Closed September 2017

Laziness is a Gift

Maze2 I hear the members of our online organizing program sometimes talking in our message boards or on our member webinars about how they didn't get something done because they "are lazy."

Let's pause for a moment for a couple of points:

  • Speaking negatively about yourself in a permanent way ("I AM lazy" vs. "I felt lazy today") is going to get you nowhere fast. I have written about this before if you'd like to read more. Please be careful about how you speak!
  • There is LAZY, as in "I don't want to get off the sofa right now," and there is LAZY as in, "Surely there's got to be a better, faster way to do this." Let's turn laziness on its ear and make it a positive thing! Because it is.

Laziness invented the dishwasher and the washing machine, got Tom Sawyer's fence painted, created microwave cooking, and built the Panama Canal. Laziness breeds creativity, problem-solving, and motivation to create shortcuts!

I love this quote from the famous novelist, Agatha Christie:

"I don't think necessity is the mother of invention – invention, in my opinion, arises directly from idleness, possibly also from laziness. To save oneself trouble."

Exactly. Most of the shortcuts I have learned in my life, whether physically finding a shorter route somewhere I am going or finding an app online that calculates and tracks something for me, have arisen out of a strong desire not to waste time or do things "the hard way."

Laziness generates efficiency! Celebrate your laziness today by exploiting it for the greater good. Who knows? You could invent the next Clapper… or maybe you just figure out how to stretch those leftovers into a wholesome meal for your family without going to the grocery store again.

Thinking this way can make you realize that organizing something like your closet is an investment of time that will ultimately allow you to expend less time and energy. It's much easier to maintain something a little at a time than to have to waste time every day looking for things. I am too lazy to want to spend my mornings that way. Positively channeled laziness can give you back time for things that matter to you, like sitting on the sofa just a little longer.

What are your favorite shortcuts? How has laziness paid off for you? Share in the comments!

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One Comment


I call it ‘creative laziness’. I will go to great lengths to set up something that will save me time and effort later.
For example, spending time labeling the little containers in the drawers in the kitchen, labeling the pantry shelves–they save me tremendous time later because my husband knows where stuff goes and can put it back in the right spot. Being able to find that measuring device or that spatula or knife in a hurry while cooking is very important. The occasional time when stuff isn’t in its right home adds a lot of frustration.
I spend time figuring out where I can park my car so I don’t have to think hard about where it is when I come out of the workplace or out of the mall. I always park in the same general area.
I spend time printing a sign with colors on it so my kids (age 6) know how to separate their darks from their lights to save me time on laundry day–and save me from having to sort nasty stinky dirty clothes.
I spend time deciding where in my purse is the ONE home for my keys and my phone and the other important bits. I don’t like purses that only have one pocket because I want a system that keeps me from rooting around in the rain on a dark night trying to get into my car or house.
I spend time hanging up a hook for all sorts of things so my purse has a home, so my kids have a place for their coats and book bags, so I have a place for my bathrobe.
I have a pair of scissors for nearly every room of the house, each one with that room’s name written on it so we know where it goes. Each one has a home. I spent money buying extra scissors so I will have one close to hand whenever I need to cut something.
All of it is so I don’t have to think too hard or work too hard or search for the thing I want in the moment I want it. It’s all a system designed to make my life easier.
Occasionally I will ‘brute force’ something rather than finding/making a system–but only if I think I’ll be doing that task just once.


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