How to beat laziness and procrastination

How laziness differs from procrastination
Ted Scott
Ted Scott
5 March 2024
6 min

Do you postpone solving an important task, prefer rest to work, even urgent work? Such situations are familiar to everyone, but what is their cause? Some call the lack of motivation and unwillingness to do something laziness, others procrastination. At the same time, there is a huge difference between the two definitions. In the article we will tell you what is the difference between laziness and procrastination, so that you are no longer confused about the terms, understand what is happening to you. After all, having understood the essence of the phenomena, having identified the cause of the problem, it is easier to cope with it.

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Laziness and procrastination are psychological terms that have different mechanisms of formation. To understand the essence of the phenomena, let us give a detailed definition of each concept.

Where does laziness come from?


Laziness (Latin lenus – “calm, slow”) is defined as a passive unwillingness to perform a certain task, to work. In this state, you refuse to work, prefer to rest, to conserve energy. The individual has no remorse, the stress level is normal. A person calmly postpones the solution of issues for tomorrow, and this happens regularly. For example, you watch a fascinating TV series all day long, knowing that you need to clean the apartment, but you do not worry about what is happening, but enjoy your vacation.

The most common causes of laziness are lack of motivation, lack of understanding of the importance of the task, overwork. Apathy, unwillingness to work are often caused by problems with mental or physical health: disorders in the functioning of the endocrine and nervous system, vitamin deficiency, depressive states.

The French psychologist Alfred Binet at the end of the 19th century identified two main types of laziness. Congenital is a feature of personality associated with weakness, indecisiveness, apathy. Temporary laziness is an incoming condition caused by circumstances. The subject may have a fear of defeat, lack of understanding of how to begin to perform the task, confidence in their abilities. The above description fits the psychological definition of procrastination.

What is procrastination?

What is procrastination

The term first appeared in scientific articles in 1977. The origin of the definition is connected with the Latin word procrastinatio meaning “procrastination”, derived from the lexeme crastinum “tomorrow” and the prefix pro “for the sake of”.

The difference between procrastination and laziness is that the subject has reasons to postpone work. He understands that the behavior is ineffective, will lead to unpleasant consequences, feels discomfort, but he starts doing extraneous things. Even if the procrastinator tries to distract himself, watch a movie or go for a walk, he is unlikely to be able to relax, because he will feel the pressure of the unresolved problem.

Yes, laziness and procrastination have the main similarity: work is not done. Only the causes of psychological phenomena are different. So why does procrastination appear? Postponing things can be a defense mechanism that helps us avoid stress. For example, we are afraid to fail, so we delay the moment. Someone can’t get started on a job they’ve been assigned. Sometimes the reason is inadequate assessment of the complexity and urgency of the task, inability to manage time properly.

To understand in more detail why we postpone activities, let’s name the signs of different types of procrastinators highlighted by psychologists:

  1. Anxious. A type with a high degree of anxiety, trying not to leave the comfort zone. Procrastinator is afraid of change, so he tries to avoid doing things that disturb the usual order of things.
  2. Perfectionist. Strives for perfection, rarely achievable in real life. The perfectionist believes that if something cannot be done perfectly, it is better to deal with other issues. Procrastination here is the easiest way to avoid the frustration of not achieving perfection.
  3. A dreamer. He believes that everything in the world is easy and simple. There are more such procrastinators after attending marathons teaching that money comes by itself, dreams come true without effort. And then the subject stops working. Why, if everything will come by itself? Only in life everything works differently.
  4. Crisis-maker. He needs thrills, so he needs to wait until the last moment, only then to start working. Unlike the previous type, the procrastinator does not think that everything is easy, on the contrary, he needs stress to fulfill his commitments.
  5. Pleasing. Takes on cases in order to impress others, to make them feel good. Since the tasks are not always interesting to him, he will delay their solution until the last minute or will refuse to fulfill his obligations at all.
  6. Disobedient. Does not like to be commanded, wants to solve his own tasks, not those given by another. Through postponement, a disobedient person protests against coercion.

How do you beat laziness and procrastination

How beat laziness

Psychology offers several ways to cope with procrastination. Let’s name the most effective methods of combating procrastination:

  • If you are frightened by the amount of work, divide it into several stages. This will help you get closer to the solution of the task, structure it, and make it more understandable.
  • To properly estimate the time it takes to complete a large amount of work, make a to-do list, write down how many hours you need to complete each task.
  • Notice when you start to procrastinate. Track the moment, try to confront it at the very beginning. Get to work right away before procrastination completely takes over you.
  • Put away things that distract you from your goals. Turn off your phone, log off social media. If it’s hard for you not to be distracted at all, give yourself half an hour to work and 5 minutes to rest. A routine will help you not to get tired and get your work done on time.
  • To keep laziness and procrastination at bay, give yourself a reward for every task you accomplish. Have a juice, surf the internet for a while, go for a walk. A change of activity is the best rest, plus you’ll feel like you’re not just exhausting yourself with work, but making time for a relaxing pastime. The right approach will reduce stress and make work more enjoyable.
  • If you are engaged in a socially important task, think about how much good your labor will do, praise yourself for taking on such things.
  • If you can’t start working because of fear, try to figure out what it is you are afraid of. Play the most unpleasant scenarios in your head, this will help you realize that things are not really as serious as they seem.

If procrastination is due to waiting for the right mood or an inability to plan, an effective task manager, LeaderTask, can help defeat the unpleasant condition.

LeaderTask Task Manager – Procrastination Helper

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LeaderTask is a to-do planning application that allows you to efficiently accomplish tasks, become more productive. The application allows you to create goals, specify exact deadlines. You can schedule tasks for a day, a week or any other period. Proper organization of time in case of laziness and procrastination is the first step towards overcoming the problem.

The program allows you to assess the complexity and volume of work in order to start solving the task in a timely manner. LeaderTask is a simple, easy-to-use application with many features that will become a reliable assistant in the fight against laziness and procrastination.


The difference between procrastination and laziness is in the causes and feelings. In the first case, a person prefers rest instead of work, saves energy, does not consider the task necessary to fulfill. In this case, laziness does not make him feel bad, feel guilty or ashamed. In procrastination, the feeling is different. A person realizes the importance of the task, but for some reason postpones its solution. At the same time, he takes responsibility for his behavior, so he may feel guilt, stress, and other unpleasant feelings.

According to psychologists, there are only 20% of chronic procrastinators, the rest become such in different situations. But constant procrastination can become a habit, leading to slower career growth, lack of life achievements, and increased stress levels. Therefore, procrastination should be fought in order to become successful, motivated, and achieve your goals. The LeaderTask app will help you fight procrastination.

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