The Lazy Man’s Approach to Success

The drive to be successful and the drive to stay at home watching a Seinfeld marathon are usually at odds with each other, but Owen McCall tries to marry the two approaches to life. He thinks the drive to be lazy encourages us to find easier ways to get work done. Laziness also means wanting to avoid rework, so you make sure you get the work done right the first time so you do not have to think about it anymore.

Getting It Done Right the First Time

McCall says that if you want to address an issue only once, you need to “understand the dynamics that control and influence a situation, [so that] you can purposefully design responses and actions to deliberately use these forces to support the outcome that you want, making success the most likely or default outcome.” He provides a few ways to identify those dynamics. The first is to keep asking, “Why?” because honest answers to that question will ultimately uncover root problems. Secondly, you can do some basic research. A quick Google search will usually show you that you are not the first person to be encountering your current problem. But another option is to go by the book:

Use the discipline of systems thinking and their system archetypes to guide your thinking.   I find the limits to growth (finding and eliminating constraining forces) and shifting the burden (finding and eliminating short term solutions that cause long term issues) archetypes particularly useful.

The final option is to just shelve the problem and do something else you would rather be doing. When you are off having a good time, serendipity often takes the wheel and solves your problems for you. The human brain has its perks. You can read McCall’s full blog here:

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