Laziness tends to get a bad rap. And, to be real — that’s a fair assessment. I mean it’s difficult to get things done when you’re just vegging out on the couch all day. For an entrepreneur — being lazy is almost impossible. Even thinking about being lazy doesn’t enter your mind. We may have to use a different word like “relax,” and even that word is scary. But, there are perks to being lazy.
Laziness isn’t all that bad. Let’s say that you’ve had a hectic day so far — and there’s no end in sight. Is it really the end of the world if you literally do nothing for 15-minutes?
What if you have one of those “lazy” days? As opposed to forcing yourself to work, which will probably be subpar, listen to what your body is telling, and take-off.
The point is, you can’t be “on” all of the time. Sometimes you need to kick back, relax, and be lazy. I mean if it worked for Einstein, Picasso, and Newton, then it probably will for you as well. But, if you still feel guilty about this, then here are seven perks of being lazy.
You’re less likely to burnout.
While most of us are familiar with burnout, though we may not realize how common it is. According to Clockify, seven out of ten people have really suffered with burnout. Why’s that a big deal? Well, this type of stress affects your productivity, as well as the following consequences:
- Ill health.
- A strain on relationships.
- Running behind and missing deadlines.
- Diminished work quality.
- A decrease in creativity.
- Loss in business revenues.
In short, burnout is incredibly dangerous. But, you can prevent this by allowing yourself to a little lazy. For example, taking breaks regularly to catch some z’s or just let your mind wander. As noted in Psychology Today, “Burnout puts your mind and body in a weakened state, so avoid jumping from one stressful, time-consuming project to the next in order to give your mind and body a chance to recover.”
Moreover, when you take it easy, you also set boundaries, like not bringing your work home with you. And, if you don’t feel like doing something, you have no qualms saying “no.”
If you are an entrepreneur — it is especially important to watch for burnout. You have to learn how to deal with burnout and the effects on you and your whole family.
It’s beneficial to your health and well-being.
When you’re less stressed, you’re obviously in better health — physically and mentally. However, when you embrace your laziness, you’re more well-rested. That’s easy to see why if since you’re making sleep a priority — you may even be known for taking catnaps during the nap.
But, there’s an additional advantage here; you’re going to improve your workouts. I know that that may sound counterproductive. The thing is because you don’t want to spend hours exercising, you’re going to be on the lookout for shorter, more intense physical activity. Research shows that these types of exercises are better suited for staying fit and weight loss.
Laziness makes you more effective and efficient.
“I choose a lazy person to do a hard job. Because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it.” — Bill Gates
Just like finding a shorter and less intense workout, laziness can make you more effective and efficient. Why? Because you’re going to find the fastest way to complete a task without exhuming a ton of energy.
In return, that could spark creativity or out-of-the-box thinking. Or, it could encourage you to properly delegate the things that you either aren’t strong at or just don’t want to do. The latter may sound selfish. But, if you dread doing an activity, then why would you force yourself to do it when there’s someone else willing to take it off your hands?
It encourages idleness.
“Laziness is a lost art,” writes Chris Bailey, author Hyperfocus. “I don’t mean laziness in the sense of filling each moment with mindless distraction. I mean proper idleness when we choose to do nothing.”
That’s important when living in a world full of distractions where “we rarely put our mental feet up. Instead, we spend our spare time bouncing between novel distractions — going from checking our email, to reading the news, to surfing Facebook, and so on — activities that often make us even more tired.”
Additionally, this interferes with our focus. And, this doesn’t give us a chance “to connect these swirling ideas,” adds Bailey. But, when our attention is resting, “our mind wanders to fascinating places. One study, which periodically sampled people’s thoughts while their minds were wandering, confirmed this. The places our mind wanders to include the future (48% of the time), the present (28%) and the past (12% of the time).
Moreover, an idle mind grants us to:
- Rest. Deliberating letting your mind wander “makes the mode energy-restorative, which helps us focus more deeply later.”
- Plan. Bailey writes, “strategic laziness allows us to set intentions and recall our goals in the first place.”
- Unearth ideas. “Our wandering mind connects all three mental destinations: the past, the present, and the future,” explains Bailey. As a result, “this allows us to experience significantly more creative insights than when in a focused state.”
You’ll improve your emotional intelligence.
There’s another advantage to letting your mind drift, it gives you the opportunity to reflect. While that’s an asset to your creativity and problem-solving, this allows you to become more self-aware. As a result, you’ll be able to increase your emotional intelligence.
If you want to be more productive and overcome a vast amount of human frailty — work on your emotional intelligence.
Even if you don’t want to literally sit back and do nothing, it’s been found that watching TV can also improve your EI. The caveat here is that you shouldn’t make this a common occurrence. It also depends on what you watch — in this case, it’s award-winning dramas like “The West Wing” or “Mad Men.” And no one can dispute the value of Ted Talks.
Allows you to procrastinate.
Wait. Isn’t procrastination a bad thing? Sure, if it’s something that you struggle with daily. But, there are also some benefits.
Susanna Newsonen MAPP writes that procrastination can be good for you because of the following reasons:
- Active procrastination makes you get more things done. When you’re an active procrastinator, you’re more likely to clear the items off your to-do list — even if it’s not the task you’re procrastinating on.
- Unnecessary tasks disappear with procrastination. When you’re dragging your feet, you may stop and ask why it’s important to you.
- Shines a light on what’s most important to you. If something doesn’t have purpose or passion, then why are wasting your time on such matters?
- Makes you more creative. As you procrastinate, “your mind is subconsciously collecting ideas and processing things to prepare you for it,” explains Newsonen. “That means that when you actually sit down to get to it, you have a lot more ideas in your head on how to go about it.”
- Helps you to make better decisions. Procrastinating buys you time to listen to both your rational mind and intuition.
- Leads to better apologies. “If you’ve done something wrong and you owe someone an apology, it’s better to give them (and you) time to cool off,” writes Newsonen.
You won’t waste time or energy on the unnecessary.
Lazy people avoid unproductive things. Whether it’s monotonous work, unnecessary meetings, busy work, or hopeless ventures, they don’t waste their time and energy on these items. Instead, they focus on what’s important to them — mainly their personal and professional priorities.
What about everything else? As mentioned earlier, either delegate these tasks to someone else or drop them from your schedule. When you scratch-out the non-essential — you’ll notice that you’ll have availability to get more things done.
How to master the art of laziness.
The list here is not all that complicated. At its core, being lazy — or at least knowing how to hustle and get things done and then have fun — should come naturally. Laziness — as mentioned here doesn’t mean wasting all of your precious time on things like watching TV. The “art” is about establishing boundaries, taking breaks, and focusing more on what it’s important to you.
Being lazy is rethinking your productivity and not over-planning. For example, just because you only worked for 4-hours doesn’t mean the day is a wash. Leave a few blank slots in your calendar allowing for more flexibility and opportunities to go with the flow.
Editor-in-Chief at Calendar. Former Editor-in-Chief and writer at Startup Grind. Freelance editor at Entrepreneur.com. Deanna loves to help build startups, and guide them to discover the business value of their online content and social media marketing.