The Benefits of Laziness: Unlocking Productivity and Innovation


Hatched by Glasp

Sep 04, 2023

3 min read


The Benefits of Laziness: Unlocking Productivity and Innovation

In a society that glorifies hard work and productivity, the idea of embracing laziness may seem counterintuitive. However, there are compelling arguments for why being a lazy person can actually be good for you. Lazy individuals have a unique ability to focus on high-leverage activities, maximizing their output with minimal input. This approach not only allows for the avoidance of unnecessary tasks but also paves the way for innovative solutions. Laziness has been the driving force behind countless inventions, from the light switch to smart speakers. As Robert A. Heinlein, a renowned aeronautical engineer, naval officer, and science-fiction author, once said, "Progress isn't made by early risers. It's made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something."

One of the key benefits of embracing laziness is the opportunity it provides for our minds to wander. When we allow ourselves to indulge in unproductive moments, we actually enhance our ability to focus on long-term goals. A study published in Consciousness and Cognition supports this claim, highlighting the correlation between leisurely daydreaming and increased productivity in the future. By taking a bit of lazy time today, we set ourselves up for a more productive time tomorrow.

Moreover, incorporating regular breaks and daytime naps into our routine can have a profound impact on our overall well-being. Extensive research has shown that these moments of rest not only lower blood pressure but also clear the mind, making us more alert and focused. So, instead of viewing laziness as a hindrance, we should strive to find a healthy balance between work and rest.

When it comes to note-taking and knowledge retention, laziness can once again play a beneficial role. Merely transcribing notes without actively engaging with the material can limit our understanding and hinder the formation of connections between new and existing knowledge. Taking notes is just the first step; the real work begins when we start playing and tinkering with our notes. Actively thinking and exploring our notes allows us to strengthen our understanding, identify gaps in our knowledge, and spark new curiosities and questions.

To facilitate this process, it is essential to create a judgment-free space where we can freely think and muddle through our notes. Tools like Obsidian provide the perfect platform for this purpose. Vague-notes and thinking-notes are two valuable techniques that can be employed within Obsidian. Vague-notes allow for random thoughts and connections to be explored, while thinking-notes provide a more specific avenue for shaping ideas and thoughts. By finding a balance between building knowledge through note-taking and actively using those notes, we create an environment conducive to true learning.

Bottom-up note-taking is another approach that can enhance our understanding and organization of information. Starting with individual notes and gradually connecting them until clusters of related information emerge can facilitate a more comprehensive comprehension of complex topics. Backlinks, a feature offered by note-taking apps like Roam, Obsidian, and Logseq, can provide inspiration and further organization within our notes.

In conclusion, laziness, when approached strategically, can unlock productivity and innovation. By focusing on high-leverage activities and avoiding unnecessary tasks, lazy individuals maximize their output while conserving energy. Embracing laziness allows for the freedom to daydream, ultimately enhancing our long-term goal focus. Taking regular breaks and naps clears the mind and rejuvenates us for increased productivity. When it comes to note-taking, laziness should not be limited to transcribing information; instead, it should prompt us to actively engage with our notes, play with ideas, and make connections. By finding a balance between building knowledge and experience, we create an environment that fosters true learning. So, embrace your inner laziness and reap the rewards of increased productivity and innovation.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Embrace strategic laziness by identifying high-leverage activities and avoiding unnecessary tasks.
  • 2. Incorporate regular breaks and daytime naps into your routine to enhance focus and productivity.
  • 3. Actively engage with your notes, play with ideas, and make connections to deepen your understanding and spark new insights.

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