TBR Pile Review: Laziness Does No Exist, by Devon Price PhD

Hardcover, 256 pages
Published January 5th 2021 by Atria Books
ISBN:1982140100 (ISBN13: 9781982140106)

From social psychologist Dr. Devon Price, a fascinating and thorough examination of what they call the “laziness lie”—which falsely tells us we are not working or learning hard enough—filled with practical and accessible advice for overcoming society’s pressure to “do more.”

Extra-curricular activities. Honors classes. 60-hour work weeks. Side hustles.

Like many Americans, Dr. Devon Price believed that productivity was the best way to measure self-worth. Price was an overachiever from the start, graduating from both college and graduate school early, but that success came at a cost. After Price was diagnosed with a severe case of anemia and heart complications from overexertion, they were forced to examine the darker side of all this productivity.

Laziness Does Not Exist explores the psychological underpinnings of the “laziness lie,” including its origins from the Puritans and how it has continued to proliferate as digital work tools have blurred the boundaries between work and life. Using in-depth research, Price explains that people today do far more work than nearly any other humans in history yet most of us often still feel we are not doing enough.

Dr. Price offers science-based reassurances that productivity does not determine a person’s worth and suggests that the solution to problems of overwork and stress lie in resisting the pressure to do more and instead learn to embrace doing enough. Featuring interviews with researchers, consultants, and experiences from real people drowning in too much work, Laziness Does Not Exist encourages us to let go of guilt and become more attuned to our own limitations and needs and resist the pressure to meet outdated societal expectations. 

My Review

I’m so frustrated with myself because I haven’t kept up to date with my GoodReads Challenge, I should have been reading more books. I’m not productive enough…

Yep, that’s the Laziness Lie getting to me, I read for enjoyment, it’s not piece-work. In 2015, even as I was sick with bronchitis from the flu, and was seriously mentally ill and stressed from trying to survive, I pushed myself to always be productive, create something every day, to post a blog post or get a significant amount of reading done. It’s not a healthy way to live

This book is a fascinating wake-up call for those of us who can’t help but always be busy, always judging ourselves by our productivity and how hard we’re working. Dr Price covers the history of what they call the Laziness Lie, the social pressures to always be productive, and the research to back up what they say, as well as testimony from other people struggling with fear of laziness and taking a rest, and psychological professionals about how to help get some rest.

I have already bought my younger sister a copy of this book because she needed a reminder to rest.

Highly recommended, easy to read and understand the information shared, which is backed up by references.

Now, go take a break, read a book, have a nap. Remember: your worth does not depend on what you produce, y0u have worth simply by being a living, breathing being.

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