What causes laziness?

Many people would like to think that it is caused by something external that they do not have control over. This then makes it easier for them to rationalize that they are not part of the root cause and therefore part of the solution. People want to look for a quick fix, “a magic pill” that can fix whatever it is that they are having difficulty with. Unfortunately it is not that easy.

Is it some kind of genetic disorder passed down through the family line? Whilst such a hypothesis would be appealing to anyone who suffers from laziness, again this it ultimately a means of justification.

Many people would like to think that it is caused by chemicals that we use, or flouride in the water, or even the food we eat. Perhaps? There is some evidence to support this line of thinking, chemicals and the quality of the food we eat does affect our energy levels and the like, it still doesn’t resolve the question “What causes Laziness?”


Can it be caused by some metabolic disorder like hypothyroidism  or something else. Whilst this may be true for some people it is not the case for the vast majority. Hypothyroidism only effects a small percentage of

the population and tends to again affect your energy levels. If you still have the drive or motivation you can still be a high achiever it is just a bit harder.  If you want to learn more on hypothyroidism I recommend you read Hypothyroidism Type 2: The Epidemic.

These types of simple answers are not satisfying enough for those of us who really want to understand the root cause of our laziness and what we can do about our problem.

What actually causes laziness?

Today I am going to introduce you to the three pillars of laziness. There are three separate factors that are responsible for laziness and lack of action-taking in most people. These three pillars are:


Hard work pays off later, laziness pays off nowAnything external that prevents you from taking action qualifies as a distraction.  Common examples of distractions are Facebook, Twitter, games or gaming, TV, etc. These things get in the way of and prevent you from doing the things you want to do.

It is now common for a lot of people for them to believe they are able to multitask effectively, however studies have shown this is not the case. If fact when people believe they are multitasking they are just switching between the various tasks that they have on they go. Your brain is basically a single channel processor, so in effect you have to switch off one task to do another and then switch back, some people are capable of doing these changeovers very quickly, this makes it look like they are multitasking.

The multitude of information and sources available now leads people to try and multitask in their ‘busy’ lives, as they will start on a task and then a tweet arrive that they feel they have to answer or a Facebook message etc.

We are our own worst enemies is this area as we feel we need to stay connected all the time. Modern multitasking is a terrible cause of distraction as it puts too many different things in front of us at once.

This is the first area I would focus on if you are trying to achieve a task remove all distractions! Turn your cell phone off if you have to, but you must eliminate the distractions. If you are studying and can’t focus because roommates or family are distracting you then find a quiet place in which you are able to study.

Another important area to focus on is your mindset. If you approach a task with a well thought out plan and the mindset that you are going to achieve the tasks you have set yourself. By doing this simple step you will find it easy to focus and complete the tasks set.

Whilst these solutions seem too simple they are extremely effective. Try it!



Procrastination is a psychological cause of laziness that basically means you put off things you need to do. This might sound somewhat similar to distraction, but the difference lies in the fact that procrastination is an internal factor. You create your own inertia, it is not some external factor that is creating your laziness problem.

It comes from within your mind and is mainly caused by some level of fear about what your are about to start. This fear can be driven by various factors like the fear of failure, perfectionism (fear of it not being perfect), or being afraid to start (not knowing where to start).

Sometimes it can be just that fact that you overthink things and then get wound up about all the possible things that could go wrong. To overcome this try these steps

  • Ask yourself what’s the worst thing that could happen.
    Normally this will be something quite minor when you look at it objectively and gives you the ability to get started. Lets say you wanted to ask someone out on a date. So the worst thing is they could say no. That’s not the end of the world and you will survive it. This enables you to take the next step.
  • Break the tasks down into smaller steps, allocate time to these steps and then simply start on one of the steps

Still Having trouble?

Try this trick to overcoming fear. Decide what it is your are going to do, start a count down in your mind from 5, then just do the task. This seems too simple doesn’t it, but it works!!

  • 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, GO!!

For a more detailed analysis of procrastination, click here to read my article on 40 super-effective ways to overcome procrastination. This will give you all the information you need to identify and deal with the individual causes of procrastination.


Lifestyle issues

For a number of people the cause of their laziness can be identified by poor nutrition. Again today’s lifestyle drives people to taking quick snacks and take-away foods that over time can lead to us feeling rundown, or being overweight. These areas like; poor diet, lack of the right vitamins and minerals, and/or insufficient exercise leave you with little energy that also contributes to your general feeling of laziness. For example, if you have an unhealthy diet that is laden with junk food and sugary snacks/drinks that lead to hormone or insulin spikes, then you will probably feel lazy because of them.

As a general rule of thumb the fresher the food you eat the better it is for you, it will contain more vitamins and minerals for your body’s sustenance. Think about the last time you ate unhealthy food, how did you feel an hour or so later? Full of energy and vitality or feeling tired and lazy?


In my experience, most people who complain about being lazy identify to some extent with all three of the pillars of laziness. However,  one may be more of a problem than another. By identifying the factors that affect you, you can then take the appropriate steps to eliminate or minimize the impact of these different pillars.

Take these small actions and you will overcome laziness and become infinitely more motivated and productive. Do you need more information on beating laziness? Read my post on how to overcome laziness.

For more information on what causes laziness read The 10 Main Causes of Laziness

If you are still  looking to break out of the vicious cycle that you can find yourself in with a bout of laziness then you may want to read through some of the other articles on this website. There are articles containing information on how to deal with distraction and improve your focus, which supplements assist with mental focus (click here to read more…) and even reviews on products available for people dealing with procrastination and motivation.

Click here to review a short video covering mind power and the law of attraction. This will get you focused on the right areas to experience a more fulfilling life. Isn’t that what we all want?


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Last updated on 04/17/2017