Laziness Content from the guide to life, the universe and everything


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Someone lolling about in a hammock
Laziness is a state of being. It can be a phase, but it can last a lifetime.

Laziness is universal. It can be something that lasts only a short time before inspiration and motivation take you along your way, or it could become a way of life.

What Are The Manifestations of Laziness?

There are two main manifestations of laziness, apathy and procrastination, though they are often closely related.


Apathy is not wanting to do anything. It's having no motivation. It's not being bothered. Apathy is not wanting to get out of bed, or to get off of the computer and do something different. It's not wanting to go anywhere; it's wanting to let the world revolve around you without it bothering you overmuch.


Procrastination is very closely related to apathy. They may in fact look almost identical in manifestations to a casual observer, but there will be a difference. He who procrastinates usually looks (or at least feels) more tense. There is a cloud hanging over him of a Job That Must Be Done. Using Apathy is a way of putting off the inevitable. However, this can often take non-lazy forms of procrastination, such as exercise, odd jobs, housework or a sudden urge to rediscover one's skills at the piano.

Forms of Laziness

There are many types of people who practise laziness, and some that have famously used laziness. The major ways that they did this are listed here.

Doing Nothing

This person lets nothing interfere with his ability to do nothing. Getting out of bed is hard work; to make it as far as the computer is doubtful. As for getting up to make a cup of tea, pah! They can consume nothing but online tea and be satisfied. This person will quite willingly ignore the urge to urinate as long as it means they don't have to move. They who have rigged up their room so that they can log on from bed have mastered the basics; they have only the bed sores to contend with.

There are few who can afford to do absolutely nothing. Some have it thrust upon them by circumstance, but these are not necessarily lazy people. Laziness is a matter or choice. You have to choose to do very little. Most people find that they cannot keep this state for a sustained period of time.

Doing Just Enough To Get By

There are those that do do some work. Not a lot, granted, but enough to keep food on plates and rent paid. Not a lot more mind you. These are also the people who did the smallest amount of work at school, but managed to get onto A-levels without breaking a sweat.

Working Hard To Ensure You Have To Do Very Little

Occasionally it becomes necessary to cover up the small amount of work you are doing. For example, if you are paid by the hour and expected to work, say twenty hours, make it last that long! Even if you can do it in ten, make sure you pad out the work to as long as possible. Sometimes it is just easier to make your current project last longer than finish it and start a new one. Especially on a Friday afternoon.

Spending Time To Make Tasks Quicker

These people are those who want time-consuming tasks to get done more quickly. Those great inventions; toasters, microwaves, dishwashers - yes, even computers - somewhere down the line a lazy person must have thought:

This switching on the grill is way too complicated. There must be an easier way!


I can't be bothered to use a pen and paper to multiply these numbers together; can't there be something to do it for me?

Of course, it may have not been lazy people who actually became inspired, made it out of their dressing gowns and went on to discover a way of making a person balance on two wheels and triple the speed of walking. But they also spawned an idea that was to cut down toast making times for millions. This person is to be thanked.

In this spot, there must be a dedication to computers. From the basic number crunching to the Internet and the blessed h2g2, the computer has wasted time for us in a way was never thought possible. Of course, it makes tasks quicker and makes lives more organised. But somehow solitaire can always get in the way...

Those People Who In Fact Aren't Lazy, But Still Deserve A Mention

There are people who never say they work, or appear to do any. They manage to achieve the marks they need, but they claim never to revise and be perfectly lazy. They are, in fact, lying. When out of the prying eyes of their peers they work their sock off to achieve the grades they want, and, generally, deserve.

There are some who seem to do nothing. Take music students, for example. While in comparison to many science-based subjects they have very few lectures, they do tend to spend inordinate amounts of time in a tiny practice room playing a scale over and over again. They will then proceed to a bigger room and play notes with lots of other people for even more lengths of time. The case here; Music students may only have twelve hours of lectures in a week, but they spend a hell of a lot more under cover, secretly aiming to eventually get paid for their efforts1.

Is Laziness Easy?

It may seem like laziness is an easy state of being, but in fact there are many decisions that have to be made. It is not easy to keep apathic at all times, and sometimes it is simply not possible.


This can be a problem with laziness. There is only so long you can sit and do nothing. Thankfully there are many remedies for this. However, to be truly lazy they must not involve excess expulsion of energy. h2g2 is, of course, a preferred option, where you can expel virtually no energy, yet feel that you are doing something. Some people might disagree however, as on h2g2 you can actually achieve something. This may depend on your own definition of laziness.


There are many decisions that need to be taken when being lazy. However, these may not be clear cut and may cause confusion.

For example, you are hungry. Obviously you never made it as far as getting dressed this morning, and the only food you have takes a while and some energy to cook. What do you do? Do you:

  • a) Stumble to the kitchen in your present attire, do what it takes to cook a presentable meal, and leave the washing up for another time?

  • b) Make yourself presentable enough to walk to the nearest shop and purchase an easy cook meal of some description?

This is a tough decision to make, with arguments on both sides. It is important that you make the decision that best suits you.

1Not all music students do this. Some are in fact just plain lazy, never practise and get out of as many rehearsals as possible.

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