Various dictionaries say that laziness is an unwillingness to expend energy. The dictionaries are wrong. You obviously want to expend energy doing the things you need and want to do.
But something’s keeping it from happening. I’ve had my bouts with laziness, and have a possible answer and solution. I think it’s more a habit of conserving energy rather than an unwillingness. This is what we should think of when we think of laziness.
Laziness is something I’ve dealt with and still deal with. I get into the pattern of not doing something and end up having to do it in a rush when it can’t be put off any longer. Or worse, it ends up never being done. Or it sits undone for months and years.
Things get stressful when I find myself in a habit of laziness. At times these habits have led to a floor covered in junk, three baskets of clothes on the floor, missed assignments, poor grades, and nearly running out of gas two miles from the nearest station.
Breaking the habit
The only solution I’ve found is to cut off any thoughts of not doing what needs to be done. When my mind suggest letting the clothes sit, I tell my brain to shut up and do it. When I need to get gas, I tell my brain to quit whining about having to deal with that turn with no traffic signals and do it.
I know this sounds like some grating motivational speaker babbling on about how you just have to do it, like it’s easy. But breaking cycles is a habit too. Once you break it in one area of your life the rest of the walls fall down easily. Be assertive with your head until it falls in line.
This is why over the last month I’ve managed to make myself get into the habit of doing what needs to be done, and into the habit of not being lazy. And because they’re habits the thoughts never weigh down my thought process. I just do them and have more mental energy and focus to put toward the things I really want to do.
It can be hard
Let’s not kid ourselves. The habit of laziness develops for a reason, and that reason is easy to justify in our heads. Work can be unpleasant when you have to think about it. And it’s not always obvious that it’ll become second nature to just do things once we’re in the habit of doing them.
But you don’t have to think about it once the habit of getting it done is firmly planted in your head. Even an unpleasant task will only get a moment of thought before you’re into it, then the thought vanishes until it’s done, and you realize it wasn’t as bad as you expected.
Fear and loafing
Sometimes laziness comes out of fear. You’re worried about what might happen or the risks involved. There’s only one thing you can do in this situation. You have to look at the risks and see how realistic they are.
Threats run circles in our heads, building up power until they overwhelm our willpower. But most of them are unfounded or overblown. This is why getting into a habit of doing things is important. Tasks with built-in hazards have a way of becoming bigger in our minds the longer we put them off.
One at a time
You don’t have to start with the hard stuff. Focus on a small lazy habit and make yourself take care of the thing you’re putting off. You’ll quickly learn the right mental incantations to make it happen, and you won’t even think about it.
It’ll come naturally after a while. Some people find this on their own. They’re the ones who complain about lazy people because they never had to fight a lazy habit, and can’t understand what keeps someone from doing something.
Some day you’ll forget what it was like to deal with a habit of laziness and be able to do the things you need to do without a second thought, but be sure to help people who still struggle.