I found myself thinking this morning, about the general idea of employee optimization and efficiency. Specifically contrasting the ideas of efficient and lazy. There’s the idea that “the fastest way to optimize a job is to have a lazy person do it.” I really don’t feel that’s a particularly good adage.
I consider myself to be a fairly efficient employee in the sense that I actively seek to complete my tasks with a minimal input of time and energy. When I phrase it that way, though, it sounds, well, kinda lazy. In truth it’s somewhat more complicated than that. I have spent a lot of time and energy working out how to prevent a lot of the issues and learned where to look when diagnosing new ones. An ounce of prevention is with a pound of cure and all that.
So I started thinking, then, that you need a somewhat oxymoronic “motivated lazy person” to optimize a process then. I end up with the same definition problem though, of what separates the useful lazy “efficient” from the traditional “do as little as possible” lazy. It naturally seems the same, at a glance.
As I’ve though about it I began to compare the outcomes of those two scenarios. In the first “efficient” case, you end up with a task that requires less time and effort to complete, but achieves the same end result, possibly even a better one. In the second “lazy” case I keep coming back to the less time and effort being achieved at the expense of the end result. Less time and effort was invested, but instead of the same result, it simply had less result.
In a way I don’t think the motivation is necessarily that much different, but how the objective is achieved is. Putting a truly “lazy” individual on a job won’t show you how to do it more efficiently as much as how not to do it to begin with.
Of course, I smell a ton of grey areas here and things are rarely as cut and dry as they seem. I also suspect that much of this is me justifying my actions to myself. I mean, I basically said there’s a good lazy and a bad lazy and prior to that used the “efficient” label that became the good lazy to describe myself. Protagonist of my own story and all that.
In truth I think everyone is both of these things to varying degrees, depending on context. There are certainly things I could be doing or doing better and the reason for not doing them, however I justify it to myself, is that I can’t be bothered. That it’s not worth the effort, so to speak, and that comes in a wide variety of flavors. From morally questionable actions “because they owe me,” “because they’re rich,” and so on, to the area of diminishing returns. Sometimes it really isn’t worth the cost.
I’m “lazy enough that my blog isn’t super polished, tends to lack images, isn’t really promoted, etc. All things I haven’t done because, well, I just haven’t been bothered to do them. I’m not so “lazy” that I can’t be bothered to write a few hundred words every day about something, though. Thanks for reading, y’all take care.