Picture this. This morning, I was in bed (also accurate for ‘this afternoon’, ‘all day yesterday’ and ‘right now’) and felt the need to use my laptop from the comfort of my blankets. My laptop was on the floor about a metre away. Rather than swing my feet out from the warmth and take one step to pick it up, I slowly pulled the heater by the cord so that it scooped my laptop into my outstretched hand, while I remained fully tucked and cosy under the covers. And then I had two things – my laptop, and an immense feeling of pride. That’s right, pride. If you too are proud to be lazy, blink once! I won’t ask you to do anything more strenuous, because I know you. I am you. I am lazy, and I am damn proud of it. If you are judging me for being a particularly lethargic sloth, then it is important that you read on. Because, my overly-energetic friend, this is my belief.
Lazy people deserve more credit.
Too often I will end a deliciously lazy day, where I have spent majority of the day in my trackies on my laptop, with a non-delicious aftertaste of guilt. Why? Because I know from Facebook that other people spent their day off working out at the gym, reading Bill Bryson, curing cancer, baking thousands of treats for homeless disabled blind dogs and recycling. If you are one of the culprits who posts not-so-subtle Sunday statuses bragging about all the crap you ‘achieved’ with your productive busy-ness, then here is my response. Firstly, I don’t necessarily believe you. I think you might be telling fibs to make yourself feel/look better. (Next to the ‘like’ button, Facebook should have an ‘I call bullshit’ button.) Secondly, I don’t necessarily care. Nothing bores me more on Facey than a mundane boast along the lines of ‘200 squats at the gym this morning! Now to get all the Christmas shopping done in August, cook a super-healthy meal for the whole neighbourhood and then read A History Of Everything’. Thirdly, whoop-de-fucking-doo. I could have achieved everything you did in half the time and with a quarter of the effort. Because I am a lazy person. And ‘lazy’ is just a derogatory term for ‘efficient’.
|Laziness inspiring brilliance. Brilliance mowing the lawn.|
Here’s the thing – I do all the regular tasks that should be done in a day, but my laziness has inspired me to create shortcuts so everything gets done faster and with less effort. I don’t see that as a bad thing. It gives me more time for the things I love doing, whether that is getting back into bed and working on my laptop, or going to the gym (hahahahaha, just kidding) or watching an entire season of a TV show (which I can claim as ‘studying’ because I’m an actor). But the reason I have time to do all the fun lazy stuff (other than the obvious reason of ‘being an actor gives you a looooot of free time’) is that my laziness means I get all my tasks done extremely efficiently. Example - I make my bed every morning, BUT.... I make my bed while I’m still in it. Rather than stand up and do the traditional flick and tuck, I stay in bed and move my arms and legs like I’m making a snow angel, until all the covers have quickly shifted into place. It’s quicker and warmer and easier. I don’t know Mensa’s guidelines for letting people into their smart club, but I’m pretty sure that makes me a genius. Also, I can iron any wardrobe item with my hair straightener. Why? Because my hair straightener is permanently accessible and located in the same room as my clothes, whereas the iron is all packed up in the laundry cupboard next to Effort and Strain. And don’t even get me started on getting out the stupid ironing board. So I have become prolific at GHD-ironing, which is faster, easier, and yields the same results. Vacuuming. I know which power point is the most central in the apartment, and I strategically reach most of the rooms from there, because unplugging and replugging is a time-wasting pain in the ass.
Don’t get me wrong, I have a great work ethic. Somehow, I often describe myself as ‘hard-working’ (particularly when applying for jobs) AND as ‘lazy’, (particularly when quitting gym memberships). I really am both hard-working and lazy. I am a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma (...covered in blankets, eating bacon). It’s just that my work ethic is more situation-dependent than a social smoker. I have to be motivated to spark up. If it is something I am passionate about, then I will work my ass off (except my ass always stays resolutely attached). And some of my passions take a lot of frigging energy – acting, dancing, kickboxing, stalking the Bondi Vet... I get home from these activities utterly exhausted (and occasionally with a restraining order) because I worked really, really hard. So my can of whoopass does get opened on a regular basis. And yet, at the same time, I am also the Queen of Lazyville. It’s not a title I sought out in life, but occasionally being an actor means I have a few days in a row with absolutely no commitments, absolutely no money and absolutely no reason to not stay in bed most of the day watching Community. I will get up to shower, do any social activity that involves eating, and log some stalking time if the BV is in town*. I will extremely occasionally make it to the gym (to use the spa) or partake in some cultural/educational/degustation-al activity that will improve myself as a human being. But other than that, I will probably be doing something idle. And society should be more okay with it... because we owe a lot to laziness.
Think about it. Most inventions were invented to make life easier. Why did some smart guy invent the wheel? Because dragging shit is hard. Why did Edison invent the light bulb? Because he couldn’t be bothered lighting all those damn candles. Why did Alexander Graham Bell invite the telephone? Because he couldn’t be assed walking to his friend’s place. They say “necessity is the mother of invention”... but surely, that’s just another way of saying “I cannot be screwed doing this. I need a shortcut”. Some inventions are more openly lazy than others – the Clapper (‘screw getting up to turn the lights off, clap clap!’), power steering (‘I refuse to turn my wheel more than a quarter, dammit!’), escalators (‘I’m gonna stand right here and let the stairs climb themselves’) – but I reckon laziness played a part in most of the things we use every day. Cars. Washing machines. Remote controls. Dishwashers. I actually have cousins who are inventors, and more than anyone, they support my laziness-inspires-creativity argument. They see a task that takes effort, and they create something to take the effort way. They've built an empire on laziness. I fucking love them for it on a daily basis. If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing fast and with little effort.
|Tapi by Dreamfarm - They get a free plug for supporting lazy people. Legends.|
So if you’re a lazy person too, don’t feel ashamed. Don’t let society or the Seven Deadly Sins ever make you feel bad for being sloth-like. Because ironically, lazy people are the ones who make the world go round. They get shit done quickly and with little effort. They don’t create drama, because they can’t be bothered dealing with the fuss. They do things right the first time, because they don’t want to risk having to do them again. Even Bill Gates knows it. “I always choose a lazy person to do a hard job. Because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it.”** Lazy people deserve recognition and respect. So if you, like me, are inspiringly and creatively lazy, then give yourself a pat on the back.
If you can be bothered.
*In case you were taking me seriously, I don’t actually stalk the Bondi Vet. That’s what I told the court and I am sticking to it.
**Definitely not relevant to Internet Explorer, which was not designed by a lazy person, but an inefficient busy-body who likes to waste time with complicated pop-ups and bugs.
By Lucy Gransbury. Follow her on twitter @LucyGransbury. Or follow her in real life. She doesn't move very fast.