Who hasn’t felt lazy every once in a while? Many people would describe laziness as an obstacle they face every day in order to get up for school, go to work, or even when meeting friends. But what is laziness?

We could define it as a state where we lack the will or motivation to do something. It’s what keep us glued to the couch when we got to clean and makes us say that dangerous “five more minutes” lie when we hit snooze.

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Laziness has been discussed a lot, especially in connection to is negative consequences. Sloth, for example, is even considered a sin in some religions. However, another, more recent perspective on laziness is that it doesn’t actually exist

How can it not exist if most people have experienced it? This theory suggests that laziness exists more as a general label that people use to cover up other factors that represent the true cause of our unwillingness to do something. What might these be?


Lack of motivation


Let’s take a look at these. Fatigue might appear to be the one that makes the most sense. When we are tired and our energy levels are low, our body and mind are aching for rest. But that doesn’t mean we don’t have things that still need doing. So, laziness! In this case, laziness is the body’s way of getting some rest when it’s needed.

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Then, we have the lack of motivation. If we don’t want to do something, then we don’t want to do something. We might feel obligated to do it or even need to do it without it being motivation enough. For instance, we might know homework is a must but that doesn’t mean we want to do.

Unpleasantness is also linked to laziness. There are tasks that don’t only fail to motivate us but provide us with motivation to stay far, far away. We don’t want to do them, we feel frustrated. Few people enjoy boring or monotonous tasks with little meaning or value.

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Laziness is the label we give the general state of “not wanting to do” but it might be just a cover for something else. Why would it be useful to identify that something? That means we can address the real issue. We might choose to take a break or sleep for a bit rather than force a task that just isn’t working. If we are unmotivated, we might find a way to reward ourselves or find something to make the task itself more rewarding. If we find the task unpleasant, we might examine just how necessary it is (and quite often, the answer will be “not really that needed”).

Another reason to find out the truth behind the label is because “laziness” is something that inspires guilt and shame, that needs to be judged and fixed. Laziness is not usually seen as a good thing by anyone, so focusing too much on the label draws away a lot of energy towards negative emotions or self-recrimination. This is not constructive and can make us spiral into anxiety. It also distracts us from the actual problem



So, the next time you’re feeling lazy, ask yourself: what’s the issue? What’s the real problem? And how can I fix it?


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