I have two simple questions.

1) What is the Buddhist view on procrastination, and its solution ?

2) What is the solution to a specific lack of motivation, e.g. school work ? Something not related to an overarching goal, or even linked with spiritual values. In other words, how does one prime oneself to do something ?

3 Answers 3


You get a lot of support and nobody has an inherent duty to give that suppot. All is given by others. It's a matter gratidute at least to care about you duties timely.

To say "oh it's not of great value" is fine, but than one should also stop to receive for that paticula task. And it's for sure not so, that at times one does not work on "low" duties, one is actually practicing for the higher.

If not able to manage simply tasks which are given with generous exchange of all requisites for life-maintaines, even including certain sensual pleasure, if that lazy, if lacking that much on persistance, how would you like to be able to master the Dhamma?

Those high and noble aims require people with effort who master the hindrances. If not able to master them even on this level, being busy with doubt, sensuality, lazyness, ill will... all this "spiritual-monster-ego"-things, how to master anything?

It would be certainly good to get known the sacrifies need to be done, which are done, by one self and others, to get the value of that understood.

There is for sure no problem in living a live of a "beggar" but are you sure that you might receive enough to maintain a life for higher purpose? Would a live of required arosen persistance, effort and no wordily rewards at all be possible to be lived by one constantly giving improper attention to feelings, thought... what ever leads to be astray?

It's good to be very honest to one self and do not misuse high truth for low aims and leave a lane build on defilements cheating.

As for the case that one really takes on the "burdens" of a special beggar, is really willing, than there are always aims.

Don't become one in big debts, don't be or become a so called "(derogative) welfare parasite". It brings joy if free of debts. It is a "hopeless" way if just accumulating debts. So work where you are and what's you duty for now and even a little more.

Having, having enjoyed rightly gained wealth it not only a joy to share it but also to let go of it later, out of wisdom, without any remorse and not based on possible excusses.

See: "AN 4.62: Anana Sutta — Debtless" for more on that.

"(only skillful) labor makes free", and only if done Voluntary.

So good to stop certain "ego-trip" and start to work at the actually state and place where one is, because:

"These two are fools. Which two? The one who takes up a burden that hasn't fallen to him, and the one who doesn't take up a burden that has. These two are fools. (AN 2.98)

On procrastination and delay:

What ever is not done at proper time, what ever has not been made suddenly, one will later be very sad having not done this merits. What is gone, chances, are gone... just think of how less beings have that much "luck" you have and now, what do you do with that?

See also (especially the later part of the topic: Delayed deeds

"In the youth not managed whealth, in the age not renounced, such is indeed a wasted life", which does not mean that it's not even the best to renounce the fist part in the youth, if honestly. Today many accumulate debts by pseudo-renouncing and feeding on given in the youth and when older they have become really burdened slaves.

[Note: This is a gift of Dhamma and not meant for commercial purposes or other low wordily gain by trade an exchange with it.]

(Possible extended and modified answer, als well as place for discussion and questions here: [Q&A] Delayed speech as right speech (delay of skillful deeds))


The reason for procrastination can be you really don't know for sure what YOU want to do.

You should have a clear vision of your future. You should know exactly what you want to do in your life. You should know what type of life you want to live. You should know your goals in every detail. You should know how you'll achieve what you want. You should have a clear plan how you'll do it. You should know the necessary steps to achieve what you want. When you know all this, lack of motivation and procrastination vanish.

Because you don't know what you want to do, you lack motivation to do things you do.

If you want to do things without procrastination, you must know one hundred percent what YOU want to do.

If, on the other hand, you know one hundred percent what YOU want to do, but you still don't do it, then the reason for not doing it can either stem from:

  1. suffering or from
  2. wisdom.

If it's from suffering, think about fears, doubts, lack of self esteem, lack of self worth, depression, craving for sensual pleasures, and similar. If this is the case, you should learn to minimize your suffering. You should read and listen to great people who have overcome their suffering and realized all their goals. You should learn the teachings for achieving your goals. Read books about how to motivate yourself and achieve your goals. Find role models that you respect and listen to. Read read read study study study and learn how to achieve what YOU want.

Once you'll achieve whatever you want or during your learning period while striving to achieve what you want and if you'll not become lazy or indued so much in sensual pleasures to stop thinking about suffering and its cause, sooner or later you'll learn so much about life, that meditation will come naturally, which is a clear path towards final liberation.


When it comes to motivation or the lack thereof, Theravadin Buddhist psychology is based upon the concept of sankhara, which equivalent to the philosophical concept of schema. That is to say, motivation is determined by past experience in a way that makes sense. Hence the solution to a specific lack of motivation is to find a new motive that makes sense to you.

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