My Thoughts on “Laziness Does Not Exist” by Dr. Devon Price

What I’m doing is probably antithetical to the book’s thesis statement of not trying to wring every ounce of productivity/work out of every experience to feed the social media machine, but I wanted to share my thoughts. And by practicing self-compassion, I needn’t worry over this point.

Laziness Does Not Exist shifted my perspective on laziness. When I first read the title, I was skeptical. Shelved firmly in the personal development section of my library’s Dewey Decimal system (158.1 if you’re at all curious), my initial observation on first reading the title was that this would be another screed on how to kick unproductive habits in the teeth. That laziness was a lie with a pull-yourself-up-by-the-bootstraps emphasis.

I see some value in these books–talks, podcasts, what have you–but I’m also burnt out on the hustle lifestyle that this media tends to advocate for.

But the book does the exact opposite.

Though I tell myself that my constant need to strive is a symptom of America’s unique capitalism, I still find myself criticizing my perceived lack of productivity. Sometimes after work, I veg out and watch Youtube all the while thinking I could be reading or writing or making better use of my time. I’ve bought in. I thought laziness was bad.

Price makes the argument that laziness is necessary. It’s our body’s way of regulating our mental exhaustion and clueing us into impending burnout. Ignoring these signals only hurts you in the long run and could also bleed into your physical health. Rather than combat it to be more productive, they argue that laziness should be embraced. We shouldn’t feel guilty if we take a whole day to sleep in our beds or do nothing but watch movies.

Admittingly, the book can be repetitive and could benefit from being more concise in its points. I often found the author made the same point over and over again in different portions of the same chapter. The first few especially were a bit difficult to get through but Price sprinkles in enough anecdotes to make it engaging.

I’m very happy I picked up this book.

4 thoughts on “My Thoughts on “Laziness Does Not Exist” by Dr. Devon Price

  1. As a lazy person, I feel like this book could benefit me, lol. I should check it out. But yeah, like the point you made, the thing about some non-fiction books is that the authors tend to harp on about the same point over and over. Anyway, thanks for this post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As a fellow lazy person, I highly recommend it! It was a really enlightening read and made me come around to the idea that laziness isn’t a bad thing. And yes, I find that most of the personal development & social science nonfiction I’ve read have this problem, or they’re really long winded about the point they trying to make. I still love them though. Thank you for reading and leaving this lovely comment!

      Like

  2. I know what you mean when you talked about an evening watching YouTube videos while thinking the whole time about the other things that could be getting done. I really like the idea of the body needing to take an actual break, and maybe a person shouldn’t be so hesitant about doing that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. YouTube is the ultimate procrastinator activity. *nods sagely

      I know I’m trying to be better about listening to my body when it’s telling me I’m burning out. It’s a journey but it helps knowing you’re not alone in the struggle. I think breaks are just as integral to the process of work as the work is. Thanks for reading and commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

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