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Laziness vs. Procrastination: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on November 18, 2023
Laziness is an unwillingness to work or use energy, while Procrastination is the act of delaying or postponing tasks.

Key Differences

Laziness is often characterized by a lack of motivation to engage in any activity, whether it's work-related or personal. On the contrary, Procrastination is not about the absence of motivation but more about the deferment of tasks one intends to do.
While Laziness might mean one doesn't want to do anything at all, Procrastination implies there's a specific task or set of tasks being avoided. Someone might be very active in other areas but still procrastinate on particular duties.
It's essential to differentiate between Laziness and Procrastination when addressing productivity issues. Laziness requires an overall boost in motivation, while Procrastination might need time management strategies or understanding why a particular task is being delayed.
Both Laziness and Procrastination can have detrimental effects on one's personal and professional life. However, while Laziness is a more general state of inactivity, Procrastination is task-specific and can sometimes be tied to fear of failure, perfectionism, or decisional procrastination.

Comparison Chart


Unwillingness to work or use energy.
Delaying or postponing tasks.

Root Cause

Lack of motivation.
Avoidance of specific tasks.


General inactivity.
Task-specific delay.

Potential Solutions

Boosting overall motivation.
Time management or understanding root cause of delay.

Associated Feelings

Apathy, indifference.
Anxiety, guilt, overwhelmed.

Laziness and Procrastination Definitions


Laziness is a lack of enthusiasm for an activity or physical or mental effort.
The sunny afternoon induced a sense of Laziness in everyone.


Procrastination often involves replacing high-priority actions with low-priority ones.
Instead of studying, her Procrastination had her cleaning the house.


Laziness can be a habitual mode of behavior.
Her Laziness was evident in her messy room.


Procrastination is the act of delaying or postponing something.
His Procrastination led to a last-minute rush on the project.


Laziness is the quality of being inactive by choice.
His Laziness prevented him from achieving his goals.


Procrastination can be a mechanism to cope with anxiety or fear.
Fear of failure resulted in her Procrastination.


Laziness is a disinclination to activity or exertion.
Laziness kept him on the couch all day.


Procrastination is often linked with perfectionism.
Wanting it to be perfect, his Procrastination kept him from starting.


Laziness can indicate a lack of desire to work hard.
The team lost because of their Laziness in practice.


Procrastination can be a result of decisional paralysis.
Unable to decide, his Procrastination in choosing delayed the entire project.


Not willing to work or be energetic.


To put off doing something, especially out of habitual carelessness or laziness.


Slow-moving; sluggish
A lazy river.


To postpone or delay needlessly.


Conducive to inactivity or indolence
A lazy summer day.


The act of postponing, delaying or putting off, especially habitually or intentionally.


Depicted as reclining or lying on its side. Used of a brand on livestock.


The act or habit of procrastinating, or putting off to a future time; delay; dilatoriness.
Procrastination is the thief of time.


The quality of being lazy


The act of procrastinating; putting off or delaying or defering an action to a later time


The state or quality of being lazy.
Laziness travels so slowly, that Poverty soon overtakes him.


Slowness as a consequence of not getting around to it


Inactivity resulting from a dislike of work


Apathy and inactivity in the practice of virtue (personified as one of the deadly sins)


What's a primary cause of Procrastination?

Procrastination can stem from fear of failure, perfectionism, or decisional paralysis.

Can Laziness be a symptom of other issues?

Yes, Laziness can sometimes indicate depression, medical conditions, or other underlying issues.

Is Laziness the same as Procrastination?

No, Laziness is an unwillingness to act, while Procrastination is delaying specific tasks.

Is Laziness a personality trait?

While some may be naturally more inclined, Laziness isn't fixed and can change based on various factors.

Does Procrastination always have negative outcomes?

Often it does, but some people claim to work better under pressure.

Can you be active but still procrastinate?

Yes, Procrastination is task-specific, so one can be active elsewhere.

How can one overcome Procrastination?

By breaking tasks into smaller steps, eliminating distractions, and understanding root causes.

Is everyone lazy at times?

Yes, occasional Laziness is human and can be a result of various reasons including fatigue.

Are there tools to help with Procrastination?

Yes, there are many productivity apps and techniques to combat Procrastination.

Can Laziness be beneficial?

Occasionally, taking a break and being "lazy" can be rejuvenating.

What's a key difference between Laziness and Procrastination?

Laziness is a general unwillingness, while Procrastination is a delay in specific tasks.

What emotions are linked with Procrastination?

Anxiety, guilt, and overwhelm are commonly associated with Procrastination.

Are there types of Procrastination?

Yes, there's decisional, avoidant, and arousal Procrastination.

Is Laziness always negative?

While often seen negatively, Laziness in moderation can be a restorative break.

Can Procrastination be a learned behavior?

Yes, some people learn Procrastination in response to past experiences or from observing others.

Can Laziness be contagious?

Environment and peer behavior can influence individual tendencies toward Laziness.

Can you be lazy but not procrastinate?

Yes, one might be generally inactive but still timely in completing tasks.

Do deadlines help combat Procrastination?

For many, deadlines provide motivation and reduce Procrastination.

How prevalent is Procrastination?

Studies suggest that most people procrastinate occasionally, with some doing so consistently.

Can habits play a role in Laziness?

Yes, established routines can either encourage or deter Laziness.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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