Review: Laziness Does Not Exist

Laziness Does Not Exist Laziness Does Not Exist by Devon Price
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

There are many moments in this book where I had to pause and wonder, wait, is this author snooping in my mind. That is to say, this book is highly relatable to many of us growing up in American culture where there is the constant push to do, do, do, and if you're not doing 10,000,001 things, then you are lazy as hell. Any bad things that happen to you are a direct consequence of that laziness. It's an idea that permeates so much in our society from how politicians discuss public resources (and those "deserving") to how we engage with children throughout education. Price calls bullshit on this idea and they (quite ironically) work hard to illustrate the falsehoods embedded in our conceptions of laziness as well as the significant social, cultural, and individual harm that results from this disposition. As a social psychologist, Price points to a variety of research at explaining how and why the concept is more myth than useful rule of thumb. For instance, he points to brain science to show how the longer humans are required to work, the less productive they become and more likely to cause harm, and that line actually less than 40 hours, what we consider the typical work week. The result: we work longer with poor results. That argument alone is worth considering when looking at productivity and the costs of overworking staff. But there are other pieces within this that I think anyone can appreciate--whether it is building space for downtime, navigating complex conversations with family and loved ones about capacity, or understanding how to recognize that you are on the hamster wheel of productivity with not end in sight. It's a book that I would strongly recommend to pretty much everyone as I think it challenges a lot of assumptions and myths about what work (in all spaces) looks like and the lies we tell ourselves that impact our physical, mental, and social health.

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