How can lazy be good?

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I was once told, “If you need a repetitive task done, give it to a lazy person.”

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Sounds paradoxical right? Why give a critical, complex, or repetitive task to a lazy person?

All business owners are industrious and busy.  They work hard, long hours, often into the night to keep things moving.  This is the American work ethic handed down from our pioneer ancestors.  This requires independence and stamina.

But why are we so busy?  The answer revolves around HOW we do things rather than WHAT we are doing.

In a business, we need to build systems that run the business.  When there is a task, we need to map out the most efficient manner of completing the task.

Doing the task over and over is lazy—not lazy in terms of effort, but lazy in terms of planning and ‘owning’ the process.  It is lazy by not looking for a better, more efficient way to perform a task.  Not setting it up so that we can delegate it to others.

Each system in a business accounts for a specific process and leads to a specific outcome.  The outcome may be that a product is produced, a sale is made, accounts are paid, employees are hired or anything else.  Sometimes, though, there is no system for a given process.

This is the laziness.

Why do we continue to run a process instead of making a system?  Because, in the moment it seems too much effort to create a system.  Creating a system takes time, mental effort, and testing to make sure the system works.  Sometimes it seems easier to just keep doing the process yourself rather than create a system that others can implement.  However, this is not sustainable or extensible as our business grows.

So, why did I say at the start to give a repetitive task to a lazy person?

Because they are likely to find the most efficient manner to get the work complete.  They will inherently want to put in the lest effort to get the required result.  Letting the lazy person look at the task to develop a process can often lead lead to development of the best systems.

So, as a business owner, what tasks do you need to have systematized?  Start with the repetitive tasks and systematize them.  What can you then hand off and delegate to others because you have simplified it so much that even a lazy person will do it?!

Question:  How much time and money will it save you once you have simple processes that anyone can do?

 

by:  Michael Barnes:  mikebarnes@actioncoach.com