I feel overworked from the week, so this will be a short post. Feel free to leave a comment or send me an email if there is a topic or an idea that you want me to write about.
When I feel overworked, I give myself permission to be lazy. I should have loosened the reins sooner and turned down my harsh inner critic, so that I wouldn’t feel this way now, but, hey, the past is the past and the present is now.
I feel lucky to live in a world where it’s no longer crazy to write about our collective neuroses of overwork and burnout. As a writer, it’s a great privilege to share my thoughts on this topic that is very personal to me.
Because all change starts with making the invisible visible - shining a light on the problem and openly talking about.
So, let’s talk about.
Some people like to take what I call the fuck-it-all approach to overwork. They spontaneously buy a flight to Hawaii and spend a week on the beach soaking in the sun and drinking pina coladas.
We all know people like that, and if you’re one of those people - no problem! I’m not here to judge. I like sun and pina coladas too, and I want to say thank you. Thank you for supporting our economy via the tourism industry.
Albert Einstein (may) have said, “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.” Who knows if he actually said it or not…Google told me he did…and we know that Google is..sometimes...right…well, whatever it doesn’t matter, because regardless of who said the quote, the message drives the point home really really well that we need to change the way we work if we want to see real change in our lives.
If you have ever coded software, you know exactly what I mean. When you encounter a bug, or are solving a tricky problem, it’s super tempting to push harder and to code longer, until you fiiiinaaaally figure it out, but by then it’s three in the morning and you have Doritos on your t-shirt.. and you feel so much adrenaline as if you just did a line of cocaine…weeeee… that you can’t fall asleep and the next day you end up sleepwalking through your life like that zombie you killed last time you played Halo.
What if, instead of pushing harder, you took the lazy approach?
What if you stepped away from the computer and pulled an Archimedes when he shouted Eureka! in the bath tub. What if you took a bath, or a shower, or took a walk.
Great ideas (and solutions to complex coding problems) tend to somehow, automagically - viva our amazing brains - come to us when we stop pushing. When we, for lack of a better word, are lazy.
As Robert A. Heinlein, an aeronautical engineer, Naval officer, and science-fiction author, writes:
Progress isn’t made by early risers. It’s made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something.
And as Nobel Peace Prize laureate Lech Wałęs writes:
I’m lazy. But it’s the lazy people who invented the wheel and the bicycle because they didn’t like walking or carrying things.
With that, have a wonderful weekend! I’m looking forward to being in your inbox again on Monday 💜
I agree with your premise that overwork can often lead to unwanted results, I’m just not convinced that the opposite approach is being “lazy”. You acknowledge that when you describe the approach and then say “for the lack of a better word it “lazy”. Don’t know the better word but think lazy gets your attention but is not the right word