Bill Gates once said that he would always “hire a lazy person to do a difficult job” at Microsoft. Why? “Because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it.”
Have you ever just sat around doing absolutely nothing? No errands, no agenda, not even any TV! If so did you find it difficult? Perhaps you felt restless or even guilty. Our society values work, productivity and “doing.” Not being engaged in some type of activity is seen as negative and unproductive. But in all honesty, there is a great deal of spiritual value in being lazy.
As children we were told that we would never amount to anything if we were lazy and that hard work was the key to success. But what if laziness could actually help you go further in life?
There are a few reasons why being an eager beaver isn’t always a good idea. Some problems may end up getting solved without any effort from you. And is a first-mover advantage all it’s cracked up to be?
It’s the second mouse that gets the cheese. The hapless first mouse could end up getting trapped in its efforts to get ahead.
Here are some of the ways you can use your laziness to your advantage and turn procrastination into an asset.
Too lazy to be lazy
Sometimes, laziness can be used to protect you from yourself. According to Karthick Venkatesh, who posts advice on question-and-answer network Quora, he has a 29-character password for Facebook and Twitter.
“When I have to work, I just log off from these,” he says. “So, whenever I feel like taking a break and using Facebook, I am just too lazy to type my password.
“Eventually, owing to my laziness, I go back to work and have a really productive day.”
Why procrastination works
If you wait until the last minute to complete a task, you are forced to focus on the project at hand. There’s nothing like not having enough time to complete a project to make you realize what’s critical, and what isn’t.
If you start early on a project and stick faithfully to the schedule, you almost always do more work than need. But if you wait until the last minute to work on something, the stress of it automatically narrows your focus to what’s important, and you quickly jettison the rest.You’ll work quickly and efficiently, and get it done.
Make the machine do it
Phones, lifts, cars, all these things were invented to avoid or minimize work. Lazy people automate as much as possible. Rather than tweeting throughout the day, for example, they will use a service like TweetDeck to schedule tweets for the whole day in one go. Job done; time for a cup of tea.
Are you lazy? Or just really good?
You may be lazy because you’re good at your job.
Really efficient people will naturally have more downtime than their peers.
If you finish a task, and find yourself watching cat videos or liking endless pictures on Facebook, is it because you’ve finished your work early? Are you twiddling your thumbs because you have nothing else left to do?
Make money while you sleep
Lazy entrepreneurs build businesses that generate revenue, even when they aren’t anywhere near their desk.
Online products such as training videos, e-books or subscriptions to online content or services could all make money while you sleep, and require minimal input from the business owner.
The explosion in peer-to-peer lenders has also offered lazy people the opportunity to make money by effectively doing nothing – just collecting the interest. Caveat: there is always risk involved in issuing loans.
But there are even ways of making traditional business models successful while being lazy. If you are selling a product, for example, create a range that is like a McDonald’s menu.
Produce five things – burgers, fries, chicken, salad and soft drinks – and just package it all differently and sell them in different combinations to cut down on time and effort.
How to build a lazier society
Working just four hours a week might seem ridiculous to many, but how about a four-hour workday?
A shorter working week would have interesting theoretical benefits. If everyone worked fewer hours, more people would be required to get the job done, reducing unemployment.
Less work would produce slower economic growth but it would also reduce the consequences of that growth, such as pollution. Work, as a commodity, would increase in value – sweat equity is frequently dismissed these days because everyone puts in such long hours.
It would also solve the eternal question: how to achieve a work/life balance. A four-hour workday would leave plenty of time for family and child care.
There could also be resulting in health benefits. Burn-outs, stress, and inactivity would be reduced, which would reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s.
Also Read: Easy tips to improve your willpower