Be Lazy To Be Better

Most people that have known me since I was a little kid would gladly tell you without hesitating that I am a lazy person. I can remember being told this from family, friends, teachers, strangers, everyone! Generally, I used to just ignore this and move on with my life like I normally do. However, relatively recently, I realized how right they were and how happy that made me to hear this. Most of you might be wondering why anyone would get excited to be called lazy…

Lazy Polar Bear laying on its back

Wanna grab me a coke while you're up?

I have always enjoyed relaxing as much as possible whether that meant going on a hike through the woods or kicking back and watching some T.V. for a while. I like to do simple, enjoyable things and hang out with good people. I like to do this so much, that most people would think this is all I do. However, as true as I would like that to be some days, that is not the truth.

I never liked working hard, I always thought it was somehow a waste of time and energy. Hearing that probably makes you want to call me lazy too, that’s cool. The reason I don’t like to work hard is because there is almost always an easier way to do something, so why do more than I have to?

Grade School Math Teacher Tells You You'll Never Have A Calculator with you at all times and there is a pic of an iPhone with the calculator app

Your move school system, your move.

Back in the 4th grade I can recall how I used to get in trouble for the way that I did my math problems. I always got the problems solved correctly, but my teacher would be completely frustrated with the fact that I never wrote out the problems. I always thought it was a waste of time to read the problem out of a book, then copy it down on my paper, write out step by step what I was doing simply in my head, and then finally write the answer down. Writing the problem out at that point wasn’t necessary because I was able to solve all of the problems in my head in a few seconds then write down the answer. Thus copying all of that other stuff down was a waste of my time since I knew that I was producing the same results either way, and only writing the answer was much faster. Now that I think about it, my teachers should apologize for be disrespectful and wasting my time.

It sounds funny, but my desire to be able to be lazy has actually taught me how to be much better at the things I do. Since I don’t like wasting time on things, because I know that I would rather be doing other (probably much more fun) things, I have forced myself to find ways to cut time on how long it will take me to do my tasks.

This means everything from using keyboard shortcuts on a computer to brushing my teeth in the shower. When I am doing a design project for a client or for school, I am a big fan of using actions (auto do stuff in Photoshop buttons) and reusing certain effects or design elements. I figure that if it has already been done there is no point in reinventing the wheel. Every part of my day that doesn’t involve me relaxing or hanging out with friends I generally try to find ways to do them faster, but even those things are not safe from my efficiency. If your buddy is by the fridge and you need a beer, why would you get up to get it? Doing shit like that all day can really give you lots of extra time to drink more beer at the end of the day.

lazy gamer from south park playing WoW

WoW! What a sad life.

Now, this doesn’t mean that I try to pull shortcuts on everything I do nor do I believe that doing taking shortcuts is necessarily always even a good idea, it’s just that when I go to do something I try to be as efficient as possible. There is a significant difference. It’s built into the way I learn and do things. When I am doing something new I feel extremely focused, then I do it a few more times to learn the patterns and concepts to whatever I am doing, and then I find a way to set it on autopilot so that I don’t have to think about it much after that and I am able to simply do it, similar to how you don’t think about breathing or drinking beer.

I do not think that most people can/do learn this way, so you may need to take this article with a pinch of salt and a shot of tequila. This was an insight into how I came to learn and do the things that I do and that doesn’t mean that everyone else out there can make it through life this way, it’s just something that might be interesting to think about.

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3 thoughts on “Be Lazy To Be Better

  1. I have always said to my managers, (and they give me a funny look) that the lazy people that I have known have always come up with the best ideas for saving labor. When the company wants to lay off the people they deem lazy, they are narrowing their diversity a lot. I have seen the best tools invented by the laziest people in the shop!

    • Ya, that’s one of the sad parts of corporate America, they fail to see the innovation happening around them. If it weren’t for the lazy man we wouldn’t have the remote control or probably even the wheel.

    • Agreed! If it weren’t for the lazy ones, we would be working twice as hard for half the result still! Laziness is built into our DNA, animals aren’t supposed to go out and find ways they can spend more of their energy, they are supposed only use their energy when they have to.

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