As I am staring at my laptop screen for quite some time, I felt the sense that I need a break. The problem is that I also know that it is really an act of laziness because I haven’t done anything today other than checking emails and staring at the screen waiting for the perfect moment to write. However, as someone who is an advocate of productivity, I know for myself that the truth is I am just being lazy. How do I know that? How did I know if I need a break or am I just lazy?
To know if you need a break or you are just being lazy, you first have to start a little. The moment you finished the first few minutes of working, you can assess if you really have the energy to do things. If you feel focused. then you are just being lazy. If not, then you need a break.
It is as simple as that. However, we need to dive deeper into this interesting topic because we are talking about differentiating laziness from being tired. I am an advocate of the working hard mentality. However, I will not tell someone to work really hard if I know that he or she is beyond their limit.
You are feeling tired for a reason. The reason is that you most likely need a break. Working while being tired severely affects our output and general wellbeing. Thus, this article is about giving an idea of when do you need a break, or when you are just being lazy.
Do you need a break or are you just lazy?
In order to find out if you need a break or you are just being lazy, you first have to give a few minutes into the task. Once you start working on the task and you feel that you have zero focus and energy levels, then you are tired and in need of a break. If not, then you are just being lazy.
The perfect example for this is me.
Before writing this article, I was just sitting in the dining area and drinking my cup of coffee which is a signal to start my day.
Do I feel like working and making this post? Nope. But I know that there is a simple test that I can do to know if I need a break and rest, or I am just being lazy.
My motto for that as a writer is to write a few paragraphs. This is because the hardest is the start.
This time, I felt like it is easy for me to maintain my focus and write which means that I have enough energy to write this article in one sitting.
This means that I am just being lazy earlier in the dining area because I have the focus and energy to write an article without feeling tired or sleepy.
Now, let’s look at things the other way around.
Suppose that I started writing and it seems that I have no energy to focus, or that few ideas come up to my mind, then it is a different story.
If I started and I felt like I’m really tired to think or my energy levels are still down, then this means that I am tired.
This means that if I feel like I find trouble maintaining my concentration and just feel sleepy after writing my first few sentences, then I need a break.
We are in an environment where people always tell that sleep is for the week, or people praising people who only sleep 4 or less hours a day.
Even if I am in the area of productivity, I can say that it is a bad idea to suppress sleep and rest.
In one of the book that I reviewed in this website, I talked about the importance of sleep to our brain, body and productivity. I stressed out that if we want to function to our 100%, we need to have a proper rest and sleep.
You can read that book review here: Why We Sleep Book Summary, it also has a video summary so you can just watch it later.
The book Why We Sleep is a book that changed my life. It has a lot of ideas that helped me in my life. Thus, I recommend you also read it. Here is the link to the actual book: Why We Sleep Book
But back to my point.
To know if you really need a break or you are just being lazy, you need to have a proper assessment of your energy levels and focus after starting to work. If you feel that you are very energetic, then you are just feeling lazy. But if you still feel very tired, then it is time to think about a break.
Now, let me go to the next section where I am going to share why we need to really take a break.
Do you really need a break?
You really need a break if you feel extremely tired in the middle of your work. This is because a tired body and mind will not produce the best result you can possibly make. The lack of breaks makes your work very inefficient and unproductive which is counterintuitive.
I am someone who wants to finish things in one sitting.
However, in my job as a creative writer, there are just instances that I need to finish a 6,000-word article which is quite hard to finish in one sitting.
It is possible but I know that in the middle of that article, I would feel tired so the quality of my writing in the middle and end will be different.
Thus, when working long hours, if I really feel tired despite trying to go in the zone of extreme focus, then it will be beneficial for me to take a break.
Breaks can be really simple such as trying to enjoy a hot chocolate, or just simply taking a nap.
However, there is a bigger type of break in which you take a whole day off.
That is a different story and since it is a break, I suggest you also have a day off.
The way to know if you deserve to take a break on your day-off, or you are just being lazy is to have a proper assessment in your day off. If you really feel like you are tired and just want to rest, then do it. This means that your body is tired from multiple days of work.
If you are energetic on your day off, then it is a perfect time to use the time to balance out your life.
I talked about this in greater detail in another article. In my article about being lazy on day-offs, I discussed more on the topic if it is fine to be lazy or not. Here is the link: Is it bad to be lazy on your day off?
I know that you might feel guilty when having a whole day break so that is a good article to read since I made a good guide on the importance of breaks.
If you know for yourself that you are not functioning well because of fatigue and stress, then it is not a bad idea to take a break. Taking a break does not mean that you will be out for a long time. A break can be as simple as taking a nap or enjoying some snacks.
And the way to find that out is to start working and have a proper assessment.
Now that we’ve talked about how to know if you are really tired, it is time to talk about laziness.
How do you know if you’re lazy?
You will know if you’re just being lazy if after you have started working, you have enough energy and focus to do the work. This means that you are not tired and can easily finish a task. You are lazy if you are just prolonging the time to start your work.
The perfect example is when I plan to make this article.
I have lots of excuses such as I am tired and I just need to take a break since it is now Saturday and I’ve worked all week.
But of course, I need a proper assessment.
I found out after writing the first 2 paragraphs that I have a lot of energy to finish this article in one sitting. Ideas are just coming out of my mind while writing.
That is not surprising since I got a whole 8 hours of sleep last night. As you can see, even if I am working a lot which involved creative thinking, I get enough sleep to make better results.
So, I know for myself that I am just being lazy and prolonging the time to start working. Thus, it is a sign that I am just being lazy.
As you can see, all of us have a tendency to be lazy. I believe that it is normal for us to find what is comfortable which is to just stay in bed and watch some TV.
But, I also know what laziness has done to my life in the past. Thus, I know that if I can’t find a way to stay out of it, I wouldn’t succeed.
Thus, a balance is needed. You need to know when to take a break, and when to not.
If you know you’re just being lazy, then try your best to get out of bed and start working. If you know that you are really tired, then it is time to listen to your body and rest.
And the method to do that is this.
To know if you need to take a break or you are just being lazy, try to check out your energy levels while working. If you feel that you are really energetic, then you are just being lazy. If you feel very tired and find it hard to focus, then it is time to take a break.
Why are you so lazy and tired?
The general reason why you feel so lazy and tired is most likely because you are really tired. This means that it may be time to have a break because you can’t use your full potential when you are tired. Laziness alone is different from being lazy and tired at the same time.
Remember that it is important to take breaks when necessary.
If you feel really tired and lazy at the same time, it usually means that you are tired.
In experience, the way to know the difference is by trying to sleep.
I find that if I can’t sleep despite feeling tired, most likely I am just being lazy.
Earlier this morning, I feel very tired so I tried to sleep more. But I just stayed in bed for an hour without falling asleep.
I feel very energetic so it is a sign that I am just feeling lazy. Thus, I started to open my laptop and write this article.
As you can see, my assessment is right, I am almost at the end of this article and I still feel completely fine and energetic.
So try to listen to your body if you feel tired or not. I find that if I can’t sleep even if I feel tired, then most likely, I am really not tired.
The best time to use this strategy is in the morning right after waking up. If you can’t sleep in the night after a whole day of working, then it might be caused by something else like having too much caffeine or insomnia.
Finding out if you need a break or you are just being lazy is really simple. It just needs a proper self-assessment to find out if you need to rest or not.
Just try to convince yourself that you are just going to do a little. For example, I told myself that I will just write a few sentences.
After that, it will be easy to find out what is really the case.
But I am not an advocate of laziness. As you can see, there is a big difference between laziness and being tired. Thus, I want to give you the negative effects of laziness in the next section of this article.
What are the negative effects of being lazy?
Here are the negative effects of laziness.
- Laziness leads to Financial Problems
- Laziness leads to a Sedentary Lifestyle
- Laziness can lead to Guilt
- Laziness Leads to Obesity
- Laziness Reduces Flexibility in Life
- Laziness can Increase Time in Work
- Laziness reduces a Person’s Productivity
- Laziness can cause Insecurity
- Laziness can break Friendships
- Laziness can lead to Anxiety and Stress
- laziness prevents us from Achieving our Dreams
- Laziness brings Pessimism
- Laziness causes Inefficient Performance
I have made a separate article discussing all of these disadvantages in a separate article, you can read it here: What are the Disadvantages of Laziness?