I finished reading Ernie Zelenski’s The Lazy Person’s Guide to Success last night. It was an interesting read with a number of insights that I’ve discovered on my own over the past few years condensed into understandable sentences.
Zelenski’s main point – that you should work smarter not harder – certainly finds a receptive audience with me. And he’s definitely onto something in suggesting that our creative juices just aren’t going to function at full capacity for an 8 hour day. But ultimately, I’m left with little more than a cheerleader for a more leisurely lifestyle. Zelenski gives several examples from his own life but none from other people who lead similar “Lazy Achiever” lifestyles.
I for one have found better balance in breaking my day up in the middle with a different activity, rather than just ending my work after four hours. Zelenski also brings up the 80-20 rule that states that 80 percent of our production is achieved in 20 percent of our time and 20 percent of our production is achieved in the remaining 80 percent. Zelenski would have us just forget about that last 80 percent of time. But for me, filling up a decent amount of time with busy work is okay provided I have already done some creative work.
In short, though he emphasizes focused, smart work for short periods of time, Zelenski presents a kind of “allergic to work” character to whom I am dearly sympathetic, but who doesn’t always make sense. Perhaps this is merely because of the lack of other examples. Perhaps several short profiles of “Lazy Achievers” would help to round out the idea.