Anxious because Lazy

Sometimes all we do is focus on ourselves. We focus on our body image. And we focus on our goals. And we focus on our mindset. We focus on setting up the perfect life. And when everything seems in perfect order we check back in with ourselves and wonder:

“My Life is perfect, why am I not feeling good?”

Of course this can have a multitude of reasons. But one possibility is, that we are lazy. We know what we would have to do, but we are not doing it. And we may even use our mental instability as an excuse for it. We put off the work we should be doing in favor of creating our mindset, or exercising more, or whatever that may be. With me this would go so far, that I would engage in self-harm, just to have a bigger problem to focus on. Of course not everyone who self-harms does it for that reason, I would even go as far as to say most people do not. But I did. I am also not stating, that anyone with a mental issue, is simply lazy. That would be outspokenly ignorant. But what I am saying is: If our lives are perfect and we still feel anxious, it may be because we are lazy and I think it is absolutely worth checking up on that.

How does our laziness affect our emotional state? We may long for someone telling us, that we are doing well enough. We may long for external approval, because deep inside us we know, that we could be doing better. We end up being anxious, because we do not approve of what we do. We do not approve of ourselves. This can lead to a wrong self-diagnosis. We think, we are attention-seeking, have mental issues and don’t love ourselves the way we should. While this may true as well, the real reason is laziness.

I do not believe, that lying to ourselves, and telling ourselves that everything is fine when it isn’t but can be made alright is a smart move. Sure, there are things we cannot change, like our past. But it does not mean, that we should accept that we are lazy and just decide to roll with it, when it really is something that bothers us. We have control over this. And why would we find ways to cope with laziness, if we can just eliminate that very laziness and make our lives better this way?

How do we know, if we are lazy. We all are aware that emotional state fluctuates and maybe we are not equally lazy all the time. There is a simple way to assess this. We need to have a look at our commitments. All of them. School, work, family life, hobbies, you name it. Once we know what our commitments are, we need to determine, how committed we really are to them. When was the last time, we worked on that project we claim to be close to our heart? Do we only do the minimum of what is expected of us? And if so, why? Could we do more? How much TV and alcohol do we consume? As sad as it is, that last one is a good indicator, because when watching TV we feel, like we are doing something productive, but we can end up doing it for hours, without really doing anything.

How can we fight our own laziness? This is difficult. And I have just started struggling with this, myself. However there are three main steps, we have to take: We have to first acknowledge that we are lazy and in what regards we are.
Then we have to choose not to be lazy. We have to remember, why we made that commitment. Without a good reason to do something we should not be doing it. Everyone whines about how they do not have enough time, but they could not tell you, why they made half of their commitments. So let’s get our why.
And finally we need to strategize. We need to find out, what actions we can take, to not be lazy anymore. We can either increase the effort we put into something, or the time we put into something. We can run faster, or we can run for longer. We can finish a task well or we can work on it for longer. To spend more time on our commitments, I recommend Calendar Blocking. Using a calendar and assign tasks to time slots. Because this way we have full control over our time.
We should not try to force ourselves to doing more than a little more. This is a journey. We need to improve step by step rather than setting up a schedule that we cannot keep to for longer than a day.
Once we have our time slots, and we are working on that task, there is one thought, that I find helpful:

“I am spending time on this. I might as well do it well.

This is great, because it allows you to gradually not only increase the time spent on our commitments but also improve the work we do during that time.

One final tip: Try to quantify. Not everything can be quantified. But some things can. How much time we spent, how fast we wrote something. How long it took us to accomplish the same task as last week. Because even though this sounds very competitive it is true: Success is measurable. And if we only think we are good, with no recent measure to back that up, we are probably not that great and we have most certainly stopped improving, because improvement is change and change is visible, at least to ourselves. We deserve success stories, we are working on improving ourselves after all.

So finding ways to measure the improvement is crucial for our motivation, but also to battle that anxiety, that comes with laziness. Because when we see, how we improved, we know we are not lazy. We are not just telling ourselves, we aren’t to make us feel a little better. We are not lying to ourselves, we are telling the truth and with that, the anxiety will disappear. (Unless there was another source for it, in which case, we are now not to lazy anymore to deal with that as well.) In any case making sure we are not lazy. Making sure, we are improving is equal to being the best version of ourselves. And I kid you not: the best version of ourselves tomorrow is a little better than the best version of myself today. Working on fighting laziness will improve everything. Us as a person, our lives our relationships with ourselves, the world around us and the people around us, but especially the relationship with the people we love.

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