Quantum Gardener

Productively Lazy

I often describe myself as productively lazy. It's the term I use to describe my approach of doing as much as possible with as little effort as possible and applies particularly to repetitive tasks where I want them done quickly and without having to think too much. There is too much going on in my world to allow thinking where I don't need to.

Here are some examples:

  • I need to regularly distribute reports to colleagues via a variety of OneDrive folders being productively lazy means creating a small batch file to do the copying for me which I can call upon for each distribution update.
  • Using text expansion tools such as FastKeys(windows) or TextExpander(Mac+Windows) to shorten frequently used text expansions such as d== to a yyyy-mm-dd format date, eg. 2020-10-26.
  • Learning keyboard shortcuts and any other elements of software that can help in its use.
  • Dealing with email once

These are simple examples of broader approach. The real benefit is not in time saved, but in thinking saved and that is important. Spending less effort and energy on something I already know how to do is important in maintaing my mental wellbeing.

The Learning Productive Laziness section in The Digital Garden brings together my further thoughts on the topic, as well as some practical ideas, and contains detail of how you can become more productively lazy in your life. It's an art.