There are some people who work all the time and never rest. Other people rest constantly without working.
Somewhere in between is the sweet spot of working hard and resting when we need to.
But what if your laziness is stopping you from working at all?
Maybe you have goals, dreams, and work to do, but you don’t do it. This struggle is real, my friends, but I want you to know that being lazy is optional. It has no real use in our lives.
In this episode, I show you how to overcome your laziness once and for all. Learn how to know if you’re being lazy or truly resting, why we let ourselves be lazy, and how to finally start getting the work done without drama.
You always have the choice to stay in bed, not work out, and to buffer instead of taking action. But I invite you not to. Will you accept?
Grab your copy of our new Wisdom From The Life Coach School Podcast book. It covers a decade worth of research, on life-changing topics from the podcast, distilled into only 200 pages. It’s the truest shortcut to self development we have ever created!
What you will discover
- Why you should never call yourself “lazy” as a character trait.
- How I define feeling lazy.
- The difference between being lazy and resting.
- Why we allow ourselves to be lazy.
- Where most procrastination comes from.
- How to defeat laziness so you never have to overcome it again.
Featured on the show
You are listening to The Life Coach School Podcast with Brooke Castillo, episode number 382.
Welcome to The Life Coach School Podcast, where it’s all about real clients, real problems and real coaching. And now your host, Master Coach Instructor, Brooke Castillo.
Hi, my friends. How are you today? I’m so good. I’m in Colorado still. I’m about to get on a plane to fly to Lake Tahoe to celebrate my 49th and my son’s 21st birthday. I’m so excited. I love Lake Tahoe in the summer. I’ve gone there every summer my whole life. I’ve celebrated my birthday there every summer my whole life.
Our whole family gets together. We’re bringing lots of our friends. We rented a big house and it’s right on the lake. And we have a chef the whole time and we have the boat, we have jet skis, I cannot wait.
I’ve been having a great time here with my friends Layla and Alex and Ryan. We’re all here. And I’ve now met some friends in Colorado, which is fun. So, we’ve all been hanging out and hiking. And we did e-bikes up to the top of Vale. That was hysterical. So much fun. So, I’m having a wonderful summer. I hope you guys are as well.
Today, I want to talk about a topic called resting versus laziness. I wanted to do this topic because I have some friends – I have friends on both ends of this spectrum.
So, I have friends that never rest because they think it’s lazy. And I have some friends that all they really do is rest, and it’s not really resting because they haven’t done anything, it’s more laziness, but they’re calling it rest.
And I think the answer is somewhere in the middle, where we take care of ourselves and work really hard and rest when we need to and we eliminate laziness from our lives completely. Laziness has no real usefulness in our lives.
One of the things that I think is very important to remember is that you don’t ever want to call yourself lazy as a character trait. A lot of people will say, “I’m not going to do that just because I’m lazy,” or, “I’m not taking care of that because I’m lazy.”
And I just want you to be careful when you start attributing labels to yourself, you will prove them true. They’re very subtle thoughts that you end up living out to prove them to yourself. And when you are being quote unquote lazy, when you’re acting lazy, you are not being that best version of yourself. You are not creating at the highest level of what you can create.
And if you’re listening to this podcast and you follow my work and you’re a student of mine, you probably are someone who wants to create a contribution, who wants to create something and add some value to your life and to the people around you.
Laziness is not one of those character traits that you’re going to want to develop. When you look up lazy in the dictionary, it says, “Unwilling to work or use energy.” And I think there’s a more specific definition that I’m going to be sing throughout this podcast and I want you to think about.
The way that I define being lazy, you know, feeling lazy, is, “I don’t want to do something. I don’t feel like doing something. And so, I don’t do it.” The first part of it is important, but the second part of it is what makes you lazy.
So, how do we know if we’re being lazy or if we’re just resting? How do we know if we’re one of those people that is pushing too hard and needs to step back and rest and not call it laziness? Or if we’re someone that needs to produce more and stop giving into the feeling of laziness.
And I’ll tell you, there’s a very easy way of determining this. It’s results. Are you producing results at the level that you’re capable of doing? And if you are, then it’s not laziness. But if you haven’t produced any results and you don’t feel like doing something and so you don’t do it, we’re going to call that laziness.
Now, here’s the important distinction. Having the thought and the feeling that you don’t want to do something is completely normal. It does not mean that you’re lazy. It does not mean there’s something wrong with you. It doesn’t mean you’re doing the wrong work. It means you’re a human being.
So, a good way to test this out with yourself is when you do your Monday Hour One work, when you write down what you’re going to accomplish for the day, for the week, do you then accomplish those things even though you don’t feel like doing them.
If the answer is yes, then the time you take off, the time that you spend laying around watching Netflix, the time that you spend sitting on the couch staring at the wall is not laziness. That is rest.
But if all you’re doing is not feeling like doing something and not doing it and you’re not producing any results, then we can call that laziness. And we want to eliminate that from your life.
You’ve heard me talk about this a lot. And I’ve had some really close friends who I’ve watched have these big dreams, have these big goals for themselves, want to make a change in their life. And I’ll watch them go through their whole day and just not produce anything that is a significant result.
They will spend time doing activities. They will burn up an entire day doing things that doesn’t produce a result. And that is the whole point of Monday Hour One and the way that we do our calendars in Monday Hour One. And if you don’t know what Monday Hour One is, you want to go into Scholars and take that course, one of the most important courses we offer.
But what we do is we create results on our calendar. So, instead of putting on our calendar an hour of activity, we put on the calendar an hour of what we’re actually going to produce. We’re going to write one chapter, instead of writing, we actually produce that result.
So, if you’re going through your week and you’re producing the results that you said you were going to produce, you are on track to eliminate laziness from your life.
Anything that you schedule for rest after you’ve completed your results is not laziness. It’s rest. And in fact, I schedule a lot of time to not be working and I don’t call that laziness. And here is one of the reasons why.
When I talk to people about how much they produce and how many results they’re creating per week, one of the biggest indicators is how much time they are spending producing. And it’s the opposite of what you might think.
Most people think the more time you spend working, the more results you’re going to produce. That is not accurate, my friends. The more efficient you are, the more results you’re going to produce.
So, I had a friend one time tell me she was going to go to a four-day workweek with her team and she said, “I’m going to see if we can take Fridays off. I’m going to see how they do with a four-day workweek. But if they don’t get their work done, I’m going to back to five days a week.”
And what I told her was, “No, that’s the opposite of what you should do. If they don’t get their work done in four days a week, you should only give them three days to get it done because it will make them more efficient, more on-top of things, less lazy, less distracted, and less procrastinating because they have a limited amount of time to produce a lot of results.
That is one of the secrets to eliminating laziness from your life. Give yourself less time to do the work. You will not be able to, “Well I have an hour to do something that takes me 20 minutes. I’ll look on Facebook. I’ll check Instagram. I’ll see who texts me. I’ll check my emails,” that kind of thing, you’re not going to be producing at the level that you want.
And what that actually does is reduce the amount of time that you’re able to rest. Because if you’re spending an hour doing something that could take you 20 minutes, you’ve missed out on the opportunity to get that work done in 20 minutes and then literally rest and relax without it being laziness because you already produced that result you want.
So, the question becomes, why do we allow ourselves to be lazy? Why do we allow ourselves to rest ahead of time? Which is what laziness is, it’s resting before you’ve done anything to produce results. It’s procrastinating. It’s sitting around being mindless.
And the reason why we do this, and I’ve watched people do this in my life, is we have thoughts about the work we’re going to do. And we think that it’s valid, it’s a valid reason not to do something because we don’t feel like doing it.
I want to say that’s an invalid reason. So many of the tasks, so many of the things that we need to do in our lives to have an extraordinary life and to build the character of resilience and efficiency is to do hard things, to do things we don’t feel like doing in the moment but we’re taking care of for our future self.
For some of you, it may be taking care of tasks around the house. For some of you, it may mean not eating, not overeating. For some of you, it may be producing a blog post or recording a podcast or creating content or making offers.
So many of my students don’t want to make offers because they don’t feel like it. They’re waiting for this magical land of, “I’m going to be inspired to do all of this work.”
And usually, what happens to most of us who indulge in laziness is we get to the point where we have a limited time frame. We artificially are like – it’s like we’re creating our own demand for efficiency by waiting until the last minute.
And one of the things I recommend in Monday Hour One is you just create the demand for that efficiency ahead of time. And the only difference between those two things is you’re still getting the work done in the least amount of time. You’re just not stressed about it.
And a lot of times, people will say, “well I do my best work at the last minute.” I’m like, “No, that’s just when you actually do work.” If you created a timeline for yourself that required you to meet a sooner deadline, you would still do your best work. You would just do it without the stress of having to get it done in a certain amount of time.
Most procrastination comes from a forcing of you to not be a perfectionist. If it has to be done on a certain day at a certain time, you can’t indulge in your perfectionism. And so, that’s why you’re getting it done.
So, if you’re the kind of person who wants work to be done perfect so you procrastinate and do it at the last minute because you can’t tolerate it not being perfect, just notice how inefficient that is. Notice how you’re creating false stress for yourself so you can overcome your own perfectionism.
And what I want to recommend is you just overcome your perfectionism with one choice, “I need to do B-minus work. I need to get it done in the next hour even though it’s not due until Friday.” That is when you will produce at the highest level. And when you do that consistently, you have more time to rest.
Now, let’s talk about what is the difference between resting, truly resting after you’ve gotten the results that you want, and laziness. The biggest difference is your opinion of yourself while you’re doing it.
Rest, in order for it to be rejuvenating, in order for it to actually produce energy, stored energy for yourself to do the next fuel-based thing that you need to do is you need to have a high opinion of yourself while you’re doing it. And if when you’re being lazy, you’re not having a high opinion of yourself while you’re doing it, you’re shoulding all over yourself.
Think about this. If you’re lying on the couch and you just completed three blog posts, 12 offers, what you will be feeling when you lay on the couch is accomplished, proud. You will be experiencing this earned rest that you are now taking without anything on your plate. That’s when you do your rest after results.
When you do your rest before results, that rest is like tossing and turning in the bed. You may be laying around watching Netflix, but you’re not getting any true rest because you’re thinking, “I should be working. I should be doing this.” You’re dreading the amount of work that you have to do that you haven’t produced. You’re not feeling good about yourself because of the results you haven’t created.
The simple difference is putting the rest on the other side of the results instead of putting the rest on the front side of it and allowing yourself to not feel like doing something and doing it anyway, carrying that heavy dread like a purse.
So, let me give you an example. This morning when I wake up and I look at my calendar, my first call, I have a Five Pounds Stronger call that starts at noon for me today. So, I had about two hours, I went on a hike this morning, and I had about two hours before that call that I didn’t have anything planned.
And I wanted to record this podcast. And I could record it after the call, or I could record it before the call that I was teaching. And listen, I didn’t feel like getting on the podcast and doing it ahead of time. It seemed so much nicer to take my time getting ready and lounge about and text my friends, and my other friends are here, talk to them.
But instead, I’m like, “I don’t feel like doing this right now. But I’m going to get it done and then I’m going to chill and relax afterwards, after the call, and just be able to enjoy that time so much more because I’ve already accomplished the podcast.
Now, now that I’m doing the podcast, I’m actually quite enjoying it. I enjoy having these conversations with you. I enjoy giving you kind of the content the way my mind puts things together. I’m now in the flow of doing it. I just had to overcome the barrier of, “Oh my gosh, I’d rather lay around.”
Remember the motivational triad. You would always rather lay around and not risk any kind of challenge because of the way that your brain is wired. It’s not because you’re a lazy person. It’s because you’re trying to preserve your body from having to exert itself because there may not be food in this cave later. That is how your brain was evolved.
So, when you understand that, it’s very east to overcome. You don’t use, “I don’t feel like it,” as a reason to not do something. And you don’t even have to analyze why you’re not doing something. That’s another mistake I see a lot of my students make is they’re like, “Well, I think I’m afraid of rejection. I think I’m afraid of success. I think I’m afraid that nobody will read this blog post I write, or nobody will pay attention to the podcast I record.”
Like, so what? Those are not reasons not to do it. That’s just normal. That’s just a habit of thinking. But here’s what you need to know. If you give into that over and over and over again, you will start to believe that it’s true. Because notice, if you tell yourself, “I’m afraid someone will reject me,” and so you don’t write the blog post, you’ve basically rejected yourself ahead of time.
You haven’t even given yourself a chance to put your work out there into the world for someone to have an opinion about it. And people will say to me all the time, “It’s just so easy for you. You can just think up something and put it out there.”
The difference isn’t that there’s any less chance of rejection. In fact, I have probably, for most of you, I probably have way more opportunity for rejection because I have way more readers right now. I have way more people that could be offended, could attack me, could disagree with me.
But because I’ve overcome my mind so many times to always produce consistent work, it doesn’t have as much clout with me. It’s just like noise in my brain, “Oh, are you sure you’re good enough? Are you sure this is a good enough topic? Are you sure people will be interested? Do you think anyone’s even listening anymore? Do you think – why are you ugly today?”
That’s just my brain talking to me. I’m like, “Really? This is what we’re coming up with today? This is insane.” So, sometimes I just can’t be bothered with it. Sometimes, I do work on it and if I find a new thought or something that seems kind of out of place for my regular noise, I usually do a couple models on it. But usually, when it’s just the same old noise that I’ve already done work on, I don’t have time.
I have a schedule. I need to get my work done. I want to be able to rest afterward and enjoy my rest. So, I want you to understand that when you’re being lazy, excuses and explanations are required.
When you’re genuinely resting, there is no justification needed. You don’t have to explain yourself to yourself. When you’re being lazy you’re like, “I had such a hard day yesterday,” or, “I just feel so exhausted,” or, “I’m just so tried,” or, “I’m just so burnt out.” It is all noise. When you’re resting, you don’t have to do any of that. You’re like, “I just finished 12 blog posts. I’m having a rest.” Boom, mic drop, period.
So many of the excuses and the justifications are us lying to ourselves, “Oh I’m just feeling a little off today.” Yeah, welcome to your life. You’re going to feel a little off probably 30% of the time.
Now, I’m not saying you don’t pay attention when you’re actually sick. But most of us who are on that end of the lazy spectrum are very efficient at making excuses, very efficient at creating justification for not producing results.
When you have less time in your schedule to get your work done, you’re going to have less laziness. You’re not going to be able to indulge in the time. Now, I’m not saying pack your day full of work. I’m saying pack your day full of creating results and rest. That is the most perfectly efficient balanced day.
Some people do it like this. Some people do, create a result, rest, create a result, rest, create a result, rest. And some people create, create, create, create results and then rest. That’s me. I work for five solid hours producing results, and then I rest. That feels the best to me. But whatever feels the best to you is what you need to do.
For example, I really like to have Mondays be a day that’s completely slammed with work and meetings and brain power and then I take Tuesday off. I know my rest is coming.
Now, if I decide to be lazy and not get my work done, I miss out on genuine rest. And it’s not a good exchange. Exchanging laziness or procrastination for genuine rest misses your opportunity to rejuvenate yourself. Because your rest when you’re being lazy is not rejuvenating. And it’s terrible for your self-esteem.
So here’s the solution. If you don’t feel like doing something and you do it anyway, you have defeated laziness. The more times you defeat laziness, the less times you have to overcome it. Your brain literally gives up.
I very rarely have to overcome laziness anymore because I understand that not feeling like doing something is normal, and I just do it anyway. If something’s hard, I know that’s part of the deal and I just do it anyway.
This is true for all of us. The better we get at something is because we do it the most. So, you may be getting really good at being lazy. You may be getting really good at making excuses and justifying why your work isn’t getting done, why your results aren’t happening.
When people say to me, “I’m not successful. I wasn’t successful at that,” I’m like, “Well, there’s still time. What do you mean? Go. Stop doing that right now. Stop making excuses for why you haven’t created what you want to create in your life.
Lazy is always going to present as an option. It’s always going to be available to all of us. We can all stay in bed one day when we want. We can all skip work and watch Netflix. We can all buffer instead of going to the gym and working out. It’s always going to be an invite that’s there.
The difference is whether you accept the invite or not. I never accept the invite, so the invite has gotten so much quieter. It’s gotten so much less frequent. I enjoy my earned rest way too much, way more than I enjoy laziness. Same exact action, one feels good and rejuvenating and self-esteem-producing and the other one is the exact opposite.
And if you’re someone that is procrastinating because you have fear around producing the work that you want to do, I just want to offer that being lazy and not doing the work that you genuinely want to do in your life is the most poisonous way to deal with fear.
Postponing fear creates more of it. If you’re afraid of your work, if you’re doubtful of your work, if you’re questioning, if you’re shameful of your own self, putting it off does not help in the long run.
It may feel like a buffer in the short run, but it does not help in the long run. You are making it so much worse for yourself. So, the solution, if you’re being lazy, if you’re procrastinating because you’re afraid, the solution is to learn how to be afraid efficiently.
Figure out what fear feels like, explore it, and get to work. So many of the most successful people that I know work even though they’re afraid, even though they have doubt, even though they have frustration. They allow it to be there. They understand their models. They understand their thoughts creating it and they get to work anyway.
So, I want you to promise me something; you will never call yourself lazy as a character trait. You will not say, “I’m being lazy right now.” You won’t do that to yourself. You won’t give into that feeling because you know it doesn’t produce anything positive in your life.
I also want you to commit to resting and resting well, in a way that produces higher self-esteem, more efficiency, more self-pride for yourself. That is the balance. You take the rest after the results instead of being lazy ahead of time.
That is my tip of the week, my friends. It will change your life. If you need more help with this, please join us in Scholars with Monday Hour One and get coached weekly on it. Show your calendar to your coach, show up for the work even though you don’t feel like doing it, and start experiencing what it’s like to overcome your own resistance to production. It doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you. It just means you haven’t had enough practice overcoming your own emotions.
Have a beautiful week, everyone. I’ll talk to you soon. Bye.
Hey, if you enjoy listening to this podcast, you have to come check out Self-Coaching Scholars. It's my monthly coaching program where we take all this material and we apply it. We take it to the next level and we study it. Join me over at the TheLifeCoachchool.com/join. Make sure you type in the TheLifeCoachSchool.com/join. I'd love to have you join me in Self-Coaching Scholars. See you there.