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10 Tips to Get Motivated & Overcome Laziness

25 October, 2023
Q As-Salamu Alaykum Counselor. I am a college student in the United States. Throughout my life, I have been very inconsistent with performing my prayers, and I feel very guilty about this, but I'm not sure how to overcome my laziness. I am very disconnected from Allah (SWT), and I want to change this, especially since I want to start preparing myself for marriage. There are also some people I know who are the same way. What advice do you have to help me and my peers to overcome this?



Wa ‘Alaikum Salam sister,

Islam is a religion that calls for activity and fights against laziness as it is one of the diseases Islam abhors. The Prophet (saw) sought Allah’s (swt) protection and refuge against it, too.

We all have busy schedules whether we are students, parents, spouses, or we work. We need to take care of so many duties on a daily basis, and when energy level declines, we tend to become lazy. Being lazy can be a very unhealthy way to live life, and it’s very easy to fall into a pattern of being consistently unmotivated. How you manage your time and what you do with it now will affect you later on in your life.

Regarding missing prayers, in particular, Aboutislam scholar states:

“When a person misses a prayer unintentionally, this may happen due to a legitimate excuse, such as forgetting or sleeping, although he is basically very keen to perform the prayer on time. In this case one is excused but he is to make it up as soon as he remembers it. When the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and his Companions slept and missed Fajr prayer, and the Companions began to ask one another: “What is the kaffarah (expiation) for what we have done by neglecting the prayer?” The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Sleeping does not mean that you are neglecting the prayer. Rather neglecting the prayer means not praying one prayer until the time for the next prayer comes. Whoever does that let him pray when he remembers it.”

In case a person misses a prayer deliberately, this is a major sin, and it is so serious that some of the scholars stated that the one who does this is a kafir (as it says in Majmu` Fatawa wa Maqalat Samahat Ash-Sheikh Ibn Baz, 10/374). The one who does this has to repent sincerely, according to scholarly consensus.

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With regard to making up the prayer, there was a difference of opinion among the scholars as to whether or not it would be accepted from him if he makes it up afterward. Most of the scholars said that he should make it up and that his prayer is valid, although he is a sinner (i.e., if he does not repent – and Allah knows best), as Sheikh Ibn `Uthyameen quoted from them in Ash-Sharhul-Mumti’, 2/89.

The view of Sheikh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah bless his soul) is that it is not valid and that it is not prescribed for him to make it up. He said in Al-Ikhtiyarat (34): “It is not prescribed for the one who misses a prayer deliberately to make it up, and the prayer, if he makes it up, is not valid; rather he should do a lot of nafl (voluntary) prayers. This is the view of a group among the Salaf.”

One of the contemporary scholars who regarded this view as more correct is Sheikh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah bless his soul); he quoted as evidence for that the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him): “Whoever does an action that is not in accordance with this matter of ours (i.e., Islam), will have it rejected.”(Agreed upon).”

So, do not neglect your prayer, whatever happens. Even if you pray with wavering concentration, do not stop. Remember, you are good and you are just trying to get back to what you used to be. It’s alright to take a break from other production activities once in a while and renew your enthusiasm, but take care to guard your compulsory obligations. Never let them slip.

To overcome laziness in general, here are some simple tips:

1) Break down a task into smaller tasks

We often avoid tasks because we find them too big, too overwhelming, too tiring, or taking too much of our time.

Breaking a task into several smaller tasks can solve this problem. Then, each one will not seem so difficult or intimidating. Instead of having one big task, we will have a series of small tasks which do not require too much effort.

This approach can be applied not only to tasks but also to goals and everything else we have or need to do. This will tend to melt much of the laziness and inner resistance we often experience.

2) Rest, sleep, and exercise

In some cases, laziness is due to being tired and lacking energy. If this is true in your case, you need to give yourself the rest and sleep you need and also give your body enough exercise and fresh air.

3) Motivation

In some cases, the reason for laziness is due to lack of motivation. You can strengthen your motivation through affirmations, visualization and thinking about the importance of performing your task or chore or achieving your goal.

Frequently reflecting on the person we want to be, the goals we want to achieve, and the life we want to live can motivate us to act.

4) Think about benefits

Think about the benefits you will gain if you overcome your laziness and take action, instead of thinking about the difficulties or obstacles. Focusing on the difficulties of the task or action leads to discouragement, avoidance of taking action, and laziness. It is important that you focus your mind and attention on the benefits, not on the difficulties.

5) Thinking about the consequences

Think about what will happen if you succumb to laziness, and don’t perform your task or chore. Thinking about the consequences of not acting can also push you to take action.

6) Doing one thing at a time

Focus on doing one thing at a time. If you feel you have a lot to do, you will probably feel overwhelmed and let laziness overcome you, instead of you overcoming laziness.

7) Repeat affirmations

Tell yourself: “I can accomplish my goal.”
“I have the energy and motivation to act and do whatever I want or have to do.”
“Doing things makes me stronger.”
“Doing things makes things happen.”

8) Procrastination

Avoid procrastination, which is a form of laziness. If there is something you have to do, why not do it right now and get through with it? Why let it stay nagging at the back of your head?

9) Learn from successful people

Watch successful people and how they do not let laziness win. Learn from them, talk with them and associate with them.

10) Make Du’aa’

Our Prophet (saw) has taught us a du’aa: “Allahumma  Inni Aawoozibikaa Minal aajizii walakasil” meaning “O Allah! I seek refuge from incapability and laziness” (Bukhari)

In summary, remember that overcoming the habit of laziness is achieved through a series of daily actions and activities when you choose to act instead of remaining passive. Every time you overcome your laziness you get stronger. Every time you choose to act, you increase your ability to win, achieve goals and improve your life.



Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information that was provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, it’s volunteers, writers, scholars, counselors, or employees be held liable for any direct, indirect, exemplary, punitive, consequential or other damages whatsoever that may arise through your decision or action in the use of the services which our website provides. 

About Layla Al Qaraqsi
Layla Al Qaraqsi has worked with since 2008. She has been the editor of the counseling section till May, 2013; then a counselor and writer since March, 2015. She has also worked in early childhood psychosocial development;and managed a support group in Egypt. Layla has been studying psychology and counseling since 2011 in the Islamic Online University (IOU) of Dr. Bilal Philips, University of North Dakota, and in several specialized psychological institutions in Egypt including Tawasol Center, one of the offline projects of Her studies also included group psychotherapy, psychodrama techniques, mindfulness.  You can contact her via: [email protected]