No one survives. As the Anne Lammott says: “100 years from now? All new people”. Whatever we’re obsessing about today is trivial when you take the long view. And stress is not only pointless, it may shave a few years off the time you have.
So – relax.
You can be both productive, and lazy. If you’ve got a cat, you’ve got the ultimate role model for laziness and productivity. Think of big cats – lions. They lie around, until they need to move. Then they move.
Back in January, I wrote this blog post:
Here’s something which helped me to bolster my determination to keep my resolutions. I spent half an hour looking through my 2012 notes in my Evernote account.
I love Evernote for many reasons, but that’s a big one. The longer you use it, the more you get out of it. I’ve been a Premium user since 2009, so I can watch my obsessions change over time. As the years go by, you can see how trivial some of your obsessions are in retrospect. Your current biggest worry won’t matter after you’re dead – it won’t even matter next year.
Try these tips to be both lazy and productive.
1. Sleep on it (seriously)
Got a problem? Write it down. Then forget it for now. The “write it down” part is the magic. When you write something down, it lodges in your brain, and triggers your subconscious mind. Allow your subconscious to come up with the answer for you. It will.
The funny thing about your brain, as researchers from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) recently discovered, is that it’ll keep solving a problem for you while you do something else. In fact, giving your subconscious time to work makes for better decisions.
Your subconscious has huge processing power. Let go of the problem so it can work on it.
2. Be the hare AND the tortoise
Everything moves in cycles. So does your body and brain. Try quick sprints of activity, during which you focus, interspersed with periods in which you relax.
The Pomodoro Technique helps you to work in sprints. You don’t have to work in 25 minute blocks of time. Use ten-minute sprints for some tasks, 45-minute sprints for others. The total cycle of focus/ relaxation is key.
3. Life is short. Your To Do List is never-ending
You’ll NEVER get everything done. Fact. Accept it. If you’re worn out at the end of the day, and commit to pulling an all-nighter to meet a deadline, consider that that strong burst of productivity can lower your over-all productivity for at least a week.
Since you’ll never get everything done, trim your task list to a Post-it.
4. Your life on a Post-it note
Grab a stack of Post-its. Use one for each day and write a maximum of three items on your daily note. Perhaps you’ll have just a single item – but no more than three. After you cross off your three items you can be as lazy as you like.
My favorite app, Evernote, has just made it easy for you to snap your Post-its into your Evernote notes. (I snapped the above image of a Post-it into Evernote.)
You CAN be productive, and lazy. Try it.