Such big dreams but laziness stalk my every step. What shall I do?

That title promises a lot, but please keep in mind these are just my thoughts on the subject and by no means a definitive cheat sheet.

Earning any sort of success in today’s capitalist society, no matter where you are is grueling. 99% of it has to do with the lottery of birth and there’s no way to fix that (other than society itself changing). So, I will only be addressing the remaining 1% we have control over.

First and foremost, are you lazy or are you just depressed? You might actually be the enviable energizer-bunny-type but poor mental health is cramping your style. Evaluate yourself, visit a therapist if it is within your means. This post is for people who are lazy for real.

OK let’s get to it.

Any time I comment on my laziness to anyone around me, whether long-time friend or recently-made acquaintance they either cock their eyebrow in disbelief, make some sort of shocked exclamation or both. But it’s true.

Before the age of 15, I would only do things I absolutely had to. And at that time, it was just school, so that’s all I did. No serious sports, clubs, etc. I just had my voracious reading habit and good grades to appease my parents.

But then something changed (a post for another day, I guess) and I decided I would strive to do a bit extra in life other than the compulsory stuff. In the past 10 years, this is what I’ve learned about what it takes to be a lazy ‘overachiever.’

What’s the one thing you want no matter what?

Yeah, we all want money, but what else is driving you? For me, it’s traveling. No matter what, that’s always in my line of focus. And therefore that helps me choose what I want to pursue. There’s a lot out there. The internet is teeming with possibilities. So how do you pick one? Because part of the lazy experience is that “there’s just SO MUCH to possibly do and I’m a confused bean, so I won’t do anything.” Yeah, no. Find ways to decide. Is it skills acquisition? Or networking, or do you really want to improve your public speaking? Once you choose one or two things to hold onto, it’ll be much easier to choose what to go for in the first place.

Never be the main person in charge.

That’s a no-go zone for me at the moment. Because being the woman or man in charge means the buck stops with you. Whether it’s the head of a club or the editor-in-chief of a magazine run with friends or something in a salaried job. There is no rest for the people who occupy such positions. I’ve been up close and personal with them and it’s not for the faint of heart. I am currently in the process of reinforcing my heart so it may not be faint when I do decide to be the woman in charge. For now, I choose the next biggest position if I can get it. This goes for start-ups too. Even if you’re part of the founding team, find people who share your vision and decide the work in a way that you’ll be the COO or CFO - anything other than the CEO (until you’re ready, and maybe you’ll never be ready. That’s fine.)

Always decide how much attention you will give something before you get into it.

Are you going to give this thing 90% of your effort or 20%? There’s no use pretending you’ll give it 100%, we both know that’s not gonna happen so just be realistic. Also, if you’re restless like me and are doing several things that need your attention at once this mental division of energy will help you know what can be allowed to fall by the wayside if necessary. I’m currently doing my Master’s, keeping my journalism career alive by working on stories, running this blog, and making YouTube videos. The first two are my priority. The other two can be allowed to slack here and there and I won’t kill myself over it.

Have a few guiding principles, or a code of principles, if you will.

For me, I have two things. If I’m working on any group-related project, I never slack on my portion. Whether it’s at school or work. I may take longer to do things from time to time due to circumstances but I always get it done. On a related note, I always do what I promise to do. I never make idle promises for that reason. Even if it’s just in passing conversation. What are your guiding principles? Because when laziness hits, these are the things that will get you in gear to get the job done.

Hope that helps some. Please share any other hacks you’ve figured out!

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