My father used to say that lazy people took the time and energy to do a job right the first time. They didn’t take shortcuts and didn’t scrimp on effort.
He said it over and over again — very patiently, I might add. Lazy people don’t want to spend more time than they have to on something, he explained. They don’t want to take more time later to go back, make adjustments, fix things that aren’t right or, in the worst of cases, do it over again from the beginning. They’re too lazy to spend more time than they have to, to finally get it right. So, they do it right the first time.
Get that through a teenager’s head! I’m not going to admit just how many years it took to get it through mine.
These days, the words come to mind most often when I’m rushing something. It’s easy when you’re stressed, short of time and almost in a panic about getting something done, to dive into the task in a blind flurry of activity. Digging in hard makes you feel energized, with an adrenaline rush that convinces you that you can do the impossible. Ahh, but I’ve learned, the hard way, that when I was most stressed for time and in the midst of the choas, activity didn’t guarantee progress.
Let me suggest….Before you throw yourself against the clock, take ten minutes or so and make a plan. It’ll help your mind stay clear and focused.
- Map out your task on paper or screen.
- Jot down the steps…shouldn’t be detailed and exact, but aim for at least a vague order of completion.
- Quickly check to see if you forgot anything, though you can go back and add things as you go along.
- Don’t get too engrossed in the plan…the clock is ticking and time isn’t a luxury at this point.
Now you can see more clearly what has to be done and how you’re going to do it…you’re starting to calm down. Check off the steps as you finish them, tracking and celebrating your progress.
So, be lazy, take a little bit of time to make a plan, get it done right the first time…then go take a nap!