The Lazy Ones Always Work The Hardest

Note: This is a guest post from Clif Cody.

Are you making more work for yourself tomorrow by cutting corners today?

I grew up in New Hampshire. Live Free or Die. Legal fireworks, far-away neighbors, and ATV trails that go on forever.

My brother, who personifies The Granite State better than I ever will, has an unrivaled passion for de-weeding our garden. I’ll be honest: I hate pulling weeds.

And it’s not because I don’t like getting my hands dirty. In fact, nothing gets me going like a good challenge. It’s just that invasive species terrify me. I avoid them for three reasons:

  1. They are everywhere
  2. If you don’t get all of their roots out, they will grow back
  3. They are everywhere

It's completely overwhelming.

I often pretend I’ve removed the entire plant when I’ve really just eliminated the visible portion (don’t tell my brother). Then I step back, look at the clear ground, and pat myself on the back.

You've probably done this too.

Ok, maybe not with weeds…but I’d bet my John Deer tractor there are other places in your life where you took the quick fix over the permanent solution.

Another example: That bucket is a great temporary solution for a leaking roof, but you’ll have to replace it everyday. And the roof could cave in. Now you have a bigger problem, one that requires more time and effort to fix.

The lazier we are now, the harder we end up working later.

Here are the three most common things I hear people say right before they look for a shortcut:

1. “I Want to Build Muscle and Burn Fat"

We have more options now than at any other point in human history. Take a walk in the cereal aisle. There are 16 flavors of cheerios. Thank god I don’t eat them; I would never be able to choose.

What type of person would make me pick between Honey Nut and Honey Nut Medley Crunch?

The same is true of workout programs. Search “workout for fat loss” in Google and you get 23,000,000 results (in 0.53 seconds). Say 99 out of every 100 links are either jokes, scams or advertisements – that leaves us with 230,000 viable options. I’d rather just buy some Cheerios.

Do you know someone who is always looking for the latest workout? Every time you see them, they are doing something new. And before you can say "Tabata Bootcamp", they’ve moved on to something else.

We all want to find the one technique proven to be fastest and most effective. But trend chasing is just a clever form of creative avoidance. God forbid we do one extra sit-up. Being consistent with a mediocre routine is always better than waiting for that magical, time-saving system.

2. “I Want More Energy"

Pussy, Spike Shooter, Shark Simulation, Bawls, Urge Intense, Beaver Buzz...

What do all these words have in common? No, not that, you sicko… Lets try again:

Amp, Crunk, Monster, Jolt, Rockstar, Burn, Hype...

Believe it or not, they are all names of energy drinks. And it makes me wonder, how did our ancestors ever find the energy to hunt, survive, and reproduce without some good ol’ Shark Stimulation to get them going?

The more you use energy drinks, the more you will depend on them. It's the same with steroids: they provide large doses of testosterone, and therefore your body stops developing it naturally (read: your balls shrink).

If you want more energy, don't use energy drinks. Address the root of the problem and get more sleep. Or go for a run.

3. “I Want Less Schoolwork"

I raised my GPA .4 points in one semester of college.

How did I do it?

By learning one simple lesson: the more work I completed early on, the less work I had to do later.

Listen, I get it. It’s so easy to go to class, half-ass the weekly assignment, and then cram before the test. And some people can make that work.

But it’s actually easier to take the initiative, study, and review the material early on. Create a habit of attending office hours. Get all of your questions answered after class. Learn when there’s no pressure so that you can go to sleep early the night before your test.

Less stress, better grades, more Game Of Thrones.

Stop The Cycle

Are you robbing from tomorrow to pay today?

Most of us will buy anything that makes our lives easier. Our need for instant gratification can turn us into bright, neon-yellow targets. Most marketers love to sell quick fixes; if we don’t watch out, they’ll shoot an arrow through our wallets and our pride.

It's time to start tackling your issues head on.

Quit trimming your weeds and rip out those damn roots.

What shortcuts have backfired for you? Go ahead and share them in the comments...

(Photo credit: Nathan Congleton via cc)

Greg Faxon

Greg Faxon, 2829 Connecticut Avenue NW (Apt 513), Washington, DC 20008, United States