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Why Being Lazy Helps You Create Things That Really Matter

Why Being Lazy Helps You Create Things That Really Matter
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“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 July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

More on Building Habits

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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