You Need to Change How You Think About Being ‘Lazy’

You Need to Change How You Think About Being ‘Lazy’
Photo: banu sevim, Shutterstock

Part of the appeal of Fridays is looking forward to what you’re going to do over the weekend (at least for those who typically have Saturdays and Sundays off). Maybe you start off thinking that you’ll take some time to relax, but after an hour or two on the couch or in bed (or wherever you go to unwind), a feeling of guilt sets in.

After all, you have so much you need to get done at home, and are always too tired to do it after work, that you feel like any time spent not being productive on the weekend is time that’s wasted. Or, more specifically, that you’re being lazy. But are you, really? We don’t know your personal situation, but there’s a decent chance that you could benefit from reframing how you think about laziness. Here’s how to do that.

How to reframe ‘laziness’

If you ask social psychologist Devon Price, PhD, about laziness, he’ll tell you that it doesn’t exist. (If he says something else, he may need to rethink the title of his book Laziness Does Not Exist.) This may sound extreme — especially in a culture that glorifies productivity and vilifies entire demographics by labelling them “lazy” — but that’s kind of the point.

“Laziness is usually a warning sign from our bodies and our minds that something is not working,” Price told NPR in a September 2021 interview. “The human body is so incredible at signalling when it needs something. But we have all learned to ignore those signals as much as possible because they’re a threat to our productivity and our focus at work.”

In other words, instead of seeing laziness as a character flaw and/or something we need to fix, Price recommends looking at it as your body and brain letting you know it needs a break — not to do more work.

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