d like to read my book but I left it downstairs and I don’t want to go get it so I’ll just stay here and stare at my phone” sort of way.

Me when I know I’m supposed to do something productive.

When you reflect on this sort of thinking, it’s a ridiculously self-defeating concept. The only person who benefits from me reading a book or knitting a blanket or emptying the dishwasher is me (and Adam too, I guess). For me personally, I know that this actually stems from a natural inclination for efficiency that I can’t escape. For as long as I can remember, my brain has been wired to constantly assess every situation for the most efficient option. Even in situations where efficiency is completely irrelevant. (I’ve literally contemplated the most efficient way to move cards while playing solitaire ON THE COMPUTER. This could probably be classified as an illness.)

Since I can’t escape this type of thinking without conscious effort, I fall into the same trap during my free time. According the little voice in my head, walking down the stairs just to get a book is an inefficient task if that’s the only thing I’m doing downstairs. I might as well wait until I’m downstairs doing something else (laundry, watching netflix, etc) and grab the book then. This, of course, mean that I never remember to get my book and it takes me month to finish books I like.

The Solution:

My solution for this is a routine. Historically, when I get it into my head that I HAVE to do something, even if it’s a self-imposed obligation, I’m much more likely to commit consistently. (I have yet to be able to apply this logic to folding laundry but it does seem to work for most things in my life. Plus if I leave the clothes in the basket long enough, the laundry elf will sometimes come and fold them for me! He does tend to get pretty cranky when I use this method though.) It sounds silly, but I actually forget what it was I wanted to do by the time I get home from work.

The dreaded laundry monster. These are clean and have been sitting here since at least Thanksgiving.
The dreaded laundry monster. These are clean and have been sitting here since at least Thanksgiving.

So I made a list of all the things I’m going to do every night before I settle in for the evening. The current schedule for my new evening routine is:

  1. Walk on the treadmill/outside until I reach my step goal.
  2. Do my bodbot app daily exercises.
  3. Practice the flute.
  4. Whatever I want to do.
  5. Read for 30 minutes before bed.

I made this list about 2 weeks ago and was super motivated to implement it immediately, so naturally I have adhered to this routine exactly zero times. (I’ve been busy! These blogs don’t write themselves. Also sometimes there’s a cat sitting on my lap and I can’t possibly disturb them by getting up.)

Outcome:

Changing almost 30 years of lazy habits is no small task, so I guess I can’t be surprised that not everything is going to work out immediately. In fact, past experience has taught me that trying to change too much all at once is the fastest path to burn out and failure so maybe this is for the best. I still have every intention of developing this routine and I know it’ll help when I do. In the meantime, it’s been almost 3 weeks since I last watched Netflix so I guess we’ll just focus on the small victories for now.

(Side note: Bonus points to anyone who recognized the Sound of Music reference in the title! I was a musical theatre nerd in high school. It never really leaves you.)

 

 

2 thoughts on “Let’s Start At The Very Beginning (Or How To Motivate The Laziest Person On Earth)

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