I recently realised that being lazy – of which I am very guilty – is actually harder work than being diligent.
This might sound nuts to all you fellow couch potatoes out there, but really, it’s true. Here’s how it works:
1) You see something that needs doing.
2) You either do it, make a specific time to do it later, or roll your eyes and hope it will go away.
3) The first two options are not examples of being lazy, but rather of diligence (as long as you follow up on that appointment you made with yourself). You do the job and it’s done and either that’s it’s own reward or you have therefore avoided something unpleasant or you actually receive some kind of reward for your efforts.
4) Or you roll your eyes and hope the task will disappear – but it never does. So you end up wasting a lot of energy thinking about the task, being nagged about the task by others, watching the job get bigger (think mowing the lawn or doing the dishes) and generally putting a lot more time and energy into the task than you ever really needed to.
And this, by definition, is harder work than just doing the job at the first possible opportunity. It wastes far more energy.
Still, even though I know this, I have a lifetime habit of procrastination which I am yet to fully overcome 🙂
To help myself, I have a new mantra that has been working quite well for me over the last couple of months:
“Don’t fight the work; don’t fight the work”.
It reminds me that getting the work done ASAP is in fact less effort than procrastinating and so motivates me to get off my hairy bum and get to it!
NB: I would however like to point out that there is still and always will be room in my life for SOME laziness. I wouldn’t want to turn into some kind of a stress head. After all I am the guy who wrote the new anthem for the return of Slacker Culture.