Stop Being Lazy: 17 Lifehacks for Beating Chronic Laziness

By Jonathan Roseland

I'm not a doctor, medical professional, or trained therapist. I'm a researcher and pragmatic biohacking practitioner exercising free speech to share evidence as I find it. I make no claims. Please practice skepticism and rational critical thinkingYou should consult a professional about any serious decisions that you might make about your health. Affiliate links in this article support Limitless Mindset - spend over $150 and you'll be eligible to join the Limitless Mindset Secret Society.

2022 Update: Laziness is a symptom of a fundamental lack of willpower. Willpower isn't a very sexy subject (although I tried to make it one...) but willpower is the ultimate lifehack because if you have willpower you get to have anything else you desire.

  • If you don't have willpower, you probably don't realize how important it is to your happiness.
  • If you don't have willpower, you won't practice the hard habits you need to practice to acquire more willpower.
  • If you don't have willpower, you'll continually fail to meet your goals and you'll live a life of quiet desperation.
  • If you don't have willpower, you can't get it by reading self-help books or listening to inspiring podcasts. Sorry!

Smart drugs give you willpowerFast. 30-60 minutes after consumption the Nootropic agents will cross your blood-brain barrier boosting the neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine, and acetylcholine which will noticeably improve your self-control for 4-6 hours.
After trying over 200 different smart drugs, I found one that I call the Discipline Molecule; more than any other Nootropic I've tried, I just do 100% of what I know I should be doing when I'm on this drugClick here to get a detailed report on this smart drug and some infotaining videos analyzing what human studies are saying about the Discipline Molecule.

I think that the human capacity for invention, creativity, collaboration, and generosity multiplied by the steep growth curves in technology have a real chance in the next 50 years of eradicating poverty, war, hunger, disease, environmental issues, lack of education, even aging, and death.

There's also a good chance that 50 years from now, we will have all the same problems multiplied by another two billion humans. The greatest variable in this is laziness and indifference. As much as human beings are creative and inventive we have a boundless capacity for laziness and indifference. If we can overcome these flaws in our psychology 50 years from now we will see these demons vanquished from the world.

By the end of this article...

Laziness is a complicated problem that we face as individuals. This article will present actionable solutions for beating laziness in yourself and minimizing it in the organizations and communities to which you contribute. These solutions will go way beyond the generic platitudes about hard work, motivation, and laziness.

A quick story...

I've been brain training with software (which is BORING) for over +3 months without missing a single day and I'm going on 114 days of doing push-ups, also without missing a single day. Naturally, I'm the kind of ADHD personality that gets passionate about something and works hard on it for about two weeks. At the same time, I'm highly stimulus-driven; I've been addicted to everything from video games and science fiction TV series to nightclubbing.

Suffice it to say it's really out of the norm for me to be this consistent with something as boring and hard as brain training and pushups. Why? What is the source of this uncommon discipline? It's a direct result of employing a few of the lifehacks below...

Evolutionairy Psychology lazinessThe Problem: Evolution has programmed us (really all animals) for laziness.  There's no evolutionary advantage to spending biological resources when you don't have to. The vast field of study of the mind, Neuroscience, has concluded that we are Cognitive Misers; meaning that we take the cognitive path of least resistance to make decisions. For example: Try to answer this question within 30 seconds without looking at the answer below... 

A bat and a ball cost a dollar and ten cents. The bat costs a dollar more than the ball. How much does the ball cost?

Most people answer this question in a moment: The ball must cost 10 cents, but this answer is, in fact, a mental shortcut around actually doing the math.
The correct answer is:
Bat $1.05
Ball $.05
Total: $1.10

If you are like me, you actually had to see this written out before understanding why the ball must cost 5 cents. This is because our minds try to take the easy route, solving problems with language as opposed to mathematics.

This same basic mechanism is responsible for the laziness we see in people; being overweight from lack of exercise, couch potatoes who spend the little free time they have watching TV at every opportunity, those who refuse to work and chronically take advantage of the welfare system, etc. You do not have to look hard to find profound laziness costing significant amounts of time, money, and resources around you.


We are exceedingly lucky to live in a time when the science of biology has quantified the factors that determine the degree of self-control we have and practice. The #Lifehacking Self Control video series will present some cutting-edge biohacking techniques, technologies, and even drugs for mastering the self. Equally important, you'll learn some rare philosophical mindsets for significantly increasing your willpower, focus, and ability to resist addictive behaviors.

Solutions to beat laziness

Smart drugs

One of the most consistent ways to eradicate laziness from your day, all day is Smart Drugs or Nootropics. People on these brainpower supplements frequently report that they get their entire To-Do list done and then make another To-Do list. It's next to impossible to zone out, mope around, or dilly-dally while your brain is buzzing off Nootropics. Their mechanisms of action vary...

  • Piracetam3dMany Nootropics boost the two feel-good neurotransmitters; Serotonin and Dopamine.
  • The Choline family of Nootropics increases the production of Acetylcholine, another important Neurotransmitter that amongst other things is the chemical communicator between your muscles and brain stem.
  • Nootropics vasodilate (make wider) the blood veins that channel blood and oxygen to your brain.

A moderate dosage of Nootropics will kick in after about 15 minutes and last anywhere from 2-6 hours. Are Nootropics safe? Most Nootropics come from natural sources and are concentrations of what you find in the highest quality organic foods. The Godfather of Nootropics, Piracetam, has been around for over 40 years and has undergone long-term studies that have shown nothing but highly beneficial effects. Nootropics start at about $40 monthly, check out the Limitless Mindset Marketplace of brain power supplements.

To-Do list the smart way (Evernote)

A lot of laziness or lack of productivity is because of the poor organization of To-Do lists and ineffective project management systems. How many times have you heard someone complain about not getting things done because...

  • They lost their To-Do note for a task
  • Their To-Do list is already too long and intimidating
Category: Apps & Software

For today's technology-empowered individual, the best free tool available is Evernote, a cross-platform note-taking application for iPhone, Android, Mac, and Windows.evernote

  • Evernote allows a myriad of note categorization and tagging (cross-referencing) options.
  • Set reminders and due dates for tasks or mark specific tasks to be done today.
  • Your notes are synced to the cloud so you never again have to worry about losing your To-Do list because of a lost phone, crashed hard drive, misplaced day planner, or act of God.
  • Multimedia notes; Evernote allows you to take voice notes (or transcription of those voice notes), take photo or video notes, or attach any kind of file to a note.
  • Synchronization; notes sync over Wi-Fi or data connection; across your computer, smartphone, tablet, and web browser. The synchronization works well.
  • Web browser clipper, in the digital age one of the greatest factors in laziness is being distracted by cool things on the Internet. The Evernote Web Clipper solves this problem for me; anytime I see something I want to check out online but I'm in the middle of a task, I simply clip the page or content to Evernote for reviewing later. It's also my favorite tool for reading more and procrastinating less.
  • If you are old school and prefer to do your notes and to-do lists with pen and paper that's no problem. Assuming you have decent handwriting, just take a picture of your handwritten notes with your smartphone's camera and Evernote's software will intelligently transcribe it into a digital note. Pretty cool...
  • Did I mention that it's free?

Social engineer YOURSELF for daily motivation with

Coach.meForbes said that " App Is Probably The Most Affordable Self-Help Product Ever Created" and I agree! takes all the features that make social media so addictive and distracting and instead puts them to work as motivational tools so you follow through on your winning habits daily.

How it works:

  • With a single click you 'checkin' to habits as you complete them daily.
  • Add popular habits from the database or your own personalized habits.
  • Over time the app builds useful statistics and visual representations of your performance and progress.
  • Intuitive apps for iPhone, Android, and web.
  • enlists the help of both your friends and strangers on the social network to encourage you to follow through with your habits. They can leave you props and encouraging comments on your habit check-ins. Don't let them down!
  • You can set reminders (with notifications) of certain habits.
Category: Apps & Software

When it comes to beating laziness I prefer behavioral conditioning over ego-gratifying introspection. The bottom line with any tool is the measurable results delivered and this is where really shines. For example, currently, I'm on a +100-day hot streak of brain training, with the progress I've made there's NO way I'm missing a day of brain training!

  If you join connect with me! I've got some wacky and seriously self-improving habits!

What habits do we recommend to defeat lethargy?

It's free (also ad-free!) and takes maybe 120 seconds a day to update. It would be downright lazy to not download now.

Stop commuting


Commuting to and from work every day is stressful and thus makes you lazy at the times you should be most productive, in the mornings when you begin work and the fleeting evening hours you have to work on special projects. It also robs you of 5-10 hours every week of what could be highly productive time, estimated that multiplied over 10 years this could cost you at least $60,000 of wealth. If you can't just outright say "no" to commuting, start practicing some of these 13 lifehacks for minimizing the time and energy suck of commuting.


Time boxing lifehacking

This is a technique used by software developers to beat analysis paralysis and hack the time it takes to bring a product to market.
The lifehack is to assign arbitrary time limits for finishing projects. This forces you to get them done sooner and work smarter. Challenge yourself by giving yourself 25% less time than you conservatively estimate it will take you to complete the task. This forces you to get creative and find more efficient ways to work.

Hack away at the unessential

Laziness is often a symptom of life overstuffed with superfluous tasks, activities, and relationships.

"I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times. It's not the daily increase but daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential."

Is what Bruce Lee had to say.

4 hour work weekAlso, consider one of the themes of The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss.

"Be OK with letting little bad things happen."

People who accomplished big things do so because they purposefully ignore unimportant things. They stab a dagger into the heart of mediocrity perpetuated by the tyranny of the unimportant yet urgent. This means that little bad things happen sometimes...

  • A bill doesn't get paid on time because you are using the money for something more high-leverage.
  • You miss Happy Hour with friends because you are on a roll doing great writing for a project.
  • You forget to run an errand because you are having a super-productive day.
  • You don't respond to a logistical last email because you are closing a time-sensitive opportunity.
  • You don't deal with someone else's emotions or drama because you need to make it to the gym.
  • People don't get picked up at the airport on time because you are on an important sales call.

Set some stakes (or use

Stickk Lifehacking Self Control

It's essential to set some stakes around our goals. We are often more motivated by fear of loss than the opportunity for gain. Especially fear of financial loss, not much else in the world is more likely to get us working purposefully than the prospect of losing the money that we have labored so damn hard for.
Category: Websites

Here's the process stickK employs:
  1. Pick a goal to accomplish or a lazy habit that you want to free yourself of.
  2. Find an accountability partner, someone who lives with you or knows you well and can hold you to your commitments.
  3. Pick something you hate (for example, a charity for a cause you are militantly against. Got strong feelings about Gay marriage? Pro-Trump? Anti-Trump? Pro-life? Pro-choice?
  4. Put some money up; either use stickK as your accountability system or give your money to your accountability partner to keep in an envelope.
  5. If you don't meet your goal or are lazy your accountability partner or stickK will give your money to the cause you hate.

Outsource your digital self-control

social media distraction

With so much of modern life occurring via glowing rectangular screens, digital self-control is a major weak link in the process for a productive and happy life. While our time is limited and our attention finite, the distractions of the Internet are infinite and opportunities to waste time are limitless. Indeed, social media notifications, like Facebook's are engineered to pique our interest and distract us. Luckily options abound for limiting the time you let yourself waste online...

Apps for digital self-control

Pomodoro Self-Monitoring

Pomodoro Infographic

I enjoy social media, both for interacting with the lifehacking/biohacking crowd and personally for staying in touch with friends and family. However, I employ a form of the Pomodoro Technique to keep my social media usage in check...

  1. I work for a set amount of time on a given project, usually 90-minute chunks of time.
  2. After 90 minutes are up or I accomplish a goal for a given project I am allowed to browse social media for 5-10 minutes.
  3. Some people use Pomodoro timers to keep track of this sort of thing, I prefer to use Brain.FM as my timer.

Cognitive Training with Dual N-Back

A game you play on your iPhone, Android, or computer has been studied for the past 40 years and has been demonstrated in Swiss and German studies to help you beat laziness in an essential cognitive dimension: increased Executive Function.

Executive Function is how cognitive psychologists describe our ability to focus on getting things done (like your taxes!) and ignoring other things (like that enrapturing reality TV program).

My biohacking philosophy is that I cycle off whatever biohacking technology I'm trying from time to time. While I was off Nootropics for an extended time, I was predictably not quite as hardworking and focused. However, I started daily Dual N-Back and I found that about 10 days into my training regiment I was noticeably more focused and better at ignoring distractions.

Dual N-Back Pro is the highest-rated Dual N-Back training software on the market for Windows, Mac, and Android. Dual N-Back Pro also makes the bold money-back guarantee that 20 sessions of 20 minutes each will result in measurable gains of 15-20 IQ points in addition to improvements in working memory.

To download a free demo of the Dual N-Back task, join the Limitless Mindset Community.

Liquid busters of laziness

What you are drinking throughout your day has a lot to do with your state of mind. Let's get the obvious out of the way, coffee makes you more energetic. Toxin-free coffee and coconut-derived MCT oil add another biological dimension to the sweet dark nectar of productivity; the MCTs put your body into a healthy ketogenic state, meaning that you are running off your fat reserves. Consumers of Bulletproof Coffee frequently report working productively for 4-6 hours after two cups without feeling hungry or even stopping for lunch.

Warning SignA DDICTED TO COFFEE⚠️ Warning
Coffee has a figurative dark side, even the famous premium brands have a fairly high risk of mold which introduces toxins into your system. These toxins counteract the effects of caffeine, robbing your energy, along with causing brain fog and anxiety. These toxins, multiplied by the significant daily coffee intake of many people are to blame for much of the negativity sometimes associated with coffee. So do choose an organic toxin-free coffee brand.

Green tea

Matcha Green Tea

Got a creative task to knock out? Green Tea contains caffeine and flavonoids which stimulate the artistic parts of your brain.

Coconut water

Coconut Water

The sweet water which takes moments to drink from a coconut, or can be found on the shelves of nearly any organic grocery store makes for an energizing and healthy drink. It contains just enough sugar to satisfy your sweet tooth to say "no" to fatty, sugary foods later. Coconut water contains a healthy amount of potassium and a lot of essential electrolytes.

Can some drinks make you lazy? Absolutely.

Soda - Excessive amounts of sugar put your internal chemistry on a roller coaster - buzz and crash - cycle. At the bottom of this cycle, you'll find yourself in productivity doll drums

Fruit drinks - While not quite as hard on your system as soda. Fruit juices, even natural fruit juices are loaded with sugar that's superfluous for your system.

Diet hacking

What you eat is arguably the greatest factor in your productivity or lack thereof.

Energy-sapping foods

Brain power foods

Boomerang for Gmail

Got Gmail? Great! Now it's time to upgrade your productivity with Boomerang, a free, yet seriously awesome App for Gmail that allows you to:

  • Schedule times in the future to send emails (check out this podcast on how to use this function to seem less lazy to other people).
  • Bounce back emails as a reminder, if the receiving party has not responded to them within a certain deadline.

If you have a professional email address for your work or business, this article explains how to easily set up your Gmail with your professional branding.

Decision fatigue

Decision Fatigue

Our biology goes through cycles every day and certain points of the cycle are much better than others for making decisions. The neurotransmitter glucose gets spent every time we make a decision, however, the glucose drain doesn't discriminate much based on the content of the decision or its long-term impact on our life. Provided they are done in the same amount of time, we use about the same amount of glucose when we are deciding...
What to eat for lunch.
As we do
Whether we should cheat on our spouse.

Our decision-making ability is demonstrated to be significantly better earlier in the day. This would explain why not a lot of marital infidelity occurs before lunch! In fact, biohacker and productivity philosopher Dave Asprey refuses to answer the question, what time are we having dinner? During the day because it costs glucose that could be spent better.

The lifehack, therefore, is to schedule your important decision-making moments early in the day.



Lifehacker extraordinaire Scott H. Young has a psychologically-rooted method for beating laziness and procrastination: rituals.
For daily habits or activities you want to habituate: set up an arbitrary sequence of events surrounding the activity.

Activity: Practicing my Spanish vocabulary.
Ritual: 1) Dip my foot in the pool 2) Go to the hammock 3) Drink a coconut 4) Practice my Spanish vocabulary on my smartphone
Activity: Approach an attractive woman during the daytime (I know that sounds a little weird but it's way cheaper and less time-consuming than the bar scene or online dating!)
Ritual: 1) Pretend to be a guerrilla in the bathroom mirror for 45 seconds 2) Wipe my shoes down with water and a paper towel before leaving 3) When I see an attractive girl on the street I take off my sunglasses 4) Hold a big smile for five seconds before I approach her.
Activity: Deal with my most intimidating phone call of the day.
Ritual: 1) Do 10 pushups in my home office 2) Take a scent-hit from my confidence trigger 3) One-two punch the air above my computer 4) Steeple my hands and smile while the phone is ringing 5) After the phone call watch a funny video on Youtube

These rituals repeated enough times (psychologists suggest 20-30), will create strong cognitive pathways to the desired goal or action you want to habituate. Rituals should not take up a lot of time. Some of the rituals can be a little reward in themselves. Don't be afraid of rituals that are a little silly or strange. As you can see my rituals above also pump me up biologically for the task at hand.

Throw away your TV

TV Time Wasting

Not as much of a lifehack as it is an uncommonly practiced common-sense lifestyle choice of highly productive and happy people. With the average American watching 34 hours of television weekly, it's hard to argue that TV is NOT an incredible enabler of laziness. Seriously, in the long view of your life how much are you going to miss watching mildly entertaining television programs? When you weigh the cumulative time cost of spending at least several hours a week on these programs, a television habit is a horrific offense against the finite amount of time you have to accomplish your goals.

Admission: I watch about an hour of TV a day, but it's always documentary films or programs about a subject matter that I want to educate myself on. I spend maybe 60 minutes a week watching purely entertaining television and it's almost always in a social setting.

Eat that frog!

How does the prospect of eating a slimy, live frog (Factor Factor style!) make you feel?

Gross! Right? Can you feel your stomach tighten, mouth dry, and throat dilate as you think about it?

EatThatFrogBrian Tracey wrote an entire book about procrastination, wherein he suggests using this sensation as a guide for getting the hard things done in life.
The corresponding lifehack goes like this, whenever a given task gives you a gut reaction of resistance (like eating a frog)...
A confrontational phone call.
A difficult errand.
Facing a mistake.
Do that thing. ASAP. Just do it.

Or if you are in the middle of another project, prioritize the frog-eating as a task for the day. Benefits of this include:

  • You get a lot done. You aren't held back from moving forward in life.
  • You feel FUCKING AWESOME (Sorry, the most appropriate phrase I have to describe it) after doing the thing that was hard for you to do.
  • It brings you out of your comfort zone regularly, which is awesome for promoting Neuroplasticity.
  • If you become the person that does what other people are unwilling to do it increases your earning potential significantly.
  • This removes a ton of stress and anxiety from your day as you aren't worried about the thing you procrastinated on later in the day.

No snooze

This winning habit is pretty self-explanatory, unless you have decided to have a lazy day, the snooze button simply doesn't exist. This is one of my cornerstone habits for productivity, I consistently find that when I wake up on time I get started accomplishing things earlier. I'm a snoozaholic; I can't seem to just snooze once, I always end up snoozing several times and it predictably sets my day back by at least an hour. Then I start the day irritated with myself for not getting up earlier, and it always seems to set my productivity back.

The lifehack to this is an app called Sleep Cycle, how it works:

  • Set a range of when you would like to wake up; between say 7 AM - 8 AM.
  • Place your phone on your bed (turning off the wifi and data of course).
  • Your phone will detect your sleep cycle based on your movements and will wake you up at the optimum time.

This may seem a little gimmicky but in my experience, I find it much easier to wake up with Sleep Cycle, it's closer to waking up naturally. So get rid of your old-school alarm clock, say no to the snooze button, and upgrade to Sleep Cycle!

Sleep Cycle
Category: Apps & Software


beauty vanity 350Self-control is universally correlated to the activation of a part of the brain, the right ventral lateral prefrontal cortex (rVLPFC). This part of the brain gets turned on by, you guessed it, narcissism - thinking about the people we want to be. This could mean:

  • Looking at photos of yourself.
  • Reading your writings.
  • Reviewing your personal development goals.
  • Or just putting a mirror near where you work.

If you're somebody with a semi-public persona, this becomes even more powerful. Anytime I find myself under-motivated or lazy, I ask myself... 

What would the version of myself that I portray to the world do here? What would the cool-biohacking-lifestyle guru that I portray myself as do?

Leave a comment...

What are some forms of laziness you have or currently find yourself struggling with? Let us know in the comments below.


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