WHY am I so lazy and unmotivated

Listlessness: Just have to want?


Read on one side

I don't see any signs of depression in my best friend, so why is she sitting unmotivated in front of the TV instead of energetic in the university library? Your situation reminds me of the time when I wanted to start my thesis. At that time I sat paralyzed in front of the huge mountain of work, the summit of which I could not see and no signposts could be seen. Instead of rushing into the undergrowth, I also stayed where I was for a long time and tried to push the mountain in front of me. I just couldn't bring myself to start. What helped me at the time was getting a map and a schedule of when I wanted to be at which crossroads. Instead of dreading the apparently unmanageable mountain tour (“the work should be completely finished sometime next year”), I set myself specific goals (“I want to have the concept for the first chapter ready by next week”) and I was able to motivate you to continue with lots of little success stories. The listlessness disappeared as soon as I had clear and achievable goals in mind. And at every rest stop on the way, I rewarded myself extensively. I still use this strategy today in situations in which I have unmanageably large tasks ahead of me and it almost always works.

The question of meaning

Unfortunately, even the most beautiful work schedule doesn't help if you don't know why you're doing the whole thing. The presentation, the term paper, or life. Only one thing helps me here: I have to ask myself the question of meaning until I can clearly define my goals, wishes and priorities. If you are convinced that you are up to something meaningful and fulfilling, you will not be so easily deterred from doing it by listlessness. Educators know that this so-called intrinsic motivation is the most powerful driver for solving problems and tasks. Maybe my colleague should think about that. He finds the topic of his presentation boring. Basically, he finds the whole job boring. He could get rid of his listlessness by looking for a new area of ​​responsibility. But when I suggest that to him, he usually means: "No, that's way too strenuous for me."

The vicious circle

And this is where the biggest dog is buried: The listlessness itself prevents us most from doing something about the listlessness. We are too lame to fight lameness. We are too unmotivated to motivate ourselves. And suddenly there is even a lack of drive to do things that one actually likes to do. This vicious circle made me decide never to want to change everything at once. You can start with something seemingly tiny, just to see: it works. And to find out with astonishment: I've already started doing something! So it's better to take the rubbish down first. Make a call. Set yourself an achievable goal. The rest is easier then.


Smart words, I'd only really have to follow them myself. Maybe I have planned too much for today. Maybe I don't see any point in everything (the kitchen could really look worse ...), but maybe I'm dealing with something much simpler: I'm just lazy sometimes. "We can do anything just like the great trained monkeys, we just have to want to." I don't always want to have to want. And I think that I have every right to do so. In this weather. Honestly.