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Being Lazy

“Progress isn’t made by early risers.  It’s made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something.”

― Robert Heinlein

“Laziness is the first step towards efficiency.”

― Patrick Bennett

I was thinking of my dog Penny.  She is a Silver Labrador, and she is “lazy as a dog.”

This is a title she proudly wears.  Put her in the warm sunlight, and not even a squirrel bounding nearby can get her to move her head.  She is happy with life.

Be Lazy

I want to be happy with life.

I also want my business to run well, make money, and my employees feel secure.  Is it possible for the two can coexist?


If you follow the advice of the latest business gurus, they can’t.  With the writings of  Sheryl Sandberg (Lean In), John Bernard (Business at the Speed of Now), Michael Port (Book Yourself Solid), Gary Vaynerchuk (Crush It), and Keith Ferrazzi (Never Eat Alone), the only way to run a business is push-the-limits, go-go, uber aggression.

No laziness for those guys.

And you can see this in industry.  We are out of the COVID crisis and are still down about five million workers, yet production is above pre-COVID levels.  The people who have come back to work are, well, “crushing it.”

But it can’t last

Be Lazy in Business

When I think of being lazy in business, I’m not imagining an office full of employees lying in the sunshine like my dog Penny.  I’m not visualizing lying-in-bed-all-day-while-playing-Candy-Crush laziness.

I’m talking about efficiency.

I’m talking about proactively avoiding issues and speedily addressing the ones that do pop up.  I’m talking about providing such great service that our clients never feel the need to contact us.

This is the right kind of lazy — the one that finds the quickest, simplest way to accomplish complicated tasks.  Bill Gates may not be lazy himself, but he certainly understands the true value of laziness.  He said,

“I choose a lazy person to do a hard job.  Because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it.”

Imagine an entire staff full of perfectly lazy employees.

How to be Lazy (Efficient)

  1. Finish what you started – By finishing a task, you’ll give yourself a new lease of energy and finish what you started before moving on to the next item on your to-do list.
  2. Plan your week in advance – At the beginning of the week, spend an hour making a detailed list of what you need to accomplish – this way, you can choose the most important jobs to complete first, so you’re not wasting time.
  3. Take regular breaks – Scientists say that you cannot focus for over 90 minutes at a time – suggesting that you should rest every 90 minutes during an activity.
  4. Break up your tasks – Create a list of different elements to the projects and go through it one step at a time.

The Bible

The Bible does not condone laziness.

Proverbs 10:4  says,

Lazy hands make for poverty, but diligent hands bring wealth.

Proverbs 10:5  says,

 He who gathers crops in summer is a prudent son, but he who sleeps during harvest is a disgraceful son.

And Proverbs 12:11 says,

Those who work their land will have abundant food, but those who chase fantasies have no sense.

However, the Bible wants us to work for a purpose and be productive.  Colossians 3:23 says,

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,

And Ecclesiastes 9:10 says,

Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the realm of the dead, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.

Business leaders and entrepreneurs must drive the productivity of their businesses.  But this productivity cannot be at the expense of efficiency.  Working hard and toiling is another means of busyness, of wasting time to waste time.  Look for ways to be productive without overworking.