How to be Slothful and Productive at the Same Time

My defining sin is sloth. I am pretty good at avoiding sins of commission — although I certainly have my share — but it is the sins of omission that really get me. By sloth I don’t exactly mean laziness; I mean what the medievals called acedia, a condition perfectly consistent with constant activity. In Dante’s Purgatorio, for instance, the slothful are found running nowhere in particular in a restless frenzy. This restlessness is closer to the essence of sloth than true rest is. As Samuel Johnson writes: “It is the just doom of laziness and gluttony to be inactive without ease and drowsy without tranquility.” And: “There is no kind of idleness by which we are so easily seduced as that which dignifies itself by the appearance of (more…)