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Why Being Lazy Helps You Create Things That Really Matter

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Why Being Lazy Helps You Create Things That Really Matter

“I don’t think necessity is the mother of invention. Invention, in my opinion, arises directly from idleness, possibly also from laziness – to save oneself trouble.”

– Agatha Christie

As a child, we were always taught that hard work is the ultimate key to success, but as we grew up we were baffled to see the hard workers hustling their way for the race of success only to see their lazier mates ahead of them.

No matter how much we may decorate perseverance, it’s like the phrase – the early bird may get the worm but the second mouse always gets the cheese – because the first mouse tries too hard and often gets killed in a trap or injured, leaving the second with very little to do in the pursuit of cheese.

If we ponder upon it, we can find many instances where the lazier ones among us have found the answers way earlier and with much less hard work than our workaholic counterparts. This is because hidebound hard work is not the only answer, most of the times our wittiness and common sense do the trick, saving us from trouble. Of course, we can volunteer to our vociferous laziness the ism of practically preparing our mind to do nothing.

Laziness is regarded as curse in our society and often a taboo; however, if we are cool enough, it is actually a blessing in disguise to help us create things that actually matters.

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Below are some good reasons why lazy people are often able to propel ahead of their hard working mates, despite their immense reluctance to the concept of “work”.

1. They pay attention to the tiniest of details.

Promptness is a quality that every worker should adhere to. You take a job and work your socks off because that’s what our conventional work ethic demands. However, when the hard workers channel most of their intelligence and energy in the work they are doing, they completely ignore the subtle nuances – and more often than not, these are the things that actually matter.

Being lazy gives the lazy bones all the time in the world to just contemplate about the job they are given over and over in their tiny little brains. The chances of missing tiny subtleties are extremely less. While their hard working partners sweat in stress, they can leave their common sense to take care of the situation.

2. They can think outside the box.

“I choose a lazy person to do a hard job. Because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it”, said Microsoft founder Bill Gates. Obsessed with their ultimate passion of having as little as possible to do, the lazy people always find a simpleton solution of getting out of even the toughest predicaments.

They simply cannot help it. Chances are, their solutions will be unorthodox and a complete heresy to the conventional, but it would certainly work in a bizarre yet beautiful way.

3. Their methods of saving time innovates something.

Automobiles were only invented because men were too lazy to walk. Airplanes were only invented because men were too lazy to drive or sail. The lazy people focus on creating things that can give them the maximum number of days off.

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When we look through history, we can find numerous examples of laziness helping in famous inventions. McMillan invented bicycles to spare him the trouble of walking. Programmers invented loops to save tedious hours of typing commands over and over. It’s like the saying: “If necessity is the mother of invention, then laziness is the father.”

4. They think of life hacks that normal people wouldn’t.

It’s the nature of hard workers to honestly walk over all the lengths and breadths, but the lazy people always choose the hypotenuse. Hard workers work like clockwork to fill and empty the water vessels, but lazy people develop sensors so they can control the mechanism with their remotes while lying on a couch watching TV commercials.

In a way, the minds of lazy people are controlled by a giant indolent monster which always puts oblique thoughts in their mind.

5. They make machines do their work.

“Human beings were supposed to work less, not more, following the rise of the machines”, according to John Maynard Keynes. Working less does not mean the work has to be less effective. Lazy people try to automate things as much as they can. Even for the simplest of tasks, they devise a system to relegate themselves from physical work. They make use of different shopping cart software instead of just relying on human efforts at their retail store.

Lazy Facebook page owners will just schedule the task for a week and relax, the thing they intended would still be there, and out of nowhere, they have freed plenty of time for themselves. They make maximum use of resources near them in an attempt to avoid any physical labor.

6. They make money even while sleeping.

Lazy entrepreneurs often develop an enterprise that will generate them income even when they are dreaming. If KFC produces chicken, lazy social media geeks put up a page and hooks them with consumers (for a charge of service, naturally).

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While the hard workers work relentless office hours for a specified sum of money, the lazier minds come up with solution to earn money while doing things they love most – virtually nothing at all.

7. They believe genius happens in the moment.

Hours of rehearsals and preparations is not enough for most of the people to eradicate the nervousness of the moment. Meanwhile, those with an arrogant eerie of laziness do wonders just right at that moment with minimal preparations that put days of hard work to shame.

Lazy people are strong believers of carpe diem (seizing the day). They believe it’s the moment that creates something magical and not the days spent stressing over it. This way, they can juxtapose their perpetual idleness with a sense of accomplishments.

8. They are lazy because they are clever.

Our society does not trust lazy people with big responsibilities because they are full of mischiefs. Kurt Gebhard Adolf Philipp Freiherr von Hammerstein-Equord, the German Army Chief before the second World War was puzzled by the fact that all of his officers were either clever and lazy, or stupid and diligent. However, it was the former who qualified for higher posts because they possessed intelligence and composure to come out of difficult situations.

They avoided pointless staff meetings and formal derogatory talks, but when they were in battlefields, they were true talismans.

9. They are often too lazy to be lazy.

What if you like watching TV, but you are too lazy to actually go to the power socket and switch on the television? Sometimes the lazy people are so lazy that they say, “Darn everything! I am going to amuse myself” and that’s just about when they create something actually productive.

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Yes, they procrastinate things, and snooze their alarm, but in the moments of their mild epiphany, they are unstoppable. It’s something like the best political satires being written at times when press and media freedom lack the most.

10. Their ultimate goal is to create a lazier society.

Development works like induction – you develop and you beget further development. The lazy people actually contribute in creating a lazier society, where humans have to do less work. However, since the bars are always high, they contribute even further.

Conclusion

In addition to contribution for social development, they also can make time which they can spend with their families and friends. It is certainly better to chill with a beer and your friends, or enjoy barbecue with your family, than wasting your intelligence on hard hours at the office. Isn’t it?

Featured photo credit: Bill Gates, speaking at the UK-hosted GAVI immunisation Alliance pledging event by DFID via flickr.com

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Nabin Paudyal

Co-Founder, Siplikan Media Group

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Last Updated on October 21, 2021

How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

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How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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Program Your Own Algorithms

Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

How to Form a Ritual

I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

  1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
  2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
  3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
  4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

Ways to Use a Ritual

Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

1. Waking Up

Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

2. Web Usage

How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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3. Reading

How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

4. Friendliness

Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

5. Working

One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

6. Going to the gym

If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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7. Exercise

Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

8. Sleeping

Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

8. Weekly Reviews

The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

Final Thoughts

We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

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More Tips to Conquer Time Wasters and Procrastination

 

Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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