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The Psychology of Laziness

Photo Credit: Psychology Today

A lazy individual is one who is capable of participating in an activity but cancels it owing to a lack of self-effort. Instead, he or she does the action ineptly or engages in some other or light "boring activity," being inactive. In a nutshell, he or she is lazy owing to a lack of motivation.

Two words share the same meaning as laziness which are dormancy, and indolence. Indolence came from a Latin word, “indolent” which means “without pain”, or “without taking trouble”. Sloth came from a religious background rather than laziness or indolence. In the Christian tradition, sloth was one of the seven deadly sins due to society and God’s plan to join the sin. The Bible demonstrates in defiance of slothfulness, for instance “in the Book of Ecclesiastes: 'By much slothfulness the building decayeth; and through idleness of the hands the house droppeth through.’ A feast is made for laughter, and wine maketh merry: but money answereth all things.”


Psychology Today discussed the development of procrastination.  “Laziness should not be confounded with procrastination or idleness. To procrastinate is to postpone a task in favour of other tasks, which, though perceived as easier or more pleasurable, are typically less important or urgent. To postpone a task for constructive or strategic purposes does not amount to procrastination. For it to amount to procrastination, the postponement has to represent poor and ineffective planning, and result in a higher overall cost to the procrastinator, for example, in the form of stress, guilt, or loss of productivity. It is one thing to delay a tax return until all the figures are in, but quite another to delay it so that it upsets plans and people and triggers a fine.”



Psychology Today mentioned about the concept of idleness. “To be idle is: not to be doing anything. This could be because you are lazy, but it could also be because you do not have anything to do or are temporarily unable to do it. Or perhaps you have already done it and are resting or recuperating.Idleness is often romanticized, as epitomized by the Italian expression ‘dolce far niente’ (‘it is sweet to do nothing’). Many people tell themselves that they work hard from a desire to be idle, rather than because they value their work or its product. Although our natural instinct is for idleness, most people find prolonged idleness difficult to tolerate. Queuing for half an hour in a traffic jam can leave us feeling restless and irritable, and many drivers prefer to take an alternative route even if it is likely to take them longer than sitting through the traffic.”

Psychological Theories of Laziness

Psychology Today explained the reasons why people are lazy. "Many lazy people are not intrinsically lazy, but are lazy because they have not found what they want to do, or because, for one reason or another, they are not doing it. To make matters worse, the job that pays their bills may have become so abstract and specialized that they can no longer fully grasp its purpose or product, and, by extension, their part in bettering other people's lives. A builder can look upon the houses that he has built, and a doctor can take pride and satisfaction in the restored health and gratitude of his patients, but an assistant deputy financial controller in a large corporation cannot be at all certain of the effect of his labour—and so why bother?”





Many health experts found a solution for the prevention of Laziness. A self-help pep talk or top – 10 to conquer laziness, therefore, in the long run, the best solution to control laziness is to observe its natural and separate principles to acknowledge to improve its well-being.


6 Things That Look Like Laziness, But Aren't

The Psychology of Laziness

Edited by: Soumya Parija

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