It is the desire to be idle, to do nothing, resist the effort, procrastinate and postpone doing things.
It is a state of passivity and of letting things stay as they are.
“A sluggard’s appetite is never filled, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied.” “All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.” “Whoever is lazy regarding his work is also a brother to the master of destruction.” “Laziness brings on deep sleep, and the shiftless go hungry.”
A person is being lazy if he can carry out some activity that he ought to carry out but is disinclined to do so because of the effort involved. … Synonyms for laziness are indolence and sloth. Indolence derives from the Latin indolent, ‘without pain’ or ‘without taking trouble’.
“What does the Bible say about laziness?”
Newton’s first law of motion states that an object in motion tends to remain in motion and an object at rest tends to remain at rest. This law applies to people. While some are naturally driven to complete projects, others are apathetic, requiring motivation to overcome inertia. Laziness, a lifestyle for some, is a temptation for all. But the Bible is clear that, because the Lord ordained work for man, laziness is sin. “Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise” (Proverbs 6:6)
The Bible has a great deal to say about laziness. Proverbs is especially filled with wisdom concerning laziness and warnings to the lazy person. Proverbs tells us that a lazy person hates work: “The sluggard’s craving will be the death of him because his hands refuse to work” ; he loves sleep: “As a door turns on its hinges, so a sluggard turns on his bed” ; he gives excuses: “The sluggard says, ‘There is a lion in the road, a fierce lion roaming the streets’” , he wastes time and energy: “He who is slothful in his work is a brother to him who is a great waster” , he believes he is wise but is a fool: “The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes than seven men who answer discreetly” .
Proverbs also tell us the end in store for the lazy: A lazy person becomes a servant (or debtor): “Diligent hands will rule, but laziness ends in slave labor” (12:24); his future is bleak: “A sluggard does not plow in season, so at harvest time he looks but finds nothing” (20:4); he may come to poverty: “The soul of the lazy man desires and has nothing, but the soul of the diligent shall be made rich”.
There is no room for laziness in the life of a Christian. A new believer is truthfully taught that “…it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians). But a believer can become idle if he erroneously believes God expects no fruit from a transformed life. “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10). Christians are not saved by works, but they do show their faith by their works (James 2:18, 26). Slothfulness violates God’s purpose—good works. The Lord, however, empowers Christians to overcome the flesh’s propensity to laziness by giving us a new nature (2 Corinthians 5:17).
In our new nature, we are motivated to diligence and productiveness out of a love for our Savior who redeemed us. Our old propensity toward laziness—and all other sins—has been replaced by a desire to live godly lives: “He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need” (Ephesians 4:28). We are convicted of our need to provide for our families through our labors: “If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever” (1 Timothy 5:8); and for others in the family of God: “You yourselves know that these hands of mine have supplied my own needs and the needs of my companions. In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’” (Acts 20:34-35).
As Christians, we know that our labors will be rewarded by our Lord if we persevere in diligence: “Let us not become weary in doing well, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have the opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers” (Galatians 6:9-10); “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving” (Colossians 3:23-24); “God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them” (Hebrews 6:10).
Christians should labor in God’s strength to evangelize and disciple. The apostle Paul is our example: “We proclaim him [Christ], admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me” (Colossians 1:28-29). Even in heaven, Christians’ service to God will continue, although no longer encumbered by the curse (Revelation 22:3). Free from sickness, sorrow, and sin—even laziness—the saints will glorify the Lord forever. “Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:58).
How to overcome Laziness?
- Make your goals manageable. Setting unrealistic goals and taking on too much can lead to burnout. …
- Don’t expect yourself to be perfect. …
- Use positive instead of negative self-talk. …
- Create a plan of action. …
- Use your strengths. …
- Recognize your accomplishments along the way. …
- Ask for help. …
- Avoid distraction.
“How soon ‘not now’ becomes ‘never’.”
Break down a task into smaller tasks
We often avoid tasks because we find them too big, too overwhelming, too tiring, or taking too much of our time. Breaking a task into several smaller tasks can solve this problem. Then, each task will not seem so difficult or intimidating.
Instead of having one big task, we will have a series of small tasks, which do not require too much effort.
This approach can be applied not only to tasks but also to goals and everything else we have or need to do. This will tend to melt much of the laziness and inner resistance we often experience.
Rest, sleep, and exercise
In some cases, laziness is due to being tired and lacking energy. If this is true in your case, you need to give yourself the rest and sleep you need, and you also need to give your body enough exercise and fresh air.
Rest, sleep and exercise give your body the strength and refreshment it needs.
The importance of motivation
In some cases, the reason for laziness is due to a lack of motivation.
You can strengthen your motivation through affirmations, visualization, and thinking about the importance of performing your task or chore or achieving your goal.
Have a vision of what and who you want to be
Frequent reflection on the person we want to be, the goals we want to achieve, and the life we want to live, can motivate you to make plans and act to achieve them.
Think about benefits
Think about the benefits you will gain if you overcome your laziness and take action, instead of thinking about the difficulties or obstacles. Focusing on the difficulties of carrying out a task, leads to discouragement, avoidance of taking action, and to laziness. You must focus your mind and attention on the benefits, not on the difficulties.
Thinking about the consequences
Think about what will happen, if you succumb to laziness and do not carry out your task or chore.
Thinking about the consequences of not acting, can motivate and push you to take action so that you avoid negative consequences.
Doing one thing at a time
Focus on doing one thing at a time. If you feel you have a lot to do, you will probably feel overwhelmed and let laziness overcome you, instead of you overcoming laziness.
Too many tasks might seem intimidating, but if you take just one task at a time and focus only on this one, things become easier to handle.
Your imagination has a great influence on your mind, habits, and actions. Visualize yourself carrying out any task easily, energetically, and enthusiastically. Do so before starting any task, and also when you feel lazy. Do so also when your mind whispers to you to abandon what you are doing.
Tell yourself over and again:
“I can accomplish my goal.”
“I have the energy and motivation to act and do whatever I want or have to do.”
“Doing things makes me stronger.”
“I have the inner strength to do anything I want to do.”
“I can easily awaken motivation in me.”
“I do everything now, not later.”
“Doing things makes things happen.”
Regard tasks as exercises that strengthen you
Consider each task as an exercise to make you stronger, more decisive, and more assertive. It is an opportunity to exercise your inner strength, get out of your comfort zone, and learn to take action.
Take each task as an opportunity to reveal the inner you, the strong and fearless you. This will help you develop the ability to tackle everything in your life with courage and confidence.
Avoid procrastination, which is a form of laziness. If there is something you have to do, why not do it right now and get through with it? Why let it stay nagging at the back of your head?
Learn from successful people
Watch successful people and how they do not let laziness win. Learn from them, talk with them and associate with them.
Overcoming the habit of laziness is achieved through a series of daily actions and activities. You need to choose to act, instead of staying passive.
Do not be afraid to leave your comfort zone. Your comfort zone might be comfortable and cozy, but it can keep you in one place, preventing you from making progress.
Every time you overcome your laziness you get stronger. Every time you choose to act, you increase your ability to win, achieve goals, and improve your life.
I hope you will find useful these tips on how to stop being lazy.