Purpose//

The Misunderstood Approach: Why We Put off Tasks to Laze Around

Do you keep procrastinating? Or are you too lazy to finish what you thought you would love to get done? This is for you.

Photo by Tamara Gore/ Unsplash
Photo by Tamara Gore/ Unsplash

Why is it foolish to avoid our tasks to laze around and get gratification while avoiding the work we have which gives us more satisfaction? 

Of late, this has been a question which has been running in my mind a lot. I had been asking this question to myself and to a lot of those around me, and the answer to it in an instant for MOST people that it’s laziness. The fact that we’re lazy is why we keep avoiding the tasks that we’re supposed to be doing. 

It made sense to me at first, but the more I pondered over it, it didn’t truly end with it just being a matter of “laziness” or “procrastination”. There was something definitely more to this. We all have tasks that we’ve been putting off, apart from the little tasks like running errands, maybe fixing an old phone or whatever that it may be, a lot of these tasks are part of our growth and career, which makes a huge impact on us. So why is it that we’re so bizarrely avoiding things? 

It didn’t make sense to me. Think of it, if you have chosen to be something and do something, it most often than not would have stemmed off your interests. Things that you may have been wanting to do which you actually like doing. 

So why is it that we put off things that we ACTUALLY like to do? It doesn’t make sense. We as humans are pleasure seekers. There are only TWO reasons why humans do anything in life. 

1) To avoid pain 

2) To attain pleasure

So, if we’re setting up goals for ourselves which lead us to pleasure and then our instincts are to keep avoiding the task and do something else which is irrelevant and unproductive, it HAS to be about avoiding pain. 

Isn’t it? 

And that’s the point which gets me further curious. 

So, if you say you WANT to do something and you LIKE doing it, then why do you avoid it? It’s not like you’ve avoided the strong URGE to watch a movie or a TV series or EATING an ice cream when you know it’ll make you happy. It SIMPLY doesn’t happen. We would go to any measure and try to do them and satisfy ourselves almost instantly. 

So what does it come down to? 

It comes down to only one thing. Perhaps you don’t like doing what you think you really want to do, after all. Sounds confronting and crazy, doesn’t it? What can we learn out of our pattern of laziness from avoiding the tasks which so apparently would give us pleasure? If you’re a believer of gut instincts and intuitions, this may make a lot more sense to you. Maybe your body and your mind are clearly showing you signs that you aren’t truly interested in doing what you think you want to be doing after all. 

Just the same way as they say: “A human mind will go any extent to avoid the tasks they don’t want to be doing.” 

What happens a lot of times is two things: 

1) We may not be interested in what we were ONCE interested in. 

2) Maybe we’re fearful of changing our interests at the current point of our life because we’ve spent a major part of our lives believing that it is JUST what we want to be doing. 

Look, there can’t be another secret option to it. Although I’m open to it if you believe there is. Educate me. But till you do, I’m going to stay convinced about this fact. 

My point here is that we can take our level of self awareness to the next step when we start recognising what our bodily instincts show us when we become lazy and procrastinate. 

Maybe it’s showing us and telling us: “Hey man, look for more. I don’t want to be doing this. This isn’t going to make me fulfilled. This isn’t going to drive me for a long time to continue doing what you’re making me do.” 

But, most of us at the first attempt wouldn’t agree with this instinctive thought of ours. We’ve all been educated about the fact that we shouldn’t make “excuses” to say no to what we were going to do. But are these excuses always negative? Sometimes it is, but ALL the time? I’m not sure about that. 

When we keep battling with our mind and trying to speak trash to it about how it’s failing us and not letting us do what we want to, it only leads to a similar situation like when some of our parents lay a guilt trip on us. When we decide to “do an MBA cause we’re no longer interested in pursuing engineering like we once felt like we wanted to do and become in 

our life”. 

If you think further, you’ll be able to relate with more examples which come from your own personal examples. Our parents keep reminding us of how we never stick to one thing in life and we divert. But we respond with: “I didn’t know better. This is what I once thought of doing, Paa. But the more I do it, my mind gives up and I feel maybe I should try something else.” 

Similarly, when it doesn’t come down to justifying to others but to yourself, the difficulty of the task amplifies. It’s tough to fight your mental battles and arrive at the right answer. So that’s why I find it so bizarre when I see myself and others putting off tasks to laze around when what we ACTUALLY want to do would clearly make us way more happier when we actually do it. 

Being lazy makes us comfortable at first but makes us self loathe later. So you tell me, if you really liked doing what you want to do, would you in the right mind opt not to and rather put yourself in the suffering of “Self Loathing”? 

Now that you ask yourself this question, you yourself will find how bizarre it is. Recognise your laziness. Understand why it’s your instinct. Step up your self awareness. In the right mind and perfect sense, you wouldn’t avoid doing that would make you happy.

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- Marcus Aurelius

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