Japanese Techniques to Overcome Laziness And Improve Your Life
Laziness has become a prevalent issue in the modern world.
According to statistics from Gitnux, one out of every four people admits to being a chronic procrastinator or feeling lazy.
A study published in The Lancet, a U.K. medical journal, estimates that this laziness costs the global economy $67.5 billion annually.
However, my concern lies more in the effects on mental health and physical well-being than the financial consequences of laziness.
Certainly, so I reiterate the words of Zig Ziglar:
“There is no such thing as a lazy person; he is either sick or uninspired.”
This makes complete sense. When I lack the motivation to do something, I discover a multitude of distractions.
Conversely, when I’m genuinely motivated to accomplish something, I experience laser focus and a surplus of energy.
As someone dedicated to personal growth, I’ve discovered various life hacks that counter my inclination to be lazy, procrastinate, and remain within my comfort zone.
I particularly appreciate it when I come across a step-by-step guide that operates as a roadmap. The 10 Japanese techniques shared below precisely fulfill this role, and they have personally assisted me in overcoming laziness and attaining success. That’s why I’m enthusiastic about sharing them with you.
A Reason for Being: How to Discover Your Purpose In Life
Discovering your ikigai is a profound journey and can take on countless forms.
In my pursuit of purpose, I found great value in exploring the world, trying out various activities, engaging with different people, embracing various ideologies and philosophies, and observing what resonates and what doesn’t.
This exploration led me to become a scuba diving instructor, a breathwork facilitator, and a full-time writer. Some endeavors have faded away, and that’s perfectly acceptable. Others have endured and will remain with me throughout my life.
The beauty of aligning our actions with our purpose is that life takes on a deeper meaning, and motivation becomes a natural driving force.
Managing Time to Become More Focused and Productive
Once I had identified my purpose, the next step was transforming it into a tangible reality.
I enrolled in courses, acquired the required equipment, studied extensively, and established a structured schedule. I took small steps every day, and it had a significant impact.
I enjoy crafting small, actionable daily lists and successfully ticking off the tasks. This approach gives me a sense of progression and purpose. However, finding what works best for you and consistently working towards your goals is essential.
“The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and starting on the first one.” — Mark Twain.
3. Pomodoro Technique
Managing Time to Become More Focused and Productive
Time often feels elusive, and there are moments when it seems in short supply. Thus, establishing a proper routine helps me stay on course.
As I mentioned earlier, I create lists, but I didn’t mention that I did this the night before. This practice frees my mind at night from holding onto tasks while I sleep and spares my morning mind from having to work too hard too early.
I also ensure that I complete my morning practice before I dive into work. This routine consists of one hour of breathwork, chanting, and light yoga. After that, I plug in and work with a fresh mind.
During work hours, I adhere to the Pomodoro Technique. This method recommends focused work for 25 minutes, followed by a 5-minute break.
In those 5 minutes, I either meditate, prepare tea, or, on more challenging days, lie down on the floor and fully unwind. It may sound simple, but it’s a potent strategy to combat laziness and boost productivity.
4. Hara Hachi Bu
Embracing the principle of stopping at 80% fullness isn’t always easy, especially for someone like me who tends to overeat. Food often operates as a source of comfort.
However, I’ve discovered that excessive fullness can undermine my focus and productivity, leading to that post-lunch slump we’re all familiar with.
While I may not strictly adhere to the 80% rule, I eat more mindfully. I take my time while eating, opt for smaller portions when possible, and prioritize healthy and nutritious choices.
The result is a heightened sense of energy and purpose. After all, as the age-old saying goes, “You are what you eat.”
Embracing the Beginner’s Mindset
Shoshin promotes curiosity, which is something I truly appreciate. It conveys that we don’t need to be concerned about having all the answers or being perfect from the outset. It reassures us that we can learn and evolve.
This approach values learning, unlearning, and embracing new experiences. It transforms the fear of failure into a chance for personal development and growth, thus altering our entire perspective.
It all begins with an open-mindedness to explore, make mistakes, question, inquire, and gain knowledge.
Wabi-sabi is not to be confused with wasabi, that fiery green sauce that can bring tears to your eyes.
Wabi-Sabi is all about embracing the beginner’s mindset. Beginners understand they have much to learn, so they tend to be less critical of themselves. This mindset allows them more space to make mistakes, learn, and ultimately progress.
Practicing wabi-sabi reminds us of the beauty found in imperfection, regardless of how “expert” we may become.
7. Forest Bathing
Recharge in Nature
As a writer, I’ve often found that my most inspired work emerges when I’m far removed from the hustle and bustle of everyday thoughts. It happens when I’m in the mountains, beneath the ocean’s depths, or nestled in a forest.
In a world increasingly dominated by technology, reconnecting with nature has never been more crucial.
Master Your Finances
Kakeibo, pronounced as ‘kah-keh-boh,’ translates to “household financial ledger.”
While it may not sound very exciting, it was conceived in 1904 by Hani Motoko, Japan’s first female journalist. She maintained a journal documenting all her income and expenses to gain insights into her spending habits and identify unnecessary expenditures.
It proved effective, so she shared this simple yet powerful method. Sometimes, the most challenging issues have the most straightforward solutions, and Kakeibo is one of them.
9. Seiri, Seiton, Seiso
A tidy environment can promote a clear mind.
“Seiri, Seiton, Seiso” is a Japanese term that can be translated into English as “Sort, Set in order, Shine.” This phrase represents a fundamental concept in the world of organization and cleanliness. It describes a systematic approach to tidying up and maintaining a clean and organized environment. Let’s break down the meaning of each part:
This step involves going through your belongings or work materials and sorting them into categories. You decide what is essential and what is not. The goal is to eliminate unnecessary items, declutter, and retain only what is needed.
Seiton (Set in order)
Once you have sorted and decluttered, the next step is to assign a specific place for each item or document. The idea is to organize things logically and efficiently to access them when needed easily.
This step is about cleanliness and maintenance. After decluttering and organizing, keeping your environment clean and well-maintained is crucial. Regular cleaning ensures that everything stays in its designated place and remains in good condition.
The “Seiri, Seiton, Seiso” method is often associated with the principles of 5S, a workplace organization method widely used in Japanese industries for enhancing productivity and efficiency. However, it can also be applied in various aspects of life, including home organization and personal time management. It’s a simple yet effective approach to creating order and clarity in physical and digital spaces.
10. Yama-Uba no Ashiato
promoting a sense of responsibility and mindfulness
“Yama-uba no Ashiato” is a Japanese phrase that can be translated to “The footprints of the mountain witch” in English. In Japanese folklore, Yama-Uba is a type of mountain-dwelling hag or witch. These supernatural beings are often depicted as beautiful and terrifying, able to control the forces of nature, and sometimes appear as older women. They are associated with the mountains and wilderness.
“Yama-uba no Ashiato” is often used metaphorically or in literature to refer to mysterious or unexplained phenomena in mountainous or remote areas, much like how Western culture might use the term “wilderness mysteries.” It signifies something enigmatic and eerie, akin to the elusive footprints of a mountain witch.
In literature or storytelling, “Yama-uba no Ashiato” might describe the feeling of encountering something unexplainable or supernatural in the wilderness. It’s a phrase that evokes a sense of wonder and sometimes trepidation, much like the stories of yama-uba themselves.