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The Perception of Laziness

The Perception of Laziness
By Emil Eddy • Issue #39 • View online
I know that many of you might be on an extended Easter break, and these breaks can often lead to a sense of ‘laziness’.
I think laziness is a very interesting topic, and I’d like to start this newsletter by distinguishing between being lazy and thinking that you’re lazy.
In my opinion, this distinction is important to make because I don’t think many people are actually lazy.
The behaviours that usually constitute laziness - procrastination, watching tv, eating, playing games - are unavoidable consequences of people working beyond their normal capacity. If you’re in the second week of term holidays and you played games for the entirety of the first week, that probably means you worked hard during the term and needed a break.
This break was something that your body required to keep functioning, and thus it stopped you from doing any work, regardless of whether you wanted that or not.
The important point I’m trying to make with this distinction is that most people aren’t lazy, they overwork themselves and force their body to manifest ‘laziness’, which is really just an important break.
The second point I want to make is that perceiving oneself as being lazy is far more damaging than being lazy itself.
When we exhibit ‘lazy’ behaviours, we often start to think about ourselves in a way that leads to feelings of inadequacy, anxiety and stress. This can come from a place of comparison, where we think that “everyone else is working hard and I’m falling behind”. Alternatively, we may simply have a large amount of work to do, and the feeling of not making progress may cause us to berate ourselves for being unproductive.
This thinking is flawed, as it fails to understand that ‘lazy’ behaviours are those that allow our body and minds to rest. We would be much better off if we acknowledged and accepted these behaviours as integral to reach peak performance in the future.
Furthermore, resisting rest by berating yourself for these behaviours often impedes the process of recovery. When we try to force ourselves to work especially when we are struggling to do so, it can compound our sense of hopelessness and inadequacy.
It is for these reasons that I’ve tried to cut out the idea of laziness from my life. Whenever I start perceiving myself as lazy, I look back on the work I have completed in the past week, and on most occasions, I realise that I desperately need a break.
If you’re feeling lazy at the moment, or if you’re in a productivity slump, remember this and try to change your perspective!
- Emil

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Emil Eddy

Hi! My name is Emil and I'm a second year medical student studying at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. Every Sunday I write a little bit about my life as a medical student and content creator :)

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