In the Startup Revolution: Fit In or Stand Out, I talk about the new definition of laziness. That if you can do your work with your eyes closed, without having to apply your mind, then you are not working hard.

If you go to work and stamp papers the whole day without really applying your mind, then you are not working hard, you are working long. Working long hours is doing repetitive work, doing the same thing over and over and over.

If the new definition of laziness is doing work that does not require you to exert your mental capacity but just do repetitive work then it means it is possible to be busy and lazy (not productive) at the same time.

Hard work has nothing to do with physical labour, that’s long work, hard work is about applying your mind to solve complex issues, creating new things that might not work, innovating, connecting the dots, doing emotional labour and doing work that matters.

Although we don’t like the sensation of being busy, we tend to view our busyness as a virtue.

We think of constant activity as the hallmark of someone who is productive.

But that is a huge misconception. Busyness can actually be a symptom of laziness, ineffectiveness, and procrastination. In fact, most of the time I’m busy, it’s precisely because I’m being lazy. 

What is essentially happening is that we are prioritizing poorly. We are choosing what we do based on what is easy and convenient for us in the moment, instead of what really has value for us.

In a sense, it is taking the easy way out. It is living our life in a half-hearted way because it is simpler. That is laziness.

And here is where it can get really dangerous: We can actually invent work to do: We clean our desks when they are not messy, check our Email more than necessary, and return phone calls that don’t need to be returned. Our postponing tactics get us running around in circles and we never tackle the important, all the while, feeling busy and stressed.

The trap of busyness is so much a part of corporate culture that many times it clouds our vision of what is really going on. We expect to be busy; we don’t know what to do when we are not.

The trap of busyness causes us to move with such mindless speed. We plunge into our emails and meetings with a manic energy that forbids reflection, deeply honest conversations, and breaks from the routine. 

Are you busy creating the new status-quo or are you busy maintain it. The former is what it means to be busy, the latter is disguised as being busy, but in the world that requires new solutions, doing the same thing over and over again is the new definition of lazyness.

Are you busy being productive, or are you busy doing repetitive work, work that doesn’t challenge or change the status-quo, because doing that is being lazy, are you busy being lazy?

Is your busyness a sign of laziness?

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