Is Laziness Curable?

by Dr. Shanthi Thomas

At some point or the other, many of us can be caught lazing around, not doing anything particular and wasting time. Laziness is the disinclination to engage in any activity, despite having the ability to do it. There are fancy names for a person who is lazy, such as ‘slacker’, ‘bludger’ and ‘couch potato’. Is there a cure for laziness? Let us see.

1. Find your ‘ikigai’

If an individual wants to feel alive, there should be a purpose for life, and a reason to live. ‘Ikigai’ is a Japanese concept that means precisely this: the purpose of life and the reason to live. For some people, the purpose of life is to bring up their children in the best possible way. They devote every moment of their life to the fulfillment of this purpose. For some other people, the reason to live may be to leave a lasting legacy in terms of a successful career. They work day and night for the fulfilment of that dream. For certain other people, it may be something they love so passionately that all their waking moments are filled by that activity. Many artists belong to this category. For all these people, life has a purpose. There is a reason to live. Since they have something to work forward to which they believe in, they are not lazy.  Their purpose will not allow them to be lazy.

2. Increase your energy levels

There are certain habits that drain your energy and cause inertia. One such habit is watching TV or being on social media for very long periods of time, lying on a couch or bed. The more you lie down during the day, the more tired you feel. In fact, it is not tiredness that you feel; it is inertia. A cure for this is to assign a time and space for TV watching and social media, and use all your will power to stick to that time and place. The bed should only be used for sleeping, not for anything else. Another habit that reinforces laziness is the unwillingness to engage in any kind of exercise. A third habit would be the consumption of fast food or ready-made food, instead of home-cooked food. Getting rid of these habits will definitely raise your energy levels, and help you to combat laziness.

3. Seek help for underlying problems

Sometimes, you are lazy because you actually do feel tired, even exhausted. You feel that even getting up from bed is a herculean task. You are not interested in activities that people of your age group normally enjoy, and perhaps you yourself used to enjoy in the past. If this is the case, you have to suspect a psychological illness such as depression. Nowadays there is excellent treatment for depression, consisting of medication and psychotherapy. Stress, anxiety, and certain eating disorders also can cause tiredness in affected people. Another culprit is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in which controlling the mind and body to stay still or stay in a position conducive for an activity takes tremendous energy and will power. Since so much of energy is spent in doing even ordinary activities, affected individuals often feel tired. If you suspect any of these problems, a visit to the psychologist is warranted.

4. Join a group of motivating individuals

In these days of WhatsApp and Facebook it is easy to find people who have similar interests as you. On Facebook there are groups that come together for any number of reasons. If you are a person who likes gardening, there are lots of groups on Facebook for different types of gardening, be it vegetable gardening or indoor plants and so on.  With WhatsApp, you can create your own group of friends who will do healthy activities such as daily walking or trekking together. Another such platform where you can get a group of likeminded people is reddit. By joining the right kind of group, you will be motivated to be active in whatever interests you the most.

5. Use appropriate technology

There are very helpful applications that you can download on the phone and use that will encourage you to keep a tab on how you are spending your time. There are applications that help you grow healthy habits such as apps for drinking more water, limiting the time spent on your phone, or being inspired every morning by giving you daily quotes. There are even apps named ‘How to overcome laziness’ and ‘Procrastination Killer’. Armed with the right kind of apps for you, overcoming laziness should be easy.


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