Touching The Surface Of Laziness
“Action may not always bring happiness; but there is no happiness without action.” — Benjamin Disraeli
Even though laziness is quite common and a part of life, it has the potential to completely consume us. I had times where laziness caused me to feel trapped. No matter what I did, I cannot seem to shake it off. I felt tired and sleepy during the day, sat around watching drama a lot and felt unable to be active, avoided doing anything productive and put things on hold that I wanted to accomplish.
Not only me, but many other (highly) active and productive people identify themselves as ‘lazy’ because they spend free time to relax or they still have some unfinished projects. In the nowadays cult of ‘busy’, doing things you enjoy has become a serious sin. So, it’s easy to convince yourself that you’re not focused, productive, or active enough.
Remove “Lazy” From Our Vocabulary
Psychologist Leon F. Seltzer advised in Psychology Today that we need to consider removing the word “lazy” from our vocabulary entirely. Or, at least, avoid using it to describe someone’s entire personality. Seltzer further explained that, although we may lack self-discipline or motivation, disguising those problems as “laziness” only makes it harder to work on solutions.
He concluded that by using laziness as an explanation of human behaviour is practically useless. Referring to, or disapproving, or dismissing, a person as lazy is a simplified way of judgment for a person’s seemingly disinterest or inactivity. In addition, resorting to this term to categorise a person reflects more on the part of the describer than the person described.
“We are not what we think, or what we say, or how we feel. We are what we do.” — Gordon Livingston
Identify The Underlying Issue
To identify what your actual issue is, it’s best to start tracking how you spend your time. Like me, you can simply use a spreadsheet and write down what you do every hour, for a week or two. Once data is gathered, break it down into the following three categories I sometimes identify myself with.
1. Motivational Issues
If data shows that your schedule is empty, or most of your time is spent on sleep or any other activities except your goals, motivation could be the problem. Motivation is the drive to get you started, and problems with motivation can range from not knowing what to do with your life to battling depression.
In my other article ‘Motivation Only Gets You Started, It Won’t Keep You Going‘, I explained why only being motivated isn’t enough, and how the habit of self-discipline plays a bigger part in accomplishing life goals. This brings me to my next point.
2. Self-Discipline Issues
If data shows that your schedule is packed, but you’re not getting as much done as you planned to do in that time, you may have a self-discipline problem. Procrastination is taking over your life and even the smallest things will take your mind off your work. Solutions may involve removing distractions or embracing the uncomfortableness and awkwardness.
In my other article ‘Building The Bridge Between Goals and Accomplishments‘, I have discussed the importance of self-discipline in more details with some tips.
3. Setting Unrealistic Expectations
If your schedule is packed and you’re getting a lot done, but you still feel lazy, your problem could be that you’re being too hard on yourself. We all want to get stuff done, but don’t forget to slow down occasionally.
Eventually, how you deal with “laziness” will depend on what the underlying issues are. No matter what, you’ll need to adopt any solution to your specific needs. Take time to examine your own weaknesses and come up with a plan that works for you.
“Growth begins when we begin to accept our own weaknesses.” — Jean Vanier
Value Your Work
The irony of our ‘busy’ culture is that we often hate our work. As strange as it may sound to some of you, work can be enjoyable and rewarding, even if you don’t find your mythical dream job.
Learning to appreciate the value of work for its own sake is a skill that takes time and practice to develop. However, your mindset about work will have a drastic effect on how much work you get done. The quickest way to get more done is to look forward to doing it and value the work that you do.
“The value of the work we do is the value we give to it.” — Christopher Moore
- When do you feel 'lazy'?
- Is there an underlying issue?
- Do you value your work?
Have your say in the comment section 🙂
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