People often confuse the lazy with the laid-back, and I get it, as both words imply unproductivity.
And in a society that equates our productivity to our self-worth, doing nothing feels almost criminal. In fact, if you’re here, you probably even wondered about yourself: Am I lazy?
Worse, someone else pointed it out to you. To your face.
And it might have even made you feel guilty because as I said, society frowns upon unproductivity. So my counterstatement: Maybe you’re just laid-back.
So fret not, dear reader, we’ll discuss 4 signs that show you’re not lazy, you just have a laid-back personality.
Let’s start this off with:
1) You value rest as much as you value work
The laid-back might say, “Rest is as important as work.”
The lazy might say, “Why work?”
First order of business: Rest is as important as work. Repeat after me: Rest is as important as work. Yup, it bears repeating.
Miss me with that hustle and grind culture, I reject it. Wholeheartedly.
All that overworking I’ve done just led me to burnout. (And I’m not the only one.)
To be clear, I’m not stopping anyone from hustling, I just want everyone to take the time to rest and recuperate in between.
Which you do as a y’know… a laid-back person.
You value rest and there’s nothing wrong with that. You understand that too much productivity is as unhealthy as none of it at all.
You don’t see rest as just a reward for hard work, it’s part of it! It’s essential for hard work.
“There is virtue in work and there is virtue in rest. Use both and overlook neither.” — Alan Cohen
You’re not someone who puts* deadlines one after another if you can help it. You need breathers and respites in between. You need a cool-down period in between your best works.
You’re not being productive for productivity’s sake.
*You’re probably also not someone who works well with consecutive deadlines. You’ve probably crammed one or two projects here and there. (No worries, I won’t judge. I’ve been there, too.)
2) You have a sense of responsibility, you just don’t panic
The laid-back might say, “I know what I need to do.”
The lazy might say, “LOL.”
If the lazy will even say anything. Lazy people will not have a sense of responsibility at all. I think this is one of the greatest separators between lazy and laid-back.
See, lazy days are okay.
I would even go so far as to recommend having lazy days (see #1), but if you don’t even feel like you have the responsibility to finish your tasks then that’s where it begins to be a problem.
A laid-back person still has this sense of responsibility. This awareness of what needs to be done, the to-do lists of the day or week, or month.
Very important sidebar:
It needs to be said that there are many reasons for laziness, one of which is mental health.
Sometimes you just can’t. Sometimes our mental health gets so bad that getting out of bed, much less cooking for ourselves or cleaning the house, becomes so difficult.
Sometimes we can’t even eat or shower. So what more over a work deadline? What more to hustle? What more to go and see the world when the kitchen feels so far away?
So, take your time. Rest. Seek help if you can and if you have to. There’s no shame in seeking help. I’m rooting for you, friend.
TL;DR, I’m strictly talking about a by-choice kind of laziness here, okay?
Anyway, let’s go back to the list.
3) You’re accountable for yourself
The laid-back might say, “That’s on me.”
The lazy might say, “Oh, was that today?”
Compared to someone lazy, you have accountability. And there are two instances that accountability is in play here:
- You’re accountable for the tasks needed to be done.
- You’re accountable for the tasks that aren’t done
The first point is pretty straightforward and related to #2’s sense of responsibility, you have ownership of what you need to do. Comparatively to someone lazy who probably won’t or doesn’t care at all.
Now let’s talk about the second point: We sometimes overestimate our pace or underestimate the actual time needed to finish something. That’s normal, it happens. We’re not all good at time management.
But the difference between a laid-back person and someone lazy is that you will also take responsibility for something that you did not finish.
Even the fact that you’re reading this now, that you’re wondering if you’re lazy or otherwise, is a testament to the fact that you care if everything is functioning as it should.
The lazy would be… well, too lazy to care.
They might even blame this or that for not finishing what they needed to do. They might even blame other people, blame everything but themselves.
4) You *still* get things done.
The laid-back might say, “Yep, I’m on it.”
The lazy might say, “Nah.”
Okay, so maybe they won’t say “Nah” to your face. (I’m trying to inject humor in my examples, it’s why I say “might” instead of “will” after all.)
But their actions will certainly show that Nah because they won’t get things done. This is also a very strong comparison between laid-back and lazy.
You not panicking over every single little thing about a task doesn’t make you lazy. You not obsessing over productivity doesn’t make you lazy. You taking your time to finish what’s needed isn’t lazy.
It’s just your way, just how you operate.
The distance from Point A to Point B for you just happens to be a lowkey and chill one and that’s okay, you still get to Point B eventually. You’re a stop-and-smell-the-roses kind of person and that?
This article is short but I hope it was sweet (read: convincing, informative, and uplifting) enough.
Honestly, the rest of us need to take a page from your book to stop and smell the roses from time to time.
The world moves so very quickly and sometimes we feel like we get left behind by how fast-paced things can be. You are evidence that we can enjoy life by taking our time.
Sure, we need to get stuff done but we also need to treat ourselves right while we’re at it. Toxic productivity will do more harm to us than good and you’re one step ahead of us for knowing this.
At the start of this, I mentioned the possibility that you might have felt that you’re lazy or been told point blank that you were.
After what I’ve said, do you still think so?