Be Lazy — By Tobias van Schneider

almost 8 years ago from , Freelance Web Designer

Be Lazy By Tobias van Schneider

I mentioned that being bored or lazy is totally fine, as long as you fully embrace it. Faking that you are busy rarely leads to happiness, and often to exhaustion, even depression.

Spending 8 hours a day at work pretending that you are busy is often more exhausting than actually doing the work. You've probably experienced it yourself, being completely tired after a full day of work, even though you haven't done anything.

But then at the same time, I like to describe myself as a very lazy person. Some might not believe it, but trust me, I'm lazy.

Back in school, at the end of each year we all got handed a report with our grades on it. At the bottom of the report there was always a one sentence review written by your main teacher.

Regardless of the school or teacher I had over the years, this review kept being consistent. It said:

"Tobias is a smart kid, but he is unfortunately very lazy."

At the time I saw it as critique, only later I discovered that this was in fact a compliment.

I remember that I rarely did any of my homework myself. It's not that I couldn't do it, I just didn't want to. By definition I was lazy.

For me it was simple. If I was given a homework assignment, the task was to return my homework, regardless of how I actually did it. I saw it as a challenge. I usually "hired" other people to do my homework, I automated the shit out of everything teachers asked me for.

I was always a trouble maker in school. Back in Germany when you caused some trouble in class, they made you hand write the "School Rules"as punishment after school. The "School Rules" was a 10 pages document, it took you quite some time to copy it in handwritten format.

I always had at least 5 of these already written in my bag. I hired people to write them for me in advance. I used photo copy machines (not common back then) and experimented with them. I added mistakes and splashes of ink to make the photo copies look more real.

I handed over dozens of these documents over the years, I rarely wrote any of them myself. Of course I always waited 2-3 days to hand them to the teacher, oftentimes asking for deadline extension to make it look more authentic.

Back then, I was told that laziness is a bad thing. But I couldn't see the benefits just yet.

Looking back at my projects, I believe my laziness has helped me to come up with better ideas and better design better solution.

Laziness in itself is a great driver for innovation. Often times the greatest ideas and innovations are born out of laziness, by people who were too lazy to do a certain task.

Laziness in this case isn't about sitting around binge watching TV. Browsing Facebook and not doing anything. It's about finding shortcuts in a system of well established rules.

With laziness as a driver, all we want is maximum productivity with the minimum amount of effort or expense for that matter.

We invented the cellphone because being tied to a land line sucks. We invented the elevator/escalator because we we're too lazy to walk the stairs. We invented the wheel to carry things we were too lazy to carry on our shoulders. (even the Donkey was too lazy)

We invented the remote, because we are too lazy to always walk to the TV set to change the channel or volume.

Almost everything except for life saving inventions (vaccines,cures etc.) are born out of laziness.

Bill Gates once said:

"I will always chose a lazy person to do a difficult job... Because he/she will find an easy way to do it."

Necessity has been know to be the mother of innovation, but for the 21st century we can say for sure it's laziness.

The good thing, being lazy is human. It comes for free in everyone of us. The question is just what we do with it.

“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.”

-Lech Walesa

And with that, I wish you a wonderful week. Be Lazy, but stay busy.

Yours truly, Tobias

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  • David HellmannDavid Hellmann, almost 8 years ago

    I'm not sure but I think it needs a bit more respect… Tobias send us (they are interested) every week his newsletter and a week later you can find this content on his medium page: https://medium.com/@vanschneider

    I think it's not really respectful to copy/paste this content here… But just my two cents…

    28 points
    • Aubrey JohnsonAubrey Johnson, almost 8 years ago

      I dunno. I'm too lazy to go to the medium article.

      20 points
      • Tom HareTom Hare, almost 8 years ago

        Tobias makes a point of asking his subscribers NOT to share the content from his email newsletter. This article is a copy of the newsletter he sent out yesterday and will post on Medium in a week or two.

        I guess his reasoning is to retain some kind of exclusivity for his subscribers. Whether or not you agree with that, OP is being pretty disrespectful to Tobias by flagrantly copy-pasting it here.

        9 points
        • Surjith S M, almost 8 years ago

          Sorry for that, I don't want to offend anyone. I checked the Medium Post first, I shared this because he did not released it yet.

          I dediced to post it here with a link to his newsletter after seeing the email footer.

          0 points
    • Christian Poschmann, almost 8 years ago

      I agree. Post the link, not the whole article.

      3 points
    • Surjith S M, almost 8 years ago

      I'm really sorry for that.

      I've checked for the medium post of his first. But however I couldn't find that.

      Also, I couldn't resist myself to share it. In the footer of his mail, He mentioned "if this mail forwarded by your friend, please subscribe here"

      So, I thought I'd add a link to his newsletter instead.

      0 points
  • Alexandru NăstaseAlexandru Năstase, almost 8 years ago

    Spot on man! So agree on this, I always get to doing this ... out of laziness I try and find a faster way to do a task to get rid of it or something like that. Have a nice week man and thanks for sharing!

    2 points
  • Thomas Edwards, almost 8 years ago

    There is another side to this – I know a programmer so lazy he hasn’t learnt to code.

    1 point
  • Vasil EnchevVasil Enchev, almost 8 years ago

    I Agree with that and want to salute evey one of you with Xpress 2 - Lazy :D https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qB_I1YBAozE

    0 points
  • Elisha FerraraElisha Ferrara, almost 8 years ago

    I think Gates was referring specifically to coders. Lazy coders are the best.

    0 points
  • Jean P, almost 8 years ago

    I also want to underline that people who say "Don't be lazy!" are by definition lazy themselves. Instead of offering a suitable solution they throw in discussion a easy phrase for them.

    0 points
  • Shope Johnson, almost 8 years ago

    You don't know how happy I am to hear this from a Top Dog like you, Tobias.

    Its makes so much sense though. Why do I have to click then wait for a view to load and then click again when I can simply access what I need via a small popup with one click? Such thoughts come from "lazy" minds who just want a simple solution.

    0 points
  • Benjamin ValmontBenjamin Valmont, almost 8 years ago

    Wish he would do a post on networking. I heard his talk in Belgium recently and he told this story about him selling his stuff, moving to New York and by chance meeting a friend who offered him a position as Art Director. Obviously you have to have a great network when you can just move to New York and get an amazing job offer through your connections.

    These top designers in our field are obviously very talented and hardworking. Through his talk it was quite obvious he is working with some of the most talented programmers and photographers as well, all thanks to his network. As someone who is struggling with this I would be very interested in what his insights are.

    Or if anyone is having some succes with that, share it with the community !

    0 points