I hate laziness. And yet it’s an old friend of mine.
Lazy slouches in the corner and asks me to go get it a drink.
It sneaks out of simple requests, claiming that it’s just too tired. It claims that everything will get done, but when the inspiration hits, or when that condition is just right, or when it feels like it.
I check laziness’s work. This underside has been neglected. The corner was cut here, and here and here too. And this is the wrong technique, not what I asked. I should know better than to ask for more.
Lazy complains about the job that he is doing. Lazy sits and ponders all the ways we should find a short cut. Then lazy makes a big show over what little effort has been made.
Laziness may appear attractive, but work gives satisfaction. –Anne Frank
He makes excuse after excuse. Then I think about my relationship with lazy and I wonder, have I ever seen it give its best? Have I ever seen it actually break a sweat? Have I ever seen it work to completion on a job?
Laziness is often in me. I’ve had it rub off on me, and I hear its whining come out of my mouth.
When I see these streaks of lazy in me, I grow angry and bitter. I resist taking responsibility for my failure. I faint with fake weakness and confess I’m just not up to much more. Oh poor me!
Laziness doesn’t know this: that there is great satisfaction in doing your best.
I’ve trained my own laziness with the whip and chair of small rewards. I’ve pushed my own laziness just a little harder and been so pleased with the results that I pushed even more. When laziness uses excuses to get out of work, I just plug my ears and hand over the mop and the broom.
My own lazy is getting better and better about taking orders. In fact, my own lazy has discarded the excuses, the sneakiness, the denial. It’s far from perfect, but my own lazy now has muscles that are toned up. It has a new motivation about it. I can actually leave my lazy alone with a job and it will get done.
I reward it by calling it a new name. My laziness is now called diligence. I don’t even recognize it.
The job is done. We worked hard together. Now we can enjoy the fruit of our labor.
As you make plans for change in 2017, think about how you can prod your laziness into action.
Think about how damaging and unproductive it would be to drag your excuses into the New Year.
Think about how much more you could accomplish if diligence worked beside you.
But don’t just think, do.
Katharine Grubb is a homeschooling mother of five, a novelist, a baker of bread, a comedian wannabe, a former running coward and the author of Write A Novel In 10 Minutes A Day. Besides pursuing her own fiction and nonfiction writing dreams, she also leads 10 Minute Novelists on Facebook, an international group for time-crunched writers that focuses on tips, encouragement and community.