This Guy Wonders Whether It’s Normal to Be Extremely Productive and Then Extreme Lazy

Have you ever taken stock of what you see as the issues in your life and wonder if you’re the only one? If your particular brand of wonky is “normal,” or if maybe you should talk to a professional?

Does anyone go through a vicious loop of being productive & having a great routine for a few days to living like an absolute slob for the next few… rinse and repeat? from NoStupidQuestions

That’s what drove this guy to Reddit, wanting to know whether or not anyone else seemed to alternate a few days of productivity with a few days of total sloth – and here’s what 15 people said in response.

15. It’s a slippery slope.

You are definitely not alone. I find I do so good for a week or so then let something slip like laundry and it’s just a slide from there. For me personally it is partially due to depression and small things that trigger me into this who cares slob life I get into.

Have I found any way to fight it? No sorry but I just wanted you to know your not alone!!

14. It’s ok to be lazy sometimes.

Yes and i’ve found it better to forgive myself for being unproductive some days. Being hard on myself only makes me more likely to extend the unproductive phase.

Also, unpopular opinion maybe, but we are allowed to not be productive every now and then. There’s no moral failing there.

13. You can try to trick your brain.

There’s a way to trick your brain into keeping on doing whatever it is daily. Simply force yourself to do it every single day for 2 weeks. If it’s day you want to practice guitar daily, do practice every day for 2 weeks, even if for only 5 minutes. Then your brain gets trained into treating it as a habit. And then once it’s a habit you need FAR less willpower to do it, and you can increase the time from 5 minutes to longer then

It really works. Just that first 2 weeks can be really difficult. But whatever it is, practice, exercise, reading, cleaning, even if it’s for only 5 mins a day just force yourself using whatever means possible to do it. And then once it’s ingrained as a habit you’re fine. I’m the laziest bastard in the planet but I’ve managed to force myself into habits this way. If I can do it anybody can.

12. It’s not really “wasting time.”

I think the reason we’re bombarded with this message is to make us feel like we have to work, and if you aren’t constantly working then you’re a lazy piece of shit.

It took me like 3 years after uni to finally shake off the feeling of “I have to be doing something PRODUCTIVE or for my future AT ALL TIMES or else I am WASTING my time!” I’d chide myself for spending an hour on reddit after a 9-hour workday instead of reading a philosophy book.

But we’ve gotta be kinder to ourselves. Life is hard. There are so many things that we have to keep track of. It’s impossible to do everything in one day, and it’s not moving closer and closer to your “life goals” every day is not the end of the world.

I’ve found that, instead of to-do lists, achievement lists help me more. I used to make monthly/weekly/daily to-do lists with high standards of what I wanted to do to make myself a better person or improve my skills. Then I’d inevitibly not meet goals. So I thought, okay, I’ll make more realistic goals! But then life would get in the way still, and I’d still feel bad, but this time even worse ’cause I’d think, “Can I really not even meet my own goals? Even when they’re easy to meet?” So now I make a general goal like, “read more” and make notes on when I read more, and at the end of the month/week/whatever, I can see how I did and I can say, “Oh, look! I finished a book this month! That’s pretty good, right?”

Anyway, long story short, we all gotta be kinder to ourselves.

11. Motivation and momentum are linked.

Yes. A few years ago I decided it was time to lose weight for real. I was working out and running my ass off about 2 to 3 times a week, lost a shit ton of weight for a little over a year str8. My grandad came down with cancer and it really derailed my motivation.

Since he passed I have struggled with getting back in it really hard again. With the gyms closed and everything being so strange from the covid 19 outbreak I have almost no motivation to go.

It has been at least 4 weeks since I have even gone out for a run. REALLY ready to break through this funk and get back to dropping more weight.

10. Not unless you go REALLY off track.

Completely agree it’s ok to have lazy days, but it’s particularly brutal if you’re trying to lose weight. One day off track can easily erase a week of hard work…

9. Just a cycle that won’t stop.

Mines the reverse of yours. I’m a lazy POS for a week+ then am on better behavior and in a more positive mental health state for 2 to 3 days. I always promise myself I’ll keep it up and take care of myself, but it’s a cycle.

Not entirely sure how to change it. I’m always saying I need more hobbies, I need a routine, I need to meal prep. I know how to be healthy, but my mental state doesn’t often allot for it. Thus the cycle.

8. It’s all about your mindset.

I’d just like to think my unproductive days as my “motivation recharging time”

7. Pat yourself on the back for the good days.

Take pride in the fact you continue to pick yourself up, nothing is gonna keep us down for long we are stronger than we let on

6. Like…like a weekend? How dare.

I agree. I am really good at my job and work really hard. I cook dinner for my family nearly every night, and on the nights that I don’t, we eat leftovers that were frozen on another night.

But some days, usually on a Saturday or Sunday, I don’t do sh%t. I sit around and play games, read, or do whatever I feel like doing. I don’t see a problem with this, and my wife seems to be ok with it as well.

5. Brain chemistry can be a bi*ch.

For me it’s ADHD+Depression and a dash of procrastination. I hate it and I really want to change it. Prime example is my sleep schedule. I spend days or weeks fixing it.

Then I wake up early 3 days and on the 4th I watch something or play a game till 5 am and boom back to square zero. Everything else falls down too like chores and errands.

4. You have to recharge.

Please see this.

Most people I know who do well academically and in their careers have rest days. Rest days are extremely important to upkeep your productivity other days. Don’t call it it unproductive, please.

I noticed without rest days, my productivity declines until I’m studying ineffectively.

So, I’ve begun to schedule certain entire days (once a week or two), where I don’t think about ANYTHING related to my career. I don’t think about assignments due, I don’t plan for the near future, I don’t check work-related email.

On that rest day, I do whatever I want. I wake up late. I eat shitty food. I play games. I read that book. I lay in bed all day. I grab coffee with a few friends. It’s wonderful.

Don’t care about people that day they don’t have “unproductive” days. They’re most likely trying to keep a reputation of working hard all the time.

3. This year is making everything harder.

it is kinda funny how i find this comforting to know i am not alone. there are days i cry because i cannot do a single task. i think the pandemic made it worse and i am still finding ways how to manage it, especially now that i am already a working adult. i thought it was just a teenage phase

2. It’s part and parcel.

I try not to beat myself up if I fallback into being unproductive as that causes me to feel bad about myself and prolongs the number of days I feel depressed. I just let it run its course. I just think it comes with the depression. “Its not a bug. Its a feature”

1. Build in the breaks.

I did until I realized I need to purposely take breaks to be fully productive it’s not an innate slob thing, it’s a tired and need off time thing.

I think this is fairly common? I tend to alternate super great writing days with not so great writing days.

Not that I’m normal.

Anyone else want to weigh in? The comments are open!