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Being Labelled Lazy Is a Compliment

Being Labelled Lazy Is a Compliment

How often do you use ‘lazy’ as a word to describe yourself? We tend to label ourselves as lazy because our parents would call us this if we didn’t help them do the washing up, or perhaps we couldn’t be bothered to do our homework the night before and ended up copying someone else’s work the next day.

This can then develop into adulthood when we find ourselves spread on the couch putting off the mountain of laundry that’s been piling up for days. We then deem ourselves as lazy and feel all the negative connotations it brings. But we’ve all been there. It’s certainly not a positive, affirming word we want to be associated with yet we all feel it at some point.

But what if laziness wasn’t a bad thing? Could we accept it as a good trait to have?

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Why Is Laziness Deemed As Wrong?

Laziness has always been synonymous with lack of motivation and idleness. It’s boils down to the failure to do what you’re meant to do knowing you have the ability to do it. It’s the feeling of procrastination and distraction that leads us to feel a sense of failing. And that’s just ourselves. If other people deem us as lazy, it serves as external confirmation and deepens the negative belief about ourselves.

Laziness is deep-set in our mindsets as negative because Christian tradition sees being slothful as one of the seven deadly sins. Therefore, it’s been weaved into our way of thinking from early on and we’re naturally condemned for not making the right amount of effort.

Can Laziness Be a Positive Trait?

Laziness will always exist so should we really condemn it so much?

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The idea of being lazy is very subjective and individual. Modern technology could be accused of turning us into sloths when it comes to fast-paced information. We use emojis to express emotions instead of writing out how we feel, we can share information at the click of a button, we can text someone instead of picking up the phone or meeting face to face.

But there are positive ways laziness can enhance our lives that can perhaps lead us to consider being idle as a force for good.

It’s Gives You a Chance To ‘Be’

It’s often deemed negative for our personal growth to be constantly busy and distracted from ourselves. Laziness gives us a chance to just relax and ‘be’ without the need to do the next thing on our list. There’s great power in doing nothing and if we are able to release the idea that we should be doing something else instead, it can be beneficial to our well-being.

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It Can Make You More Efficient

Having a lazy attitude does fundamentally mean you want to do less. However, this also creates a want to find a more efficient way to achieve your tasks. This is why many of the best inventors admit that their creations are born out of personally wanting to spend less time on a particular task. Ben Franklin once said he was, “the laziest man in the world. I invented all those things to save myself from toil.”

It Makes You More Lighthearted

Accepting your laziness and owning it means you can be lighthearted about who you are. The moment you start judging yourself or allowing other people’s judgement of you to affect how you feel, the negative connotation of laziness will win. Knowing you’re lazy and being able to laugh about it is a great step in acceptance and self-love.

Laziness Births Creation

Carrying on from the idea of ‘being’, once our minds are in a state of relaxation, it is naturally opened up to more inspired ideas and action. Dr Sandi Mann, a senior psychology lecturer at the University of Central Lancashire believes laziness and boredom is an important cog in the societal wheel. “When we are bored we look for neural stimulation. One way to achieve this is to go inwards and let our minds wander and daydream. When we are freed from the shackles of conscious restraints, we may see things differently and look at new ways of doing things.”

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You Focus on Smaller Jobs When Putting Off Bigger Ones

When we’re so consumed with the bigger ‘more important’ tasks, the smaller ones often get put off or not seen to at all. Laziness can mean turning this on its head; ignoring the big jobs by focusing on the smaller ones. While it may seem priorities are skewed, its a productive way of going about things and often clears the way for the big stuff when you eventually get round to it.

Last Minute Tasks Create Greater Focus

If you’re lazy, you no doubt put the ‘pro’ in procrastination. But putting things off to the last minute actually creates more efficiency because your mind is single-focused and time conscious. Therefore, you haven’t spent longer than you really need to on a big task or project and more energy is pumped into it over a shorter period of time.

Time To See Laziness Differently

So, perhaps laziness shouldn’t be deemed so negative. As long as you know the right time to snap out of idleness and use focus and time-shortage to work efficiently, or use it as a time for reflection or creativity, it can actually serve you an advantage. Own your laziness and use it for success.

Featured photo credit: tookapic via pexels.com

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Brian Lee

Chief of Product Management at Lifehack

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Last Updated on July 8, 2020

How to Prevent Decision Fatigue From Clouding Your Judgement

How to Prevent Decision Fatigue From Clouding Your Judgement

What is decision fatigue? Let me explain this with an example:

When determining a court ruling, there are many factors that contribute to their final verdict. You probably assume that the judge’s decision is influenced solely by the nature of the crime committed or the particular laws that were broken. While this is completely valid, there is an even greater influential factor that dictates the judge’s decision: the time of day.

In 2012, a research team from Columbia University[1] examined 1,112 court rulings set in place by a Parole Board Judge over a 10 month period. The judge would have to determine whether the individuals in question would be released from prison on parole, or a change in the parole terms.

While the facts of the case often take precedence in decision making, the judges mental state had an alarming influence on their verdict.

As the day goes on, the chance of a favorable ruling drops:

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    Image source: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

    Does the time of day, or the judges level of hunger really contribute that greatly to their decision making? Yes, it does.

    The research went on to show that at the start of the day the likelihood of the judging giving out a favorable ruling was somewhere around 65%.

    But as the morning dragged on, the judge became fatigued and drained from making decision after decision. As more time went on, the odds of receiving a favorable ruling decreased steadily until it was whittled down to zero.

    However, right after their lunch break, the judge would return to the courtroom feeling refreshed and recharged. Energized by their second wind, their leniency skyrockets back up to a whopping 65%. And again, as the day drags on to its finish, the favorable rulings slowly diminish along with the judge’s spirits.

    This is no coincidence. According to the carefully recorded research, this was true for all 1,112 cases. The severity of the crime didn’t matter. Whether it was rape, murder, theft, or embezzlement, the criminal was more likely to get a favorable ruling either early in the morning, or after the judges lunch break.

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    Are You Suffering from Decision Fatigue Too?

    We all suffer from decision fatigue without even realizing it.

    Perhaps you aren’t a judge with the fate of an individual’s life at your disposal, but the daily decisions you make for yourself could hinder you if you’re not in the right head-space.

    Regardless of how energetic you feel (as I imagine it is somehow caffeine induced anyway), you will still experience decision fatigue. Just like every other muscle, your brain gets tired after periods of overuse, pumping out one decision after the next. It needs a chance to rest in order to function at a productive rate.

    The Detrimental Consequences of Decision Fatigue

    When you are in a position such as a Judge, you can’t afford to let your mental state dictate your decision making; but it still does. According to George Lowenstein, an American educator and economy expert, decision fatigue is to blame for poor decision making among members of high office. The disastrous level of failure among these individuals to control their impulses could be directly related to their day to day stresses at work and their private life.

    When you’re just too tired to think, you stop caring. And once you get careless, that’s when you need to worry. Decision fatigue can contribute to a number of issues such as impulse shopping (guilty), poor decision making at work, and poor decision making with after work relationships. You know what I’m talking about. Don’t dip your pen in the company ink.

    How to Make Decision Effectively

    Either alter the time of decision making to when your mind is the most fresh, or limit the number of decisions to be made. Try utilizing the following hacks for more effective decision making.

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    1. Make Your Most Important Decisions within the First 3 Hours

    You want to make decisions at your peak performance, so either first thing in the morning, or right after a break.

    Research has actually shown that you are the most productive for the first 3 hours[2] of your day. Utilize this time! Don’t waste it on trivial decisions such as what to wear, or mindlessly scrolling through social media.

    Instead, use this time to tweak your game plan. What do you want to accomplish? What can you improve? What steps do you need to take to reach these goals?

    2. Form Habits to Reduce Decision Making

    You don’t have to choose all the time.

    Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but it doesn’t have to be an extravagant spread every morning. Make a habit out of eating a similar or quick breakfast, and cut that step of your morning out of the way. Can’t decide what to wear? Pick the first thing that catches your eye. We both know that after 20 minutes of changing outfits you’ll just go with the first thing anyway.

    Powerful individuals such as Steve Jobs, Barack Obama, and Mark Zuckerberg don’t waste their precious time deciding what to wear. In fact, they have been known to limiting their outfits down to two options in order to reduce their daily decision making.

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    3. Take Frequent Breaks for a Clearer Mind

    You are at your peak of productivity after a break, so to reap the benefits, you need to take lots of breaks! I know, what a sacrifice. If judges make better decisions in the morning and after their lunch break, then so will you.

    The reason for this is because the belly is now full, and the hunger is gone. Roy Baumeister, Florida State University social psychologist[3] had found that low-glucose levels take a negative toll on decision making. By taking a break to replenish your glucose levels, you will be able to focus better and improve your decision making abilities.

    Even if you aren’t hungry, little breaks are still necessary to let your mind refresh, and come back being able to think more clearly.

    Structure your break times. Decide beforehand when you will take breaks, and eat energy sustaining snacks so that your energy level doesn’t drop too low. The time you “lose” during your breaks will be made up in the end, as your productivity will increase after each break.

    So instead of slogging through your day, letting your mind deteriorate and fall victim to the daily abuses of decision making, take a break, eat a snack. Let your mind refresh and reset, and jump-start your productivity throughout the day.

    More Tips About Decision Making

    Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

    Reference

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