How Do You Improve Work Ethic If You’ve Always Been Lazy?

Can a leopard change its spots? Of course it can, with some body paint. In an article for New York magazine’s The Cut, Alison Green describes how even the laziest person can develop strong work ethic.

To begin with, imagine all of the times you have procrastinated important work—and how many hours you have spent dwelling on the fact that you had uncompleted work waiting for you. Think about how many carefree hours of your life you could have gotten back if you had just done the work right away at your best level of quality! If the prospect of having a generally less stressful life sounds good to you, then this should be a major incentive to develop some work ethic.

If your laziness stems from a sense of being daunted at the scope of hard work, then you are not alone; you are not excused, but you are not alone. To fight back this hopeless feeling, remember that any large task can be divided into smaller, easier tasks. And even those “easier” tasks may not be easy, but they will be at a size you can confidently tackle.

Lastly, when you really do not feel like working on something difficult—work on it for five to 10 minutes anyway. What often ends up happening is that you will become invested in the work in that small amount of time, and before you know it, you will have put in an hour or more of good work. Give it a try.

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