This is the latest in a Lazy series – For previous posts, click here and here
It’s hard for me to do something I don’t care about. But for things I am interested in, I find I can end up with a relentless hyper-focus, even on the most irrational and tedious of topics.
Do any of us really focus?
This is something everyone can relate to: complaining how they can’t focus on the job because they can’t get away from their Instagram feed, or getting delayed for a party because you have to see the end of the reality TV show you didn’t care about 30 minutes ago (The Bachelor can be weirdly engrossing). Stronger examples may go deeper, and contrast productive working vs. staring at a wall procrastinating while unable to think about work. If it’s so common, does that mean it’s something we all have to live with?
Update: For next in series click here
Q. Why don’t you just do the work you need to do now if you know you need to get it done?
A. It’s not always that easy to do something you need to do, and is much easier to be distracted
When I started writing this post I got through the bulk of the below in a burst of thought and stream of consciousness, and in the following days started to edit and update some ideas intending to post it by that Monday.
That was over a month ago.
Why did I stop and not post it then? If you asked me normally I’d say I either got distracted, or needed some more time to think, or because I needed a better angle. None of those are false statements, but in reality I couldn’t write it because I struggled with motivating myself to do it.
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tl;dr: if you pay attention to your day you can find what you
So if you start something you have an idea of what you’re trying to do.
But often times that’s the easy part. What if you have no idea what you want to do in the first place and not sure where to start? Ever finished a show on Netflix and had that existential crisis of “well that’s over. What do I watch now?” where you start about what you want to do next, but then spirals into a look at what you should be doing next in life? You tell yourself you know exactly what you need to do, if only you knew what you wanted to do – but have no idea where to start. So instead you save yourself the stress and torment and re-watch a few episodes of The Office. This pretty much used to be my evenings in a nutshell.
tl;dr: break it down
When you try to start something new it’s a whole thing. You may consider it for months, plan for weeks, try it out for a few days, but then fail to put in the hours. Maybe it’s too intimidating, or too hard, or too stressful.
I’m a short distance runner. Why? I always told myself it was lack of stamina, but in reality it was because I was impatient, and struggled with being able to delay satisfaction. I wanted to go FAST, go NOW, and not wait. So what if I didn’t go as far? I still felt as good, right?
When I started to accept I was lazy I realized I could control my life
I used to be lazier than this cute, adorable, sleeping dog
I’m a lazy person by nature. I’d rather figure out how to not do something, or how to minimize my work, instead of actually going the long way and doing exactly what was prescribed. Traditionally this is regarded as bad, and it’s assumed that as a lazy person you won’t do anything, won’t amount to anything, and will live the life equivalent of an episode of Green Arrow – it’s not entirely bad, but you know it could be so much better.
The thing is, I didn’t want to be lazy. For years the only thing I hoped for was to get myself to work on things even if I didn’t really want to. I’d get by with school and work since I knew I had to do it, but the result was sub par work, often rushed just to get it done with, instead of with the full thought and capability I knew I could put into it. I longed to care or be invested enough with something I had to do that I’d give it my 100% and look back with absolutely no regrets of my work.