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Are you lazy and not aware?

Improving Systems and Habits

Scott Miker is the author of several books that describe how to use systems and habits to improve.  This free blog provides articles that to help understand the principles related to building systems.  

Are you lazy and not aware?

Scott Miker

I’ve worked with many people, in many different work environments.  I’ve come to realize that I hate the word lazy.

One reason is because people define it differently.  Sometimes people say if you aren’t doing physical labor you are lazy.  Some people say if you aren’t willing to get an education you are lazy.

Some people associate laziness to hours worked.  If you don’t work 80 hours a week you are lazy.  Others say you can be busy all day, work tons of hours and not get anything done because you are lazy.  Others define lazy as taking frequent breaks. 

With all of the ways to define being lazy, it can be easy to define it according to your current prerogative.  We can easily say everyone else is lazy but us.  Then we can give reasons why that is the case.

But the problem is that I’ve never met anyone who admitted to being lazy.  If you find yourself saying everyone but you are lazy, then maybe you are just not being honest. 

I’ve since changed my perspective on being lazy.  Now I view it as a continuum.  On one end is the person who is constantly trying to not do the work necessary.  On the other is the person who is always willing to step up and work through a situation.  It doesn’t mean they are working 80 hours a week or never taking a break.  It simply means they often jump into action to get things done and don’t consciously try to avoid doing work. 

If you use this continuum then it is easier to see how you can improve, rather than simply judging yourself as hard working while everyone around you might believe you to be lazy. 

Where are you at on the continuum?  Where do you truly fall on it?  If you can be honest with yourself about those questions you will find elements of your work ethic that are, at least somewhat, lazy.  If you can’t you are lying. 

But the key is to then take steps to improve.  Wherever you feel you are on the lazy continuum, start to look for ways to improve.  How can you step up and do the extra work to help someone else?  Can you take more responsibility at work or at home to be able to do more?

If you find yourself constantly busy, can you look at your work habits to find inefficiency?  Many times I meet someone who claims to be extremely busy but they somehow find numerous hours a day to be on social media or somehow they always have every new phone app game as soon as it comes out. 

We can all become less lazy but it will take work.  It won’t happen by accident and if you haven’t developed a solid work ethic by this point in your life you probably won’t without active attention on that area. 

So start to take the steps to improve your efficiency to get things done.  Start to learn to dive in and take on challenges rather than try to get someone else to handle them.  Try to be more active in your improvement journey and work to slowly move yourself up the continuum.  As you do, you will probably then look back and realize how much you were leaving on the table and how much more you are able to accomplish now than you were then. 

Because it seems like there are so many people today who are looking for the easy way out all the time, we should (as a society) start to put more value and emphasis on getting the work done.  We should stop blaming the government for being unemployed and instead look at what we can do to improve.  It isn’t up to anyone else to create your work ethic, it is up to you.  So start today and work to slowly improve.