Case in point, the simple act of changing the toilet paper roll in the restroom. She just couldn’t understand how someone could be so lazy that they couldn’t take the 10 seconds to replace the toilet paper roll properly and instead, stack the new roll on top of the TP holder.
Or, even worse, tell themselves they hadn’t actually used the LAST of the TP on the roll.
This age-old act of laziness apparently doesn’t just make Beverly’s blood boil. There are countless articles on the internet ranting about such laziness. In fact, there’s a video on YouTube made by a dad for his teenagers called, “Toilet Roll Changing: Teenage Instructional Video #1,” that has more than 4 million views!
I realize that changing the TP is an extreme example of laziness and it’s hard to come up with an argument that justifies it.
However, if you look at the issue of “laziness” another way, many of our greatest innovations have been been borne from laziness. It is laziness, not necessity, that is the real mother of invention.
The car, microwave, remote control, escalator, calculator, and countless other inventions all came about because we were too “lazy” to walk, cook, get up and change the channel, climb the stairs, and add 1+1 on our own. This type of “laziness” is not about a lack of caring, it’s about finding an easier, better, more efficient way of doing things. In fact, the very definition of efficiency, “Achieving maximum productivity with minimum wasted effort or expense.” implies that laziness is a requirement!
This type of “laziness” was one of the reasons I started my own business 20 years ago. My daughter was just a few months old when I was offered a job that paid well, but would have required me to work 60 hours per week. I just didn’t want to work those long hours when I had a new baby at home. My “laziness” forced me to get creative and to seek a way to make the same income working fewer hours. I decided to start my own business speaking and facilitating workshops on communication. I started small, speaking at breakfast meetings and luncheons, and as my daughter grew older and went to school, I was able to offer my clients longer workshops and built a thriving business.
So, the next time you’re feeling too “lazy” to do something, take the time to find out why and then get creative in identifying alternatives to get the task done.When you see your employees (or children) being “lazy”, instead of getting frustrated, look for solutions, or even better, ask them to identify solutions or alternatives. You’ll likely find that laziness leads to increased productivity and better, more creative ways of doing things.
That’s what Beverly did. Problem solved.