Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Practice not-doing and everything will fall into place

Practice not-doing and everything will fall into place

Lao Tzu

This article is built for the lazy. This is excerpted from the post. You can read the whole thing at Zen Habits.

The Lazy Manifesto: Do Less. Then, Do Even Less
Post written by Leo Babauta.

How many of us don’t get lazy every now and then? Of course, some of us get lazy more than others — my mom (always a hard worker) once told me she gets lazy, but then she just does the work anyway. I replied, “Mom, that’s not lazy! That’s the opposite of lazy!”

Lazy is often seen as a bad thing, but I disagree. Lazy is an amazing thing.

Here’s just a few reasons why:

Lazy means that your body and mind are tired and want to rest. That’s a sign that you should actually rest. When you ignore these signs, that leads to burnout. So rest, and feel good about it!

Lazy means you don’t want to work too hard, which often leads to figuring out how to do less work. Just about all of the advances in technology come from laziness: we drive cars instead of walking because we’re too lazy to walk, we use washing machines because we’re too lazy to do it by hand, we use computers because writing things out by hand is hard. Of course, reliance on machines isn’t a good thing, but using laziness to figure out better ways to do things is a good thing.

Lazy people don’t start wars. Who wants to go through all the trouble to fight a war? Peace and friendliness is much easier.

If you’re lazy, as I often am, then the choice is simple. Do Less.

But do it smartly: Do Less, but make every action count. Send fewer emails, but make them important. Write fewer words, but make each word essential. Really consider the impact of every action you take, and see if you can eliminate some actions. See if you can achieve a great impact doing less.

This doesn’t mean “less is more”. It means “less is better”.

Do Less: Of Everything

But Do Less means much more than being productive. It goes to the heart of everything we do, of our society. Do Less is nothing less than a two-word manifesto for living.

Here’s how the two-word manifesto of “Do Less” can change everything:
1. Do Less buying.
2. Do Less busy-work.
3. Do Less managing.
4. Do Less communicating. Less talking, less yelling, less arguing, less emails and IM and Twittering, less phone calling.
5. Do Less complaining and criticizing.
6. Do Less planning and worrying and future thinking.
7. Do Less judging and expecting.

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You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion. No one is entitled to be ignorant.

Harlan Ellison