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Have you ever seen a post and quickly scanned to the end to decide whether or not you should read or skip it?

Again, have you ever seen a news headline and without clicking to read more about the story, quickly summarized the story in your head?

Finally, have you ever avoided engaging in an activity or task simply because it will require you to think or study?


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If you answered in the affirmative to any or all of the questions above, you may not be aware but you are simply showing signs of mental laziness. People with mental laziness always turn away from activities and tasks that appear to be mentally taxing such as reading a book and holding an intelligent conversation. They would rather choose other activities or tasks that they believe are mentally relaxing such as sleeping, seeing a movie, or even just scrolling aimlessly through social media.

What Is Mental Laziness?

Mental Laziness is the art of intentionally avoiding activities that demand great use of the mind or that requires deep thinking. Just like the widely known term ‘laziness’, which refers to the unwillingness to engage yourself in work, mental laziness is the unwillingness to engage in mental activities.

Mental laziness is a form of laziness that affects people across various age groups – young and old alike. However, with the advancement in technology, a greater percentage of the mentally lazy people are young men and women between the ages of 15 and 35 and it manifests in various ways such as:

  • Short attention span
  • Zero inclination to study or think
  • Choosing the path of less or no resistance
  • Dependence on others to think for you

How You Can Overcome Mental Laziness

Don’t Be Motivated, Be Disciplined

If you rely 100% on motivation to get the things you need to do done, then you will find out that you are often falling back on so many. This is because you cannot always be motivated to act.


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You cannot always be motivated to do the right work. So you need discipline. Discipline is about doing what needs to be done, not because you are motivated or because you feel like it, but because it is what needs to be done.

You may have heard that an average CEO in the US reads at least one book every week. Now, they do that not because they have all the time to do it or because they are always motivated to do it, no. They do it because they realize that for them to remain relevant in what they do, they have to stay mentally sound and reading is one way to ensure you remain mentally sound.

Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness refers to the ability to be fully aware of the things going on within and around you at any given time. It is paying attention to yourself in the environment. That is, to pay attention to your thoughts, moods, emotions, feelings, the environment and how you are reacting to it.

Set Ambitious Goals And Follow Through With Them

Setting goals help push us to raise our game and get things done to achieve the goals we have set.


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To help you overcome your mental laziness, you can incorporate goal-setting into your approaches. Set goals for yourself at what level you want to be operating mentally.

Practice The 5-Second Rule

The 5-second rule is a technique developed by Mel Robbins in her book of the same title. It is a technique to help you break your chain of thoughts and help you propel yourself to act. The technique follows after the countdown approach of rocket launch where before a rocket is launched there is a countdown from 5 to 1 and then it is shot off. She suggests that whenever you don’t feel like getting things done you need to do, you should count down from 5 to 1 and then get straight to what you need to do at the count of 1.

Stay Healthy

Some traces of mental laziness have their roots in the general healthiness of an individual. Work on keeping yourself healthy. Eat healthy foods and take in water every day. Exercise regularly and give your body enough rest.

Closing Thoughts

You can overcome mental laziness. All you need is to engage in the right activities that will you’re your mind and not dull it. I will leave you with this advice from the Rich Dad, “Proper physical exercise increases your chances of health, and proper mental exercise increases your chances for wealth. Laziness decreases both health and wealth.”

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This article was first published on 20th May 2022

victor-ifegwu-mbonu

Ifegwu-Mbonu Victor is a Personal Growth and Leadership Trainer who provides training and coaching to individuals and organizations.


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