5 Reasons You're Not Lazy
If it's important to me, I'll make the time. If it's not, I'll make an excuse - Marie Forleo
Are we naturally lazy, and is procrastination normal?
This is a theme that keeps popping up for me lately, and I've gained some slightly new perspectives about what we see as laziness and procrastination. I've written about my perspective on motivation in the past, particularly, due to my background in early childhood education, about the idea that we need to teach motivation. I worked with babies and toddlers for long enough to know that this is not necessary. We are born motivated. Also, motivation is internal. We can't force it on someone else.
Five reasons that we might be feeling like we don't want to act are:
1. We are tired and need to rest
Energy fluctuates and this is normal. Without a good night's sleep, it is very difficult to feel like we want to be productive. Sleeping is essential. Making sure that we're well hydrated helps our brains to function efficiently. Including protein with every meal is also important. If we have low blood sugar we will feel tired and unfocused. Naturally, a healthy diet, vitamins etc. helps to boost our immune system and keep us at our best. The more that we can do to improve gut health, the better for our physical and mental health. Enough movement and plenty of sunshine are also important. Lack of vitamin D can cause fatigue. Also, it's best to minimize environmental toxins where possible, as this can also cause fatigue. Energy is also affected by our emotions. For some, being tired can be due to too much socialising, or being around people who are not on the same wavelength. For others, it can be due to too much time alone, or too much time in their own thoughts.
2. It's not that important to us
According to Marina Mogilko, my new favourite blogger/entrepreneur, laziness, for her, kicks in for "things that could be delegated or things that are useless" (2020). Feeling lazy may be a sign that we're on the wrong path, doing things that we don't really care about or that are just not right for us. It's perfectly okay to accept our innate selves. In fact, it's the best thing that we can do. Some people are just not made for sitting still. Some people love to be outside, some don't work well for a boss, and others need to be working around people. Regardless of the type of job I'm doing, if it involves creativity I find it hard to stop. However, if it is repetitive, mindless, or involves any kind of routine, you might just have to scrape me off the floor. I still abide by my theory that if everyone just did what was right for them, instead of fighting against their real selves, the world would flow so beautifully and effortlessly. We can use checklists, charts, rewards, timeframes etc. to help ourselves persevere through the tasks that have to be done in the short term, but for the long term, we should reflect on how we really want to spend our days and what we would like to contribute to the world. Someone else might really enjoy those tasks that we don't enjoy.
3. We are lacking in confidence
What might feel like laziness, might actually be fear. Although it may not be acknowledged, we may be procrastinating because to take action would mean taking a risk that we might not be ready for. Taking action might mean that we are vulnerable to criticism, judgement or comparison. We need to be gentle with ourselves in these situations. Although something might be a great challenge, it might not be the right challenge for us. I am fully in favour of stepping outside of comfort zones, but not to the extent that it is damaging to us. We might consider whether the challenge is meaningful to us or whether the outcome is of enough value to make it worth pursuing. I've done a lot of things in my life just to prove that I could do them, and I no longer think that this is a good enough reason for doing something. We need to establish boundaries for our own wellbeing, and sift and sort to select those things that have personal value to us and that are aligned with our goals for our lives.
4. Our environment doesn't inspire us
Our environment has a lot of impact on our daily life. Just as a cluttered workspace can drain our energy, an uninspiring environment can fail to provide the motivation that we are looking for. This includes location. Living and working in environments that excite us can provide enthusiasm for progressing our lives, and can give us joy while we're doing it. This means considering city, country or coastal living, or choosing whether to work in an office, to work at home, or to work at a café. Mixing it up might also work well for us. Setting up our environment to make work easy is also a great tip from Marina M. She suggests having spaces delegated to various tasks, and having them ready to go at all times. Also, she suggests using equipment that is nice to use / attractive. For me, this is a big one. Now that I have a nice laptop, I am much more motivated to do computer work. Having nice quality equipment to use and clean, well-kept surroundings can trick us into feeling that we've already made it - like we really are the boss people. The law of attraction will then work its magic and help us along our way.
5. We're lacking a supportive community
Marie Forleo suggests building a community around us to help us with moving forward. This is so important. Whether it is a real life community or an online community, finding our tribe helps us in achieving our goals. Being around people who don't understand our values and priorities creates a lot of discomfort and distraction. Often their resistance is due to their own fears or the internal justification of their own choices. It usually has nothing to do with us. Progress shouldn't come from proving others wrong. It should come from inspiration. Think about a time when you were inspired to act, and consider how this affected the results that you had. When we are able to clear our headspace of the opinions of others, we have so much more room for thought and creativity. Sometimes this means being more selective about who we spend the most time with, and deliberately seeking out people who inspire us. It might also mean being more selective about the information we take in. For example, it might mean choosing self-development books / videos / podcasts, or interviews or biographies of inspirational people, rather than actively following mainstream media.
No, you are not lazy. You are a complex human being with preferences and priorities that draw you to some activities over others. Capitalising on these preferences and priorities will bring our personal lives, and the world, from good to great! If we all liked the same things the world wouldn't function - remember this.
As Marie Forleo says, "The world needs that special gift that only you have".
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Forleo, M. (2021, January 19). 2 essential ingredients to turn your dream into a business. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CpJRu64YSoI&t=328s
Mogilko, M. (2020). How to stop being lazy. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWRxS60b5ic&list=LL&index=24