The Lazy Girls Guide Part 1
I’ve created the Lazy Girls Guide to Productivity, because, Let’s face it:
We’re all a little bit lazy.
I’m the first to admit to being a lazy girl…and do you know what? I’m proud!
So, you may be wondering, why I’m choosing to write a blog post about productivity and self-development?
it’s probably for the same reason that you’re here reading my lazy girls guide.
You want to better yourself. Grow. Learn to be more productive. Right?
But you think your laziness is holding you back?
Being lazy doesn’t mean you’re destined for a fruitless, unsuccessful life.
Far from it.
You’ve obviously found your way on to the lazy girls guide to productivity, because of your urge to succeed.
Ultimately, you want to turn your lazy habits into positive, productive habits.
But you know, you can lead a fulfilling, rewarding life and still be a little lazy.
In fact, many of the worlds greatest entrepreneurs are self-confessed lazy people. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
You might think it’s impossible for a lazy person to become an entrepreneur or even just successful at life, but I’m going to show you how.
By reading the lazy girls guide, you’re going to learn how to
- Utilize your lazy habits,
- add NEW habits to tweak your lazy life
- and how to become the best lazy girl entrepreneur/employee/life enjoyer there is!
Why eradicate your laziness when you can use it to your advantage.
Utilize What You Got
So, you want more success, but you still need your rest – right?
Then part 1 of the lazy girls guide to productivity will show you how you can utilize your laziness and still progress in life.
Stop checking your emails
How many emails do you receive a day?
I receive hundreds.
Do you know how many of those are important?
In fact, I’m writing this on Black Friday so my current inbox is STACKED with crap!
If you’ve ever worked in an office you know the best way to get an immediate response from someone is to speak to them directly or call them on the phone.
An email is at the convenience of the receiver.
You, being the receiver have the complete luxury of deciding whether to read, respond or delete the emails you receive.
Stop being a slave to the inbox.
Set a time of day, or even week to check your emails.
If somebody has something important to say, they will call (providing they have your number).
Why not set up an autoresponder email explaining how you’re managing your time/productivity by checking emails during *insert time here* and if contact is urgent then please call *insert number here*.
Productivity GURU Tim Ferris, writer of the 4 hour work week (talk about lazy productivity) is a massive fan of this technique and even shares some of his preferred auto responses on his blog.
- Turn off your email notifications
- Set a time of day to check them
- Don’t let the scrolling of emails distract your day
- Empty your inbox at your designated time
- Set up an autoresponder
- Utilize your lazy
Yes – I’m serious here.
You’ve got to love napping!
And in some countries, like Spain, napping is common practice. And guess what? They have a longer life expectancy than the UK, so they must be doing something right!
Planned a long working day?
Napping is your saving grace.
You really can’t beat a 4 pm “lazy slump” power nap.
Obviously, if you’re working in an office you may struggle here. Unless you have a super cool lazy boss who also likes a good nap.
Power naps not only increase your energy level but they also help improve memory, cognitive skills and creativity. Napping is such a powerful productivity tool that Sara Mednick has even written a book on it!
My top napping tip is: Drink a coffee immediately before a short power nap. The coffee should kick in around waking time – giving you Bonus productivity power. I did this a lot while writing this lazy girls guide.
- Set an alarm, napping too long could disrupt your normal sleep pattern
- Avoid distractions. Phones on silent, please!
- Utilize your lazy
What’s better than napping?
Actually getting the sleep your body deserves and require’s in the first place and feeling completely rested.
Do you remember being a teenager, spending most nights staying up till gone 3 watching films, texting boys and sending song lyrics on MSN messenger?
(it makes me feel old knowing that there’s probably a good chunk of my readers who were too young to know about MSN).
Do you remeber how all those late nights made you feel?
But yet we all did it to ourselves almost every night.
And it didn’t get better when we turned 18. Those nights turned into nightclub nights. With the addition of alcohol preventing sleep even more, we never had a chance.
If this doesn’t sound like you, then fair play, because you’re already in a better position than most of us. Plus, you probably have far less wrinkles and eye bag dramas to deal with.
I don’t know about you, but, now I’m older, I honestly can’t think of anything better than sticking on pyjamas, cosying up on the sofa with a nice warm drink and getting toasty under a chunky knit blanket (or my amazing new honey monster style house coat!).
And it’s not just a nice feeling, getting the amount of sleep your body requires helps to keep your next day’s productivity levels functioning on a high. Going to bed earlier and waking up refreshed can really benefit your efficiency.
- Less sleep? Higher chance of burnouts and other stress-related problems
- Keep a structured routine. Even on weekends you should be waking and going to bed at the same time. This helps your brain and body get into a healthy routine.
- Utilize your lazy
Shorten your to-do list
How much do you have on your to-do list day to day?
I guarantee it’s a lot.
How often have you written out super-long to-do lists, feeling super-productive only to realise that you actually have to do everything that’s written, and you just wasted 20 minutes of that time writing it all out when you could have been doing it?
The most important key to productivity is prioritization.
In order to
“get shit done”
you need to be prioritizing your time appropriately and that doesn’t mean just writing lists.
If you need a to-do list (I know I do) then make sure you only have 3-4 tasks per day on it. Overloading your brain and list with too many “to-dos’s” can lead to complete chaos.
Not only is your mind distracted and floating from task to task, you will feel totally overwhelmed and exhausted.
- 3 to 4 items per list
- Prioritize your to-do lists
- Delegate, delay, delete, do what’s necessary
- Utilize your lazy
Forget what you’ve heard about procrastination because it isn’t all entirely bad.
You may be thinking that procrastination is directly linked to laziness, and sometimes, it is. However, by utilizing your laziness you can use your procrastination time to its full productive benefit.
How often do you sit and scroll Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, all while putting off other important tasks?
I did – a lot.
You should take a step back and discover the mastery of
“avoiding important tasks but getting a whole load of other stuff done instead”.
Today for example, I absolutely smashed all my to-do list.
Because I had a ton of washing up downstairs I was trying to avoid doing…
Now, I’m not saying you have to make a mess in order to get work done – far from it.
But, you know those days, we all have them, when you just can’t focus on what you should be doing, so you tidy the house, bake a million cookies or finally read that book you bought? That’s all procrastination.
In the book The Art of Procrastination: A Guide to Effective Dawdling, Lollygagging and Postponing by John Perry, Perry discusses how procrastinators are skilled at putting things off and how turning that negative trait into a positive one using structured procrastination is key to unlocking your productivity.
It’s all about deceiving yourself and tricking your brain into attacking bitesize chunks of a task, without overwhelming yourself with a mammoth one, which, of course, you’re going to procrastinate from.
Research also suggests that moderate procrastination can boost creativity.
Some works of art, such as the Mona Lisa, take years of work/procrastination cycles, before completion. It actually took Da Vinci 16 years to complete the famous painting.
- Structure your procrastination
- Deceive your to-do list
- Get creative
- Utilize your lazy
The environment you work in has a massive impact on how much you get done. As does how you feel.
You need your workspace to be comfortable.
Some people’s ideal workplaces are super tidy. Others cannot focus working in a pristine workspace. You need to find your balance.
I personally LOVE working in a tidy workspace, in my comfy clothes, hair in a messy updo, with a quick splash of make-up. But, you may prefer something completely different.
Discovering and creating your ideal workspace is all part of the fun. Plus, it will help you get more creative and focused.
As a lazy girl, it’s pretty common for my desk to end up looking a little unkempt, or sometimes I forget to get completely ready, In those cases, I like to schedule time into my structured procrastination to have a quick tidy and shape up.
How comfy do you feel right now?
Professor Alan Hedge discovered when dropping the temperature by 9 degrees workers in an office averaged 74% more typing errors and typed 46% less.
How about your chair?
Hedge also discovered that many office workers prefer to have adjustable workstations so they can alternate between standing and sitting throughout the day – not only are standing desks good for your heart and blood flow – they also benefit your productivity.
- Sit down/stand up – find your comfy
- Discover your perfect working environment
- Keep warm
- Utilize your lazy
Don’t read – Listen
You may love the feel of a real hardback book in your hand, but you cannot fault the benefits of an audiobook.
They are unbelieveably beneficial and a great personal investment.
Sure you could read instead of listening, but do us lazy girls have the time?
Unlike reading, by listening to audiobooks you get to spend more time multitasking other important tasks.
I tend to listen while doing monotonous jobs like chopping vegetables, washing up, tidying up, using the cross trainer (because who even likes cross training).
You could even use your audiobooks as a tool to do more exercise. Getting out the house, headphones in ears, not only are you developing your mind but your body too – quashing two birds with one stone right there.
A tip, that I learnt from Rob Moores Life Leverage was too listen to your audiobooks at double speed. As someone who grew up never really interested in reading, it’s amazing the number of books I’ve currently read/listened to, and it’s all because double speed frees up more listening time.
At first, it’s a little hard to get the jist at double speed, so try notching it up to 1.5. It takes a little getting used to, but after a while, you’ll find it way too slow to listen at normal speed. Once you’re used to it,
notch it up again.
Double speed is so good, That between January and mid-November 2015 Moore managed to listen to 109 books!
If you haven’t already, I 100000% recommend signing up for Audible here. You get the first 30 days completely free and then just £3.99/mo for the first 3 months.
- Double speed your life
- Multi-task like a boss
- Drop the hardbacks and pick up your headphones
- Utilize your lazy
You probably think that working less is counterproductive and definitely not going to help you succeed in life or business, right? But, bear with me here.
Increased efficiency is not a result of longer working hours, but a result of better life/time management.
Parkinson’s law states
“work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”.
Have you ever had a task to do, and a time limit to do it?
Somehow you always manage to get it in,
Just. On. Time!
Well, what if the deadline was 4 hours earlier?
Something tells me the outcome would be the same.
The amount of time you have to perform a task is the amount of time it will take you complete the task.
Extended deadlines and extra “working” time, leads to extra procrastination (and not the good type).
We don’t want to spend all our lives working and we find any way out of it – give us a long deadline – we’ll be less efficient and take it for all it’s worth.
However, Sometimes, it’s not always possible to work less. In cases like this, it’s important, not only for your sanity, but for your physical health too, to ensure you get plenty of breaks throughout the day.
Working from home means my day is split pretty well, and I can always find a reason to escape the desk for a break
In an office?
it can be much harder.
Be the one who gets the coffee’s in, collects the paper from the printer, runs around and helps others. Getting up off your seat and taking a break does wonders for energy levels and helps avoid burnout and exhaustion.
I know, I know, you lazy girls do not want to be running around like those crazy, energy filled “do-gooders”, but have you ever wondered why they have so much energy? It’s because they ARE the ones getting up every 30 – 45 minutes “re-energising” themselves.
- Work fewer hours
- Manage your time
- Take plenty of breaks
- Utilize your lazy
The Lazy Girls Guide Part 2
Extra un-lazy, but lazy tweaked habits to add
So sometimes, you need to include additional habits to your day to ensure you’re working to your full potential. Lazy hacks are great, right? but sometimes life needs a little extra push. That’s where my “Extra un-lazy, but lazy tweaked habits to add” comes in…
Increase blood flow
Yep, you’re right.
This does mean you need to exercise.
You’re probably eye rolling and shouting at your screen right now – I hear you, I’m sorry.
But fear not, adding a bit of exercise doesn’t mean killing yourself in the gym or jumping around the living room trying to keep up with Shaun T.
Sometimes all you need to do is add a little stretching.
Keep your blood flowing and your arteries clear. Youtube is full of helpful home workouts like these, if you’re not ready for the gym.
Don’t like the sound of any cardio or high intensity training?
Do a ten-minute dance in the morning.
you should do that anyway. Dance away, no matter how terrible it is. Dancing is scientifically proven to make you happier and help improve your self-esteem.
So, to keep your mind and body on top form, start moving.
Walk, run, jump, jog, dance – the key is to find something you enjoy
- Dance around the room
- Find your happy place
- Tweak your lazy
Hide your phone
Get rid of it!
I like to keep my phone hidden in one of my desk draws.
When it’s there in front of me, I’m immediately drawn to it.
Do you remember being a teenager and having your parents tell you they would surgically remove it from your hands?
Well it’s a few years later, and I bet you’re still stuck with it there.
Yes it’s a great device.
I’d never slate modern technology.
But for productivity?
You mobile is not your friend.
Whilst you’re right in thinking there are some apps out there that can you help you stay on task and make you more productive, there are many which do the complete opposite. Anyone else aimlessly scroll through feeds of
“what everyone else is doing in their life while I’m stuck in the office”?
- Hide your phone
- Turn it off, put it on silent, or use an app blocker like App Block
- Stop scrolling – Stay Focused
- Tweak your lazy
Goals aren’t just for new year. You can make
- daily goals
- weekly goals
- monthly goals
- hourly goals
- need I go on?
Goal setting is vital to any company, big, small, or starting up.
Without a goal in mind, you literally have nothing to aim for
First off, you need to figure out what you want to achieve.
Then, your why’s.
For example: Why do you want to achieve 20 sales in a day as opposed to 5? Sure, it may be obvious – but get it written on paper. Say it out loud – affirm it.
Ever heard of SMART goals?
SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time bound.
Every goal you set, you should think about these 5 criterias.
Want to learn more about SMART goal setting? And how to get started, Then check out this book by Jacob Gudger.
Just make sure, whatever goals you set, that there’s always an end in sight.
Setting all your goals for 10 years time, will not keep you determined. In fact, it’ll probably make you want to give up and lose track of why you even started.
- Outline your what, then your whys
- Keep the end in sight
- Tweak your lazy
Get in routine
Every single expert business/life coach, will tell you how important having a morning routine is.
I first learnt about the importance of a morning routine after reading Hal Elrod’s Miracle Morning, but since then I’ve learnt about so many other entrepreneurs morning routines. Although they usually have similar themes, each one is different and suited for the individual.
You need to find your own, based on your interest, goals and hobbies. For example, my morning routine consists of:
- A bed coffee (Thank you to my lovely husband)
- A glass of room temperature water (I make it the night before and have it on hand ready for the morning)
- 30 minutes French with Duolingo
- A chapter or more of an inspirational/motivating book (currently reading Niyc Pidgeons Now Is Your Chance)
- Writing – this includes blogging, keeping a gratitude journal, or writing in my BuJo.
I did have exercise and meditation on there too, but I’ve let them take a back seat recently. Though, I 100% believe they are very beneficial tasks to add.
In order to have structure…
You need to have routine.
Once you’ve figured out your goals, organise your routine around them. It really doesn’t take too much effort, and as a lazy girl, I like to tick off most of my routine while still in bed!
- Organise your routine around your goals
- Take inspiration from other successful leaders
- Get started
- Find your rhythm
- Tweak your lazy
Eating right leads to better productivity
And it doesn’t have to be time-consuming – which is perfect for us lazy girls to stay productive.
The first thing I suggest you do, is keep a food diary of the next week or so. Not like a calorie style diary, but a mood diary.
Focus on how the foods you currently eat make you feel.
Do they fill you with life, energy and happiness or do they make you feel heavy, bloated and groggy?
After reading Mel Wells’s Goddess Revolution, I saw the foods I was eating in a completely different light.
Although I loved peanut butter on toast, I realised that was one of the foods making me sleepy and groggy and immediatly cut down.
You may see food as just fuel, but sometimes the foods you eat aren’t fueling your productivity, but are fueling your laziness instead.
Now, I’m not going to go into the all the scientific reasons why your body reacts to different foods, because you don’t need to know that.
What you do need to know, is what YOU and YOUR body want and need. Check your diary and figure out what days/meals made you perform best.
I guarantee it will be from your high veg meals. It’s not called brain food for nothing.
Now you’ve been thinking about your morning routine, why not add a green juice, filled with energy enriching vegetables and fruits. It takes literally seconds to bang it all in a blender and Go.
- Keep track of what you eat and the way it makes you feel
- Eat what your body wants and needs.
- Find quick and convenient healthy foods
- Tweak your lazy
Get a head start
The hardest tweak for us lazy girls.
Waking. Up. Early.
When my husband took on the 4am challenge last year, I thought he was absolutely bonkers.
Little did I know, I’d start joining him.
Now we’ve moved to France, our alarms have fortunately jumped to 6am, but that still keeps us ahead of the usual UK wakers.
Surprisingly, 4 Am was a welcome wake-up. I didn’t do it every day, although maybe I should have in the sake of keeping routine. But, I definitely recommend giving it a go.
By waking up earlier than the rest of the country, you get the chance to have a headstart on the day. Starting your morning productively and early you can get a massive bulk load of work done, before the 3 C’s (customers, clients and colleagues) start hassling and distracting you.
I previously mentioned Hal Elrod and his Miracle Morning. Elrod suggests setting your alarm an hour earlier than you currently do and includes great tips on how to refrain from hitting the snooze button, so it’s really worth checking out.
So that’s it.
My extensive Lazy Girl’s Guide To Productivity.
Hopefully you’ve found enough actionable ways to utilize or tweak your laziness, stay productive and perform at a higher level.
But if you don’t think I’ve given you enough tips, or you want more, I’d love to hear some of your own and hear about your experiences.
Whether you’re a student, business woman, employer or employee – I’d love to get to know you better – drop a comment below, sign up to my newsletter and let’s chat 😀