Productivity and GTD

An enemy of action: Laziness

AUTHOR: Francisco Sáez
Blog productivity

Laziness is probably, along with fear, one of the greatest enemies of actions. Although often used as a derogatory term, the fact is that laziness is somehow part of the animal and human nature. It pushes us to avoid certain actions, movements or works, and there are many possible causes:

  • The action won’t provide a worthwhile benefit.
  • The work won’t have the recognition we want.
  • The action can cause physical pain or a negative mental state.
  • We don’t consider ourselves sufficiently prepared to undertake such activity.
  • We aren’t motivated enough.

It’s about not wasting energy, but it becomes a problem when it becomes a constant. Then we forget our expectations and ideal lifestyle, and we end up getting accustomed to what we have.

Like everything else, laziness has its proponents (In Defense Of Laziness, Hal Cranmer, 2002) and its detractors. From my point of view, one of the immediate consequences of laziness is that makes us waste a lot of time. And our time is finite, it will never come back. To me, wasting time is a way of wasting life.

How can we fight laziness? We must be aware of how we work to get the necessary tools to combat our weaknesses and enhance our strengths. Sloth manifests itself in various ways and we must learn to recognize the symptoms:

  1. Procrastination. Any reason is good to defer for another day what we should do now. Normally we replace these activities by others which, although irrelevant, are more pleasant to do. We are always waiting for ideal conditions (energy, enthusiasm, etc.) to perform certain actions. Since these conditions are often unrealistic, postponing things is not a good idea.
  2. Good intentions. It occurs when we often say we are going to do something and we never do that (such as doing exercise, learning another language, etc.). Things are created twice, first in mind and then in reality. We just have to take the next step.
  3. Self-deception. We convince ourselves we will be able to do something as soon as we intend doing it. But we never try to do that.
  4. Perfectionism. We avoid doing things because we want to do them very well. We must begin, no one starts out knowing.

Sometimes, laziness is a problem of self- and time-management. A solution would be, among other things, ensuring proper time management, focusing on the tasks that are most important and have closest ending dates.

See also: Laziness (Wikipedia)

2 comments

E812307b7c99bebb1dc8de37da408ac8
Commented almost 9 years ago autom

a refreshing post to remind us of the unseen factors that contribute to lazy modes of behaviour..of note, IMO, is the reference to time being "finite" - i could elaborate on this on completely different tangent (mainly philosophically) but i will spare you the diatribe ;-)

i would add that to help address this issue effectively, one must adopt—and consequently, regularly apply—discipline to all endevaours requiring planning and timely action

autom

E812307b7c99bebb1dc8de37da408ac8 autom

a refreshing post to remind us of the unseen factors that contribute to lazy modes of behaviour..of note, IMO, is the reference to time being "finite" - i could elaborate on this on completely different tangent (mainly philosophically) but i will spare you the diatribe ;-)

i would add that to help address this issue effectively, one must adopt—and consequently, regularly apply—discipline to all endevaours requiring planning and timely action

autom

Fcb879f1bc70aa0f661b842011f280fb
Commented almost 9 years ago Francisco Sáez

Oops! I forgot a word, I meant *our time is finite* (already updated), in the sense that we live 24-hour days that won't return. I didn't want to start any scientific or philosophical discussion ;)
Thanks for sharing, Autom.

Fcb879f1bc70aa0f661b842011f280fb Francisco Sáez

Oops! I forgot a word, I meant *our time is finite* (already updated), in the sense that we live 24-hour days that won't return. I didn't want to start any scientific or philosophical discussion ;)
Thanks for sharing, Autom.

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