In a world that’s obsessed with being busy and productive, I’d like to reintroduce you to the world of lazy. If you are anything like me or my husband who are recovering workaholics, you probably don’t even remember what it means to be lazy. When I say lazy, I’m talking about those days in which nothing but sitting on the same spot on the couch for hours while you watch the Fresh Prince of Bel Air marathon seems right even if you have a list of things that need to get done. Have you forgotten how good it feels to do that? I can’t blame you. After all, we live in a society where you’ve been brainwashed to believe that being lazy is a punishable offense. (Cue the flash back to your mother yelling at you for opting to watch Saturday morning cartoons in a room scattered with the best matchbox cars or Barbie shoes.)
However, despite what mom and society says, I’m here to tell you that being lazy can be a good thing. It’s time you embrace it! In fact, several studies have found that allowing ourselves to be lazy can improve creativity, motivation, restore our attention and make us happier. Think about it. Aren’t you usually extremely cranky, tired and unmotivated after going a full week with nonstop work and no break? I know I certainly am!
Ok, so now we can all agree that being lazy is good for you! You’re probably thinking”But Terri, Just because being lazy is good for you doesn’t mean it’s easy for me to do.” Trust me, I know. Sometimes it really does seem next to impossible to not do anything when you are staring at a never ending to-do list, an inbox of 1,000 plus emails, and several text reminders of bills that need to be paid. When dealing with all of that, squeezing “lazy” into your busy schedule can end up feeling like torturous work that only be punished for. Rest assured, being lazy doesn’t have to be a daunting task. In fact, all it takes is listening to the natural cues around you to fit “do nothing” into your schedule and feel that overwhelming bliss. *Sound the halellujah chorus* Below are five examples being lazy can feel natural and make you happier without the fear of repercussion.
1. Time with significant other
Everybody loves spending time with their significant other. What’s not to love about lazy times spent cuddling on the couch while eating some fresh popped popcorn together? Sure you might feel guilty about not being productive while the pile of dishes in the sink continues to get higher, but it can actually be doing you some good. The time you spent lounging with your love can help strengthen the bonds of your relationship making you less stressed. The lessened stress makes it easier for you to accomplish those oh-so important tasks more seamlessly. So don’t think about the time spent with your love interest as a waste of time. Instead, consider it another way to streamline your workload.
2. When you are stressed
Did I mention I am a workaholic? When I’m not getting any writing done, choreographing something for my Zumba or Sexy Flexy class, I need to go on a deep cleaning frenzy. Of course, all that constant moving and thinking only succeeds stressing me out to unhealthy levels. Of course, it turns out that its actually the best time for me to stop and indulge in a bit of laziness for a while.
When you find yourself overwhelmed about bill management, cleaning, work, and more, it’s best you take an hour or two to do nothing. Sure you may not be getting anything done, but it will give you the opportunity to calm your self and attack whatever it is you are working on with clear head. Besides, working yourself up so much that it stresses you a lot isn’t healthy. Taking that break will do wonders for your blood pressure.
3. When productivity stops
So we’ve already covered that being lazy is often related to being unproductive. However, doing work doesn’t mean you are being productive either. Mindlessly doing task after task, can be doing more harm than good if you are doing things half way that will only cause more work in the future. Or what about those times when you have a mind block and you find yourself staring at a blank piece of paper because your mind won’t come up with something witty to write on it? During these times, you are probably better of being lazy and taking a nap. The temporary laziness will allow you to get back to work refreshed and recharged.
4. At completion
Seems like a no brainer, but it really is hard for some people to be lazy when their job is complete. I am totally guilty of this. How can you blame me? Society, seems to reward those who always have something going, a new project to work on, or cause to promote. If I stopped, I wouldn’t be able to reap the invisible benefits from society. .. However, stopping will allow you to reap the benefits of sanctity while you reflect on what you accomplished. After all, isn’t that the point of your to-do list? To finally revel in the satisfaction as you cross the last item off your list? What’s the point of the list if you’re just going to make a new one right away without a breather in between? You finished it. Relax!
5. When you forget the little things
I never forgave myself the day I missed baby birds being fed in the next outside my window. I missed it because I convinced myself that finishing up the one last post would help me out the next day. But all it managed to do was make me upset that I missed something so small yet beautiful. Instead of experiencing regret for missing life’s treasures, vow to take a few minutes to remember the blessings. Stop writing the essay for 10 minutes so you can watch the sunset or postpone calling the insurance adjuster so you can look in the mirror to admirer your beauty and good health. That short break of laziness, just might give you the inspiration and motivation you need to get through the day strong.
What is your favorite time to be lazy?
TERRIfic Quip: Relax into happiness.