People who prefer mid-day naps or hours-long Netflix binges often feel ashamed next to those who wake up at 5 AM to go on a run before their 12-hour day. But science may be on your side, lazy people. Your lack of motivation is actually benefiting you.
Think about it: Allowing your mind to wander or rest completely can be helpful in increasing your productivity and creativity. That last great idea you had at work most likely didn’t come from sitting at your desk and forcing yourself to come up with your next big pitch. It probably happened while you were in the shower, completely unaware of the brilliance you possess inside your slightly bullish brain.
Productive people are regularly attributed with all of the positive qualities, but lazy people deserve some recognition as well.
We’ve outlined the ways in which being lazy is actually helping you be more productive, beyond boosting your creativity. After reading this, you're going to want to burrow up in your bed all weekend.
While other people may call it being lazy, you simply know you need your rest. No one can be completely present all of the time — whether at work, in a conversation, or in a relationship. Taking a break and allowing yourself to be “lazy” will eventually prevent you from running your body out of energy and focus. And the effects of burnout are serious. Being too stressed can cause chronic fatigue, insomnia, and loss of appetite. Not good.
The benefits of sufficient sleep are innumerable. Improved memory, greater attention span, decreased stress, decreased inflammation, and so on all stem from getting enough sleep. Lack of rest can lead to some nasty health fallouts, like heart disease, a weakened immune system, depression, and anxiety. So ignore the haters that call you lazy for taking an afternoon nap or hitting that snooze button in the morning — you’re just looking after your health.
When we allow our minds to wander, we think about the future and long-term goals 14 times more often than when we force ourselves to focus, according to research published in Consciousness and Cognition. Therefore, giving your mind a much-needed break can result in goal-setting and planning. Plus, being less caught up in being busy now allows you to set aside time to do what you need to achieve your goals later. It seems like a win-win.
Because your ultimate goal is to complete a task as quickly as possible in order to rest, you will work hard to maximize efficiency. And because your worst fear is having to re-do a task if it doesn’t quite turn out right, you’ll also ensure you’re not rushing through it and making mistakes. You embody the “work hard, play hard” philosophy.
You make sure every recreational activity or work task is worth your time and energy. You refuse to waste any of your resources on tasks that have no value, meaning you will do your research in order to pick and choose how to spend your time and plan your schedule.
Believe it or not, binge-watching certain television shows can actually improve your emotional intelligence. A study conducted by the University of Oklahoma found that watching TV dramas (they used Mad Men, The West Wing, The Good Wife, and Lost) improves one’s ability to detect other people’s emotions. They say all that time studying and observing the emotions of the characters can really help you be more empathetic. So go ahead and renew that Netflix subscription.
There you have it. There are plenty of perks to being lazy. Just make sure you aren't shirking your responsibilities at work, ok? I could get in trouble for that.