While I realize that procrastination is not another term for laziness, I’ve also seen how procrastination can engender laziness. Procrastination can start out as a fear of failure or a dozen other root causes, but after a while, you can get so accustomed to not pushing yourself to do anything difficult, that you stop trying.
It’s the part about giving up and giving in that seems to have such a damaging effect on one’s life and distorts one’s perception of what he can actually achieve if he tries hard. How can you measure your success if you don’t try to succeed or if you give up at the first sign of difficulty?
Almost every time I have watched people procrastinate about doing something, I have seen them redirect their time and energy to doing something less challenging. Some of them are so paralyzed by inertia that they sit in front of their TV and just veg out or they play computer games for hours at a time.
Mostly, I have watched them take on projects that have nothing to do with the task they were procrastinating about or had given up, in defeat. And then I watch them lose interest in anything they have to work at. And little by little, many of them start to lose energy, getting tired more easily than they used to, and requiring more sleep than they used to.
Some people take that energy and divert it into activities that keeps them too busy to try to understand their fears, let alone try to overcome them. So far, I have not encountered people who are procrastinators being genuinely happy with their lives although I am sure some of them exist.
The thing I see most often is that people who run away from challenges and give up too soon, often seem to have a lot of stress in their lives and they don’t feel good about themselves. They usually appear lazy and unmotivated to do anything of consequence but they can look very busy accomplishing nothing of great import.
Although procrastination is not the same thing as laziness or the cause of it, it seems to contribute to it. It’s easy to do things below our potential but the things that animate us are the things that challenge us. Our greatest sense of achievement lies in the obstacles we are able to overcome.