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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 November 18, 2019

How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

Everyone of my team members has a bucketload of tasks that they need to deal with every working day. On top of that, most of their tasks are either creativity tasks or problem solving tasks.

Despite having loads of tasks to handle, our team is able to stay creative and work towards our goals consistently.

How do we manage that?

I’m going to reveal to you how I helped my team get more things done in less time through the power of correct prioritization. A few minutes spent reading this article could literally save you thousands of hours over the long term. So, let’s get started with my method on how to prioritize:

The Scales Method – a productivity method I created several years ago.

How to Prioritize with the Scales Method

    One of our new editors came to me the other day and told me how she was struggling to keep up with the many tasks she needed to handle and the deadlines she constantly needed to stick to.

    At the end of each day, she felt like she had done a lot of things but often failed to come up with creative ideas and to get articles successfully published. From what she told me, it was obvious that she felt overwhelmed and was growing increasingly frustrated about failing to achieve her targets despite putting in extra hours most days.

    After she listened to my advice – and I introduced her to the Scales Method – she immediately experienced a dramatic rise in productivity, which looked like this:

    • She could produce three times more creative ideas for blog articles
    • She could publish all her articles on time
    • And she could finish all her work on time every day (no more overtime!)

    Curious to find out how she did it? Read on for the step-by-step guide:

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    1. Set Aside 10 Minutes for Planning

    When it comes to tackling productivity issues, it makes sense to plan before taking action. However, don’t become so involved in planning that you become trapped in it and never move beyond first base.

    My recommendation is to give yourself a specific time period for planning – but keep it short. Ideally, 10 or 15 minutes. This should be adequate to think about your plan.

    Use this time to:

    • Look at the big picture.
    • Think about the current goal and target that you need/want to achieve.
    • Lay out all the tasks you need to do.

    2. Align Your Tasks with Your Goal

    This is the core component that makes the Scales Method effective.

    It works like this:

    Take a look at all the tasks you’re doing, and review the importance of each of them. Specifically, measure a task’s importance by its cost and benefit.

    By cost, I am referring to the effort needed per task (including time, money and other resources). The benefit is how closely the task can contribute to your goal.

      To make this easier for you, I’ve listed below four combinations that will enable you to quickly and easily determine the priority of each of your tasks:

      Low Cost + High Benefit

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      Do these tasks first because they’re the simple ones to complete, yet help you get closer to your goal.

      Approving artwork created for a sales brochure would likely fit this category. You could easily decide on whether you liked the artwork/layout, but your decision to approve would trigger the production of the leaflet and the subsequent sales benefits of sending it out to potential customers.

      High Cost + High Benefit

      Break the high cost task down into smaller ones. In other words, break the big task into mini ones that take less than an hour to complete. And then re-evaluate these small tasks and set their correct priority level.

      Imagine if you were asked to write a product launch plan for a new diary-free protein powder supplement. Instead of trying to write the plan in one sitting – aim to write the different sections at different times (e.g., spend 30 minutes writing the introduction, one hour writing the body text, and 30 minutes writing the conclusion).

      Low Cost + Low Benefit

      This combination should be your lowest priority. Either give yourself 10-15 minutes to handle this task, or put these kind of tasks in between valuable tasks as a useful break.

      These are probably necessary tasks (e.g., routine tasks like checking emails) but they don’t contribute much towards reaching your desired goal. Keep them way down your priority list.

      High Cost + Low Benefit

      Review if these tasks are really necessary. Think of ways to reduce the cost if you decide that the completion of the task is required.

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      For instance, can any tools or systems help to speed up doing the task? In this category, you’re likely to find things like checking and updating sales contacts spreadsheets. This can be a fiddly and time-consuming thing to do without making mistakes. However, there are plenty of apps out there they can make this process instant and seamless.

      Now, coming back to the editor who I referred to earlier, let’s take a look at her typical daily task list:

        After listening to my advice, she broke down the High cost+ High benefit task into smaller ones. Her tasks then looked like this (in order of priority):

          And for the task about promoting articles to different platforms, after reviewing its benefits, we decided to focus on the most effective platform only – thereby significantly lowering the associated time cost.

          Bonus Tip: Tackling Tasks with Deadlines

          Once you’ve evaluated your tasks, you’ll know the importance of each of them. This will immediately give you a crystal-clear picture on which tasks would help you to achieve more (in terms of achieving your goals). Sometimes, however, you won’t be able to decide every task’s priority because there’ll be deadlines set by external parties such as managers and agencies.

          What to do in these cases?

          Well, I suggest that after considering the importance and values of your current tasks, align the list with the deadlines and adjust the priorities accordingly.

          For example, let’s dip into the editor’s world again.

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          Some of the articles she edited needed to be published by specific dates. The Scales Method allows for this, and in this case, her amended task list would look something like this:

            Hopefully, you can now see how easy it is to evaluate the importance of tasks and how to order them in lists of priority.

            The Scales Method Is Different from Anything Else You’ve Tried

            By adopting the Scales Method, you’ll begin to correctly prioritize your work, and most importantly – boost your productivity by up to 10 times!

            And unlike other methods that don’t really explain how to decide the importance of a task, my method will help you break down each of your tasks into two parts: cost and benefits. My method will also help you to take follow-up action based on different cost and benefits combinations.

            Start right now by spending 10 minutes to evaluate your common daily tasks and how they align with your goal(s). Once you have this information, it’ll be super-easy to put your tasks into a priority list. All that remains, is that you kick off your next working day by following your new list.

            Trust me, once you begin using the Scales Method – you’ll never want to go back to your old ways of working.

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            Featured photo credit: Vector Stock via vectorstock.com

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