How to Overcome the Pressure to Always Do More

How to Overcome the Pressure to Always Do More

via the Greater Good by Jill Suttie

As a child, my parents tried to instill a strong work ethic in me. They would praise me for staying up to do homework or for practicing the piano for hours. But if I shirked my chores to play outside or watch TV, I was scolded for being lazy—a label that was painfully sticky.

I’m sure many others have been called lazy, too—whether at home or at work. But, as social psychologist Devon Price argues in their book, Laziness Does Not Exist, thinking of individuals as “lazy” for not being constantly productive ignores the fact that our brains often work best in short spurts. Price calls on us to question “laziness” as a concept and to fight for a society that encourages people to work less and more efficiently, while having more free time to enjoy their lives.

I spoke to Price about why our expectations for ourselves are too high, how it hurts us, and what we can do about it.

Jill Suttie: Why do you say that laziness doesn’t exist?Devon Price, Ph.D.Devon Price, Ph.D.© Collin Quinn Rice

Devon Price: As I write in my book, people need to think logically about whether or not someone is in control of their motivation levels. Do people choose to feel depressed or exhausted or burnt out? No, no one would choose to feel that way.

If you look at the science behind things like task avoidance (the research term for procrastination, something that gets called “laziness” a lot), the research consistently shows that if a person cares about a goal and they’re still failing to meet it, it’s clearly not a failure of motivation on their part. It usually comes down to not being sure how to break down the task into small, discrete, completable steps; or being overwhelmed with anxiety and perfectionism; or, perhaps most commonly of all, just having way too many things on your plate.

A vast majority of people in the world are being asked to do more than is psychologically or physically possible. And when you’re asking people to do more than they can do, of course they’re going to look and feel lazy, because they’re being held to an impossible standard…

… keep reading the full & original article HERE