Why the Thought of Laziness Is a Lie


The lazy lie is a belief system that states that hard work is morally superior to relaxation, and that people who are not productive have less innate worth than productive people. It’s an unspoken but widespread set of beliefs and values. It affects how we work, how we set boundaries in our relationships, and how we see what life should be about.

There are three core beliefs that fuel society’s hatred of laziness:

Your value is your productivity.

This idea is problematic on a fundamental level and also because children, the elderly, the disabled, and people with depression, for example, cannot always be productive. These lives still have innate value. And if you think you earn your right to life by working hard and getting a lot done, you will always take on more than is healthy for you. When we have problems or are not productive, we can easily take advantage of the idea that our productivity is related to our worth.

You cannot trust your own feelings or limits.

Since productivity is the most important thing, ignore or downplay anything that gets in the way of that productivity: if I feel tired in the middle of the day, beating myself up or telling myself that I’m tired makes no sense. I haven’t earned a break yet because I haven’t done enough. This is a risky thinking process as it gives us a distorted feeling about these signals. We don’t trust the feeling of having to stop working because we assume they will make us a bad person. This can affect our health as people who do not take enough breaks are at increased risk of burnout.

There is always more you could do.

This one is particularly dangerous because it is about much more than just work. There are many areas of life where we can feel guilty or where we feel like we are not enough.