Originally Posted by bint begum
Overcoming laziness and Procrastination
One needs to form the will to change this habit and take immediate steps to reach one's goal. Once your intention is sincere and you follow it up with consistent action, trusting in the Lord, success is guaranteed. Allah assures us in the Qur’an: “And those who shall strive for Our Sake, We shall surely guide them unto Our ways.” (Al-`Ankabut: 69).
While combating laziness, the first thing to do is to recognize that like all negative habits we have formed, it is a habit that we have acquired through consistent practice. We persist in it because we find comfort and gain pleasure in it. So we cannot be expected to get rid of it entirely unless and until we learn to link this habit with ugliness, pain and suffering rather than glamorizing it. So, list all the negative aspects and dire consequences associated with laziness. List everything you stand to lose if you were to persist in this habit. Do this as many times as possible until laziness becomes automatically associated with pain and suffering in your consciousness.
Secondly, every time you have a tendency to feel lazy, take whatever steps you can immediately to counter the tendency and nip it in the bud. By doing these things consistently and repeatedly you will be empowered to overcome laziness.
Here are a few more practical steps you can take to fight this all-pervasive habit:
1. Think of and list all the successes you could achieve if you were to shake yourself free of this negative habit.
2. Think of and meditate on the success stories of the great leaders who, through sheer determination, hard work, and trust in Allah, achieved what was thought to be impossible. Think of the success story of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) who, without hardly any material supports, did what no other person has done. Think of those who have been physically challenged and yet accomplished what others could not do through sheer determination and hard work.
3. List all the positive strengths you have which, even the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) or those who have been physically challenged or those who achieved great feats, did not possess.
4. Until such time that you have overcome laziness, it is important for you to associate with those who are successful or hard working. If you are a student, try to choose a study environment to read or study. Fight the temptation of studying at home until you have succeeded in mastering laziness.
5. Last but not least, start your day by counting the blessings of Allah and thus focusing on your strengths rather than on your weaknesses; and pray to Allah to grant you a day of glory, blessings and success. You may consistently make the following du`a’s:
Allahumma inni asbahtu minka fi ni`matin wa `afiyatin wa sitr fa atimma `alayya ni`mataka wa `afiyataka wa sitraka fi ad-dunya wa al-akhirah
(O Allah! I enjoy this morning Your gift of blessings, well being, and protection, all because of Your sheer favor; so consummate these gifts for me in this world and the next).
Allahumma inni a`udhu bika min al-`ajzi wa al-kasal wa al-jubni wa al-bukhl wa a`udhu bika min munkarati al-akhlaqi wa al-ahwa’
(O Allah! I seek refuge in You from feeling of helplessness, laziness, cowardice and *****rdliness; I also seek refuge in You from all despicable traits and whims).
Allahumma inni as’aluka khayra hadha al-yawmi nasrahau wa fat-hahu wa barakatahu wa a`udhu bika min sharri hadha al-yawmi wa sharri ma ba`dahu
(O Allah! I beg You to grant me the best that this day holds out in terms of success, victory, and blessings; and I seek refuge in You from the worst that this day holds out and the day after).”
“The perfect remedy for procrastination is to nurture sound faith in the manner of the Salaf As-Salih (pious predecessors).
Prior to Islam, they were a people without any sense of human achievement or performance, but once they were exposed to the empowering message of the Qur’an, they became energized and utterly transformed; they shook off their complacency and lethargy, and became peak performers and achievers. Whatever they touched was changed anew through their dynamic faith.
The Qur’an spoke thus about their faith, “Is he - who was once dead and then We revived him (through the message of Islam) and thus We appointed for him a light whereby he walks among people - comparable to one who is steeped in darkness, never able to come out of it?” (Al-An`am: 122)
The remedy for fighting procrastination, therefore, is to nurture such dynamic faith.
Coming to precise tips based on such a vision that one can readily apply in order to empower oneself and shake off the habit of procrastination, let us state the following:
1) Procrastination is a learned habit; habits are formed by repeated acts. So the best way to fight procrastination is to take immediate steps to do the thing one is postponing. So every time one is tempted to procrastinate, one must do whatever it takes to do just the opposite. It may be hard in the beginning, but by repeating it over and over, one learns to break the habit. This process must continue until one has learned the new habit and thus it becomes a second nature.
2) As you rise in the morning put yourself in a positive mind set by counting the blessings of Allah thus emulating the beautiful example of our beloved Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, and praying to Allah to grant you a successful day full of blessings.
3) Try to start your work after Fajr for the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, prayed to Allah, “O Allah, bless my Ummah in their early morning endeavors.”
4) Turn to Allah in supplication and seek His help in fighting sloth, laziness and helplessness through the following prayers (Du`a’s):
Allahumma innee a`dhu bika mina al-‘ajzi wa al-kasal wa al-jubun wa al-bukhl wa ghalabati al-dayni wa qahri al-rrijaal
(O Allah, I seek refuge in You from helplessness, sloth, cowardice, nigardliness, and burden of debts and domineering men.)
Laa ilaaha illa Allaahu al-`azeem al-haleem, la ilaaha illa Allaahu rabbu al-`arshi al-`azeem, laa ilaaha illa Allaahu rabbu al-ssamaawaati wa al-ardhi wa rabbu al-`arshi al-kareem
(There is no god but Allah, the Glorious and Clement; there is no god but Allah, Lord of the Great Throne; there is no god but Allah, Lord of the heavens and earth and the Noble Throne).”
Taken from Islamonline
Do you find that you have a lack of self motivation at times? You can learn a hundred ways to improve your life, but then hesitate to act. Something less important catches your attention, or you just don't feel like doing what you need to do. Even if you are normally a motivated person, there may be times when you have a hard time getting started on an important task.
There is a solution. Actually, there are probably dozens of solutions. Here are six of the best. These are self-motivation techniques that work for others. Try them, and if you find even one or two here that work for you, you'll be on your way.
Six Self Motivation Techniques
1. Find a true interest in what you are doing. If you have no interest at all, it might mean you need to do something else. On the other hand, if it's just a task you dislike, relate it clearly in your mind to the greater goal. I don't particularly like to drive, but I don't have a motivation problem when I am driving to the mountains for a vacation.
2. Create energy. You need some energy for self motivation. Caffeine may help for a while, if it doesn't create other problems for you. You can also exercise and sleep well. Watch out for sugary foods - the "sugar blues" will kill your motivation. When you find energy boosters that work for you, make a list and keep it handy for future use.
3. Talk your way to motivation. This is one of my favorite ways to create energy and motivation. By the time I tell my wife about the article I'm going to write, I'm out of my slump and back at the keyboard. If the task itself is less inspiring, talk about the larger goals it will help you achieve.
4. Stimulate desire. Imagining their potential future motivates many to sign up for get-rich-quick plans. Good salesmen can put you in your imagined dream home in minutes, and you'll feel motivated to do anything to make it real. Why not learn to be your own salesman?
5. Stimulate pain. An effective Nauru-Linguistic Programming technique is to link pain with not acting. This is what happens when you finally stop hitting that snooze button on the alarm because you think you might lose your job. Imagine any bad consequences that may occur if you don't do what you need to do.
6. Start with any small step. I have found that if I commit to raking up one bag of leaves, I soon want to finish the yard work. Training yourself to take any small step towards your goals is a great self motivation technique. Breaking larger goals down into small steps makes this even easier.
These motivation techniques really work, but don't ask me how to get motivated to use them. Anyhow, you already were motivated enough to read this far, so you'll be fine. Oh, and humor is technique number seven. Laughing can overcome that feeling of being overwhelmed that sucks away self motivation.