Embrace your lazy side
Learn to turn that “bad habit” into an asset with these apps.
“Don’t be a couch potato.” “Idle hands are the devil’s playground.” “Laziness is your own worst enemy.” In our productivity-obsessed world, laziness doesn’t get much love. But some experts argue that if you’re lazy in the right way, it can help you to be happier in the long run.
In other words, there must be a system behind your sloth.
In his book The Lazy Guru’s Guide to Life, British author and leadership consultant Laurence Shorter talks about a different type of laziness, one that resembles the Eastern concept of Wu Wei or “no trying”. When you’re stressed out or facing a challenge, it’s easy to get wrapped up in thoughts about what you should do and how you’re going to handle it. But Shorter believes this approach not only doesn’t work, but actually makes things worse by freezing up your brain and trapping you in a vicious cycle of unhappiness.
Shorter believes the subconscious mind is actually capable of naturally dealing with a whole host of issues as easily as it does with eating, drinking and crossing the street. But activating that natural problem-solving mechanism takes entering a “flow” state. For instance, a seasoned public speaker isn’t constantly thinking about how they should be delivering a speech – the words just flow out. Or, when entrepreneurs get antsy about whether they’re making progress on a project, it can be better for them to just slow down and simply visualise their plans taking shape.
According to Shorter, hard work isn’t the only way to get things done. Sometimes you have to set it aside for a while and see what happens.
When you get stressed out, you can use these three habits to deal with it:
1. Hit the pause button: stop whatever has been stressing you out or making you upset.
2. Change the channel: let go and focus on your feelings.
3. Release: accept the information and conclusions you’re getting from your feelings. For example, you might discover something you “should” be doing isn’t working out and that you should change tack, which allows for new possibilities to open up.
Embrace these three habits and you’ll find yourself not only happier, but also more likely to be inspired. We’ve selected some practices from Shorter’s book to help you turn them into habits.
When you feel like you’re under pressure or your thoughts start racing, don’t immediately head for the yoga mat, go jogging or seek out distractions. Simply lie in bed, try out the following white noise apps and focus on the sounds around you. Consider it an exercise in learning how to wait for inspiration to come.
Tide: Sleep, focus, meditation
White noise, relax & happier
TaoMix 2 - Relax, Sleep, Focus
Meditation with nature sounds
Wildfulness 2 - Nature Sounds
When we say “tidy up”, we don’t mean just cleaning your room. It’s more about putting your life in order, including your social media, contacts, photos on your iPhone and apps you haven’t used in ages. All this extra information can obstruct the flow of inspiration. But the act of purging your digital clutter can be a cathartic experience that elicits new ideas and feelings.
Gemini Photos: Gallery Cleaner
Clean up your Camera Roll
Cinder - Clean Your Contacts
Shorter says that embracing your inner lazy guru is no easy task. Removing the layers of armour to get in touch with your true self takes tremendous focus.
For this, we recommend you to try Endel. Unlike other focus-training apps, Endel creates a customised soundtrack for you based on your location, local weather and time of day. The result is kind of tech chic ambiance – think rainfall and other nature sounds infused with soft electronic music.