“Progress isn’t made by early risers. It’s made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something.” — Robert A. Heinlein
Yesss, “lazy productivity” is a thing and it can actually make you more productive, but only if used adequately.
By being lazy, we don’t intend that you should do nothing and just wait for some magic fairy to wave a wand and do the tasks on your behalf. Because if you do so, you’d probably have a very short career. In any industry. At all.
The idea behind lazy productivity is to adopt a more focused approach to your daily activity. To find the best solution to solve a problem without wasting hours on it. In other words, to work smart, not hard. You don’t have to be lazy. You have to be smart lazy.
Are there any benefits of being lazy?
Of course, there are. But again, only if you think of laziness as a result of smart work. Some say that this and productivity are just two different sides of the same coin.
Here are 6 of the unknown benefits of laziness:
1. It helps you find smart solutions: Many people agree that laziness is the basis of innovation. Think about escalators or TV remote control as two good examples of inventions that help “lazy” people.
2. You only focus on necessary tasks: Most lazy people tend to perform high-leverage activities rather than time-consuming activities that can be automated. That’s because they are more careful when it comes to what they’re spending energy on.
3. You avoid burnout: Regular breaks are extremely important because they help your brain and your body to recharge after spending time on a task. This way, you avoid feeling exhausted and extremely stressed.
4. When you’re lazy, the body is sending you a sign: Do you feel tired? Have you eaten enough? Is the task you’re working on repetitive or boring to you? Finding the source of your laziness might be a way to overcome it and finish the specific task in due time.
5. If you’re lazy today, you may be more productive tomorrow: Scientists claim that our mind has two modes of operation and these are called diffuse thinking and focused thinking. In order to stay productive and creative, you must find the right balance and constantly oscillate between the two. Letting your mind to wander, a form of diffuse thinking, helps your brain process information and to have a different perspective over a certain problem, thus coming up with the best yet less obvious solution.
6. It’s good for your mental health: When something bad or traumatic happens to us, we tend to immerse into work and getting more things done as a defence mechanism against bad thoughts. Slacking off actually helps your mind to recover, to acknowledge the concerns and feelings and to find a way to overcome them.
Moltke’s laziness matrix
Helmuth Karl Bernhard Graf von Moltke, a German Generalfeldmarschall that lived in the 1800s, had a very interesting opinion when it came to laziness. He categorized his officers in a way that can be applied even today.
He created four different categories, as follows:
- Lazy and smart – these people are promoted to leadership, as they will find the best solutions to encountered problems with the least resources.
- Smart and diligent – these people are deployed into staff functions, as they will make sure the right things are happening and will direct the effort adequately.
- Diligent and not-smart – unfortunately, these people are taken out, as they tend to make some things happen, but not the right things, which is harmful to the team.
- Not-smart and lazy – these people are let quiet and given routine tasks to complete. There’s a slight chance that someday they may come up with a good idea to help the team.
Considering this, it can be said that lazy and smart people are the right ones to occupy leadership roles in a company or an organization. Placing your team members into these four categories might be beneficial for your project and time-saving in some cases.
Three other useful tips that lazy people recommend
Want to improve your productivity and at the same time enjoy more time for yourself? You should consider these tips coming from some procrastination practitioners:
1. Use OneDock: Having one app to rule them all, that’s Heaven for anyone who spends at least 8 hours a day behind a screen. The good news is OneDock can help you with that. It has integrations with tons of useful apps from various categories, including communication, social media, task management, time tracking and many more. And if you don’t find a certain app in the catalogue, you also have the possibility to add custom apps.
2. Try to reduce the number of calls and meetings to the minimum: If it can be solved via email or a simple message, cancel that meeting. Studies show that you need several minutes to get into a task after you’ve come back from a meeting. It’s not productive.
3. Have some fun: Regardless of the nature of the project you’re working on, don’t forget to have a good laugh with your team every now and then. A good level of humour can do wonders for your team.
“It’s not laziness, it is efficiency” – we believe this is what a lazy person would say to someone else regarding these tips. And we tend to agree.
What’s your opinion on this? Share this article on social media and give your own useful lazy tip that actually makes you more productive.
Lavinia Nica - Copywriter / UX writer at Telekom Romania