Michael Lewis

Laziness means that you only do the work that you really want to do

From a young age, most of us are told that the harder we work, the more successful we’ll be.

We’re discouraged from being lazy and encouraged to be busy.

But according to a bestselling author, this is in fact false.

Michael Lewis, author of The Big Short, Moneyball and Flashboys says laziness is not only more helpful than most people think but is in fact the key to his success.

“My laziness serves as a filter,” Lewis said. “Something has to be really good before I'll decide to work on it.”

He made the remarks in an interview with Qualtrics CEO Ryan Smith at the 2017 Insight Summit, where he was keynote speaker.

Lewis explained how laziness had helped him succeed and shouldn’t be seen as a bad thing.

The idea is that if you allow yourself to be lazy, you’ll only put time and effort into the work that’s really great and you can’t possibly not do.

It’s a largely alien concept in today’s culture, where many of us struggle to relax and feel like we always need to be working.

But Lewis, who is also a contributing editor at Vanity Fair, revealed that he’s never had any difficulty doing nothing if his attention hasn’t been captured by something interesting enough and worthwhile, Inc. reports.

“People waste years of their lives not being willing to waste hours of their lives,” he said. “If you mistake busyness for importance - which we do a lot - you're not able to see what really is important.”

As a writer, Lewis asks himself this question: “If a story I've gotten to know didn't get told, would I be sad?” If the answer is a definite yes, he takes it on.

Being lazy might just allow us to make sure the work we do produce is our very best work.