You’re Super Busy? I’m Just a Little Bit Lazy

Spring cleaning? Nah, I'll just stay here...
Spring cleaning? Nah, I'll just stay here...

I am of the view that people these days tend to take great pride in being “incredibly busy“. Working full time, while volunteering at a Save The Children’s Charity, playing on a champion netball team in your otherwise limited spare time, while renovating a house and serving on several charities seems to be the new “in thing“.  If I’m being brutally honest, the idea of committing myself to a whole raft of extra curricular and career pursuits makes me want to crawl into bed with a cup of tea and a book and not come out.

Get me one of these!

When I was at uni, I was always busy. Full time uni, usually about 20 hours a week of work, serving on student government and drinking a lot at the uni bar were my main pursuits. When I started working full time, I figured it would all keep on going. OK, obviously, I knew I wouldn’t be on student government anymore, but the working and studying (a cruel twist of fate means that once you finish a law degree you have to commit to even more study and training to become a solicitor, usually while working as an articled clerk) plus drinking seemed manageable. It was, for a while. Being a grown up and having “Friday night drinks” , seeing my friends, bragging and comparing notes over all the “really cool and hard” work we were doing, and doing last minute assignments on a Sunday evening.

Throughout all of this “busyness”, though, my favourite thing to do was still lying in bed with some potato chips, hot chips or chocolate and blissfully watching 5 episodes of The West Wing in one go.  While avoiding an assignment due in 24 hours. I was and still am a champion procrastinator.

As the distance between my life as a university student and a grown up grew further by the day, I began to realise something about myself. I’m just a little bit lazy. I really am. I can’t be bothered going out for drinks on Friday night and on weekends, I would much prefer to stay at home with a book, my computer and lots of Real Housewives, than go to a party/bar/big gathering at someone’s house. I often wake up of a morning on the weekend, determined to do a “spring clean” (I have a cleaner, but you know, spring cleaning doesn’t form part of the regular fortnightly clean), by tidying up all the boxes in the spare room, washing ALL THE LINEN, tidying up the cupboards. Then, I realise it is a bit cold and I’d rather stay in bed half an hour more. So that doesn’t happen.

Spring cleaning? Nah, I’ll just stay here…

My family has always been hard working and my mother and father raised us to have a good work ethic. My mother and brother have tremendous work ethic. I do, most of the time, I am not the kind to call in sick to work because “I’m tired” or ever chuck a sickie and I’ll always be the first one to put up my hand if someone has a mammoth task in front of them and needs help. But, I will always look for the easy way to do something. Here’s an example: I’ve been told many times before I would be a good barrister. Argumentative, reasonably quick thinker and confident.  But barristers are self employed and you have to market yourself to get the work. The thought of working for myself seems just way too hard. Again, lazy.

If it hasn’t been made obvious to you prior, I love reading. I’m also too stingy to buy books, so the library is my friend. However, before going overseas, I racked up a whole heap of late fees. $28 to be precise. I can’t put books on hold because I owe them so much money. So instead of trotting down to my library, about 4 or 5 blocks away, when I want to read something lately, I just buy it online. My flawed logic is that then, I don’t have to walk all the way down to the library to get the books, I can just wait TWO WEEKS for them to arrive from the UK at the click of my mouse button. Not only have I spent more than $28 buying books, I’ve also got to wait even longer to get them!

So, when someone calls me and asks how if I want to catch up, I’m usually going to have a free calendar. I don’t pride myself on being “busy” and in fact, love having extra time on my hands. The thought of a weekend filled with “things to do” fills me with dread and I love nothing more than finishing work on a Friday knowing my weekend will be spent at home, pottering around, watching TV shows and reading.

Are you lazy? Do you feel the need to be busy all the time? Are you busy all the time? Do you think people place too much value on being busy?

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  • http://music.johnanthonyjames.com/ John James

    I’m with you – the best weekends are those where you have nothing planned and are free to do whatever you want!…usually nothing…

    :)

  • http://tamsinhowse.com/blog Tamsin Howse

    “I will always look for the easy way to do something.” Yes! That’s me. I do everything faster than everyone else because I will invest the time in finding the easiest possible way to do something before I do it, and save myself time in the long run. Using excel formulas? Yes please. Running a report instead of looking something up individually? Yep.

    Google is my best friend.

  • Melissa Savage

    I am hanging out for this busy period to stop. I’m working full-time, studying part time for a masters and planning a wedding. We’ve also got two overseas trips this year and we moved house. I’m completely fucked and I want a good long rest, but at the same time I want to do everything when I have the opportunity.

    Last night my body protested all of this mightily with a killer headache and an icky tummy and I had to just relax, meditate and sleep. I adore being idle and I’m going to make it a priority.

    But you should totally go to the bar (not for beers, but to be a barrister).

  • http://www.strongerbraversmarter.wordpress.com Lucy

    I like being busy, I like filling my days with something to do. I hate having multiple days on end, where I have nothing planned and for the last 1.5 years I’ve gone out of my way to stay busy. Studied full time, worked part time, babysat, volunteering plus personal appointments, socialising and… well, anything. Lately though, this has changed. I’ve been giving myself time to slow down. I’m studying part time, I’m not working. I usually have 3 days a week where I don’t have to do ANYTHING. Usually these days are spent at home or the library, doing revision, reading or cleaning. I still haven’t got the hang of just ‘chilling out’.

  • Valentina B

    I’m the same. And I think it helps being about to say ‘no’ without having to defend it.

    I also feel no sympathy for my friends who complain they are sooo busy. You’re the one making yourself busy, you’re the only one who can stop it. But most don’t because they need to be wanted.

    My weekend (which started this morning) is consisting of heading out for dinner and drinks, late morning in bed tomorrow, writing resumes and cover sheets, tv and wine saturday night and working sunday. I could fit heaps more in there but honestly, I don’t want to!

  • Chelsea

    I actively hate being too busy. My job is relatively busy (but not as much as yours by the sounds of it!) but I do all I can to get everything done in work hours. I dislike having to take work home. I fit in exercise and some socialising, but I love having the majority of the weekend to myself to relax, do the cleaning, washing, some cooking etc… or that’s usually the plan but I potter, read and watch TV more than I should. My body also tells me when I’m pushing too far, I get exhausted, run down and mentally drained. I’m good when I have it balanced, but not so much when I commit to too much!

  • carohutchison

    I may be one of those people who appear busy but actually aren’t really. Three small kids, work part-time (actually only one day a week) volunteer and in the first half of this year renovated and sold a flat. Our kids are young enough not to have any formal activities, so we don’t spend all weekend traipsing around Melbourne for footy or similar, and the kids are in day care two days a week. My Fridays are me days, I can exercise (if I can be bothered) get the week’s shopping done and fit in other appointments that are impossible with the kids around.

    If I was ambitious I should be spending the time building my business and doing more strategy stuff on the volunteering, but every week it seems that the day has disappeared and I haven’t actually got anything new done (but I’ve probably read a couple of chapters of my book :) )

  • melinka

    Oh God, I am stupidly busy because of work + commuting time, but I still like feel a massive underachiever because I’m not doing community work, exercise, spending more time with family etc etc….
    When I am at home, I can’t sit and down relax long enough to finish a TV show. I’m usually thinking which parts of housework still need doing until I get too fidgety to ignore them 😛

    I’ve had a cold for about a month or so, but last week it grew into a full-blown throat infection. So I actually took a sick day (well, apart from a brief appearance at work in the late afternoon, don’t ask). It was mostly because I was sore and didn’t have much voice, but partly it was because I’d Had Enough. I did something I haven’t done since I was a kid – took to my bed for a few hours. I even went back to sleep.

    Dangerous thing though, now I want to do that more often! Like every weekend…