We all find ourselves in situations where we don’t want to do anything but watch Netflix in our pajamas. Often, we become mad at ourselves because we think we wasted time.
We tend to be hard on ourselves when we are not meeting our own daily expectations and immediately label it as “laziness.” However, we need to step back from this mentality and question if we are actually being lazy, or if we are simply taking time to recover and process.
In a Healthline article, Janine Annett claims that we are operating at our best selves when we are doing less because it allows us to truly focus on one thing at a time and prevent burnout. If you are wondering if you are being lazy or not, here are some questions to ask yourself.
1. Are you dealing with a lot of stress?
As a society, we have accustomed ourselves to thinking that we need to work at our maximum capacity all the time.
However, it is almost impossible to perform at our peak performance every single day without a break. When there are many outside forces requiring our undivided attention, we become overwhelmed with stress and shut down in response.
If you have been dealing with consistent stress in any facet of your life and find yourself on the couch not wanting to do anything by the end of the week, you are most likely not being lazy, but rather are just trying to recoup and reset your body and mind.
We all need breaks from time to time, so before you label your lack of productivity as “laziness,” make sure you reevaluate the circumstances and ask yourself if you have been spreading yourself too thin lately.
2. Are you trying to avoid a problem?
Perhaps you have a big project that you need to work on and you know that there is a lot riding on its success. You would rather work on anything else than the issue at hand.
A lot of times, we can get in our own way when trying to accomplish a task simply because we do not want to deal with the repercussions. We may be afraid to fail at something, so in our minds we believe that it is better to not even try at all.
In avoiding the problem, we never have to face any consequences, and therefore, do not have to worry about a possible blow to our ego. However, often, the longer we avoid the problem, the more stressed we will eventually become when we finally have to face it in the end.
Next time you catch yourself being self-critical for not doing your work, ask yourself if there is an underlying issue that you’re worried about. It’s best to deal with the source head-on and break it down into small, manageable steps so you don’t become overwhelmed.
3. Are you tired?
This indication of laziness is a little more self-explanatory. Usually, people do not want to do anything simply because they are tired. You can be tired mentally, physically, or even emotionally.
Perhaps you’ve had back-to-back classes all day and all you want to do is get in your sweatpants and watch a movie. But you know that afterwards, you will feel guilty for not doing your homework instead.
Many of us were raised to think that we need to get work done before we can do something fun, but sometimes that is not the case. If you are tired because you have been working all day and then are expected to do more work, you’re probably not going to perform to the best of your ability. Sometimes, we confuse taking breaks for being lazy.
However, that is certainly not the case as we require breaks in order to refresh our minds and continue our work. Usually, a 15 to 30 minute break does the trick, which you can spend watching a Netflix show or listening to music.
The same notion of taking breaks extends to being tired from social situations. If you have been going out with your friends every weekend for the past month, by the fifth week, you might just want to stay at home.
Your friends may tease you for being a “buzzkill” or “lazy.” But it’s totally normal to become tired when you spend too much time with others, especially if you’re an introvert.
Before you write off your unwillingness to participate as laziness or allow others to deem it as laziness, make sure to check in with yourself. It is important to take some time for yourself and view it as self-care rather than laziness.
Oftentimes, we can be quick to judge ourselves and our lack of motivation. It is usually not laziness that we are succumbing to, but rather, we are dealing with a deeper issue.
Before criticizing your decision to have a pajama day at home, make sure you ask yourself these questions to get to the bottom of your mindset.