I talk about the book The Lazy Genius Way. Having limited goals and taking small steps, we can get the important things done and take it easy on ourselves.
Have you ever wondered how you can organize your life so that you can make everything easier and more productive.
That’s what we’ll talk about today.
Laziness is nothing more than habit of resting before you get tired.
Today we’re going to talk about the book from Kendra Adachi, The Lazy Genius Way.
Embrace what matters, ditch what doesn’t, and get stuff done.
Her podcast is one of the very first podcasts I ever listened to.
I love this podcast.
She also has YouTube videos, and the way she thinks about things really inspired me.
I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that if I were writing a weight loss book, I would write one like the Mini Habits book.
But if I were going to write a lifestyle book, The Lazy Genius Way would be the book I would love to write.
Why do people keep writing all the books I want to write.
” But this book is nearly perfect in how she talks about what it is you need to do to get things done.
My best friend is one of those people who just gets things done.
She doesn’t have to write them down.
She doesn’t have to talk herself into it.
She is just a go-getter from the beginning.
I am NOT that way.
It took me a long time and sometimes takes me a long time to get things done.
But through listening, through podcasts like The Lazy Genius, I’ve been able to do things better.
And I’m really glad in the end that I read this book just last week because it had so many great ideas, but I’m glad because she also talks about a number of topics I talk about, except her point of view is a little bit different and in some cases covers it in a way I don’t cover, so I appreciated her fresh look at it.
Had I read her book before I started doing my my own podcast, I might have stunted my own opinion in these things.
But she essentially became a lazy genius.
She has kids and a husband and she moved across country and she just needed to give herself a break, but also still get things done.
She has things that she needs to do.
So she offers advice about the system that she discovered about how to make things better.
She says, quote, being a lazy genius is not about doing things the right way, but about finally finding your own way.
And that’s why I appreciate it so much.
You can tell in this podcast, I don’t believe in books where they say, this is the right way to do it, and you must do it this way.
I like books better that teach you a system or a pathway, and then you figure out how to adapt it to you.
I think part of the problem when I was growing up is a lot of people tried to give me advice, everyone from my grandmother to teachers, and try to tell me how to live life.
They could see that because of my childhood, I was struggling.
And sometimes their advice just never fit me.
If I didn’t have time to exercise, well, just get up early, six o’clock in the morning, get exercise, get it done, and then you don’t have to worry about it anymore.
Well, I’m really terrible in the morning, and I have insomnia, and practically the only time I sleep is in the morning.
So me getting up in the morning would make me even more tired.
It just seemed like a lot of advice was cookie cutter.
Everyone sees a nail when they’re a hammer.
And for me, I learned about productivity best when someone taught me how to do better and then I could adapt it to who Jill is.
Jill’s not a person who gets up early.
Jill can be real lazy at time.
Jill loves to get snuggled in on winters and doesn’t like to get out of her blanket.
How can I find a system that’ll make me better.
And I think that’s what she’s trying to do here.
That’s why I feel this real kinship with her.
She says that you’re tired, we’re all tired.
And the reason we’re tired is that we were doing too much.
We are trying to get laundry done.
We’re trying to make our families better.
We’re trying to just do everything we can to get our lives straightened out.
And we also have these houses and all these things and apartments and jobs, and it’s complicated.
She said that Jesus was homeless, had 12 friends, and depended on the kindness of strangers for a meal and a bed.
Yet, his life was focused on a goal.
He was very focused on what he needed to do and was able to do a lot with very little.
So what she says we have to do is that we have to think about all these things that are in our lives.
These to-do practices and these to-do lists and all our calendars and our kids’ calendars and our schedules and our work appointments and our work tasks and everything that’s trying to peg us into a hole about what we’re supposed to do next.
And we have to get out of that.
If we get trapped in other people’s systems or even get trapped in technologies or task management systems that pin us down into a way we can’t act, we’re just going to become exhausted, tired.
We’re going to feel drained all the time and we’re going to feel like this life really isn’t ours to live.
She says, quote, “Here is your new mantra.
Be a genius about the things that matter and lazy about the things that don’t.
” That, there’s that to you part.
There’s a lot of things that matter to people.
And there’s a lot of things that don’t matter to people.
I’ve brought up a lot of times about how there are people in my neighborhood who care very much about their lawns.
They sweep it up.
And would I love to have one of these beautiful homes with these beautiful gardens in their backyard.
Of course I would.
But the amount of work it would take me to get that done, including the amount of work I don’t like, would be a lot.
And I would feel like I’m trying to produce something I don’t want to work on.
I don’t want to do.
And so what was relieving to me was when I suddenly realized I can just have a backyard, I can just mow it and I can just do the minimal things I have to get done so the city doesn’t get cranky with me.
But that wasn’t my forte.
My friend, she loves gardening and she loves looking at her beautiful flowers and all the birds that are in her backyard.
I appreciate it too, but we’re different people and what matters to us is different from each other.
She says that when we care about something, we’ll do something well.
We’ll be good at it.
Like I care about this podcast.
I want to do it well.
I try to get better.
I try to find tools out there that make me better or make it that I can be better.
With less time.
I bought some vocal software that I’m trying to make it so that it’s easier for me to edit the software.
Every once in a while, you’ll notice the last syllable of my words get cut off.
I’m learning the software.
It’s new to me, but I’m trying to do that because I want to be better at this.
But if you ask me to be better at gardening or other things, I’m going to be terrible about it.
And she says that if we care about everything or we try to take on other people’s cares, that’s when we’re going to get exhausted and feel like life is just not our own.
She said, then we get shame, we feel like we’re not perfect enough, and we try to live this life where people will admire our homes or admire the inside of our homes, or look at our fantastic children, and maybe even look at the clothes we wear.
And for a lot of us, we just don’t have it in us.
And so now, that’s why we’re tired.
So that’s why she’s saying that we gotta be human, that we have to think about what really is meaningful to us.
She says, quote, “I’m glad we’re in this together.
” And when I read that, oh boy, that just warmed my heart.
We are in this together and I hope you feel that way too.
She said the first step to becoming a lazy genius is decide once.
That means that you don’t mull things over for long periods of time.
I know that part of the problem I had when I was getting out of college is I just thought and thought and thought and thought.
I thought about everything where I was going to live, what I was going to do, where I was going to go.
I thought about where I was going to put this book or whether I was going to buy that book I mean I thought so much and I was tired all the time and the idea she says behind this is that you just have to decide once for most things in life that might mean that you decide I’m going to exercise every day or she said that you might decide you’re going to McDonald’s every week after church or that you’re going to on every Monday wear a certain outfit because you know what.
Monday morning stink.
And I don’t know about you, but my brain is fried on Monday mornings.
I don’t even know who I am anymore.
And so if you can sit there and plan things out, if you can have a formula for the decisions that you have to make, one of the things I decided a long time ago is that I go on business trips and I’m not a very formal person and I’m also not very coordinated.
And so I decided that every one of my work trip clothes was going to be black.
Black pants, black shoes, and shirts that are mostly black with a little splash of color because I do love color.
But that made the whole trip packing better.
I don’t have to worry about this shoe matching that shoe and oh goodness I brought blue pants and I don’t have blue shoes.
None of that.
Everything’s black and so every piece of my formal office wear is always black and I cannot buy anything else.
That made everything easier for me to go in business trip.
It might even be that every meal on Mondays is a certain fixed meal that maybe you cook over the weekend.
So every weekend I’m gonna cook pizzas and I’m gonna have that on Monday for dinner because my brain is just not there on Mondays to do more.
And so she said that once you start deciding once everything else gets easy.
She said that you can create a meal matrix which means that it’s sort of a schedule of what foods are what day.
Not necessarily Exactly, like maybe you would have pizza on Monday, like I said, and maybe Tuesday you’re a little bit more awake so you try a more adventurous meal.
And so maybe that’s, you know, your big roasted meat day.
And then Wednesday you have leftovers from Tuesday.
So I decide on four different meals every week.
Sunday and Monday, fish.
I don’t like fish in particular, but I know it’s really good for me.
So I have two servings of fish every week and it’s Sunday and Mondays.
And then I usually have some sort of a favorite meat dish on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
Then I’m feeling a little bit more adventurous.
So on Thursdays and Fridays, I try to eat something I call old, which means it’s something that’s in my freezer, something that’s on my shelf that I should be eating.
I’m not eating and I want to really get rid of some of this older food.
And so eating something old allows me to clean out my cupboards.
And then, when it comes to the weekend, then I try to make something adventurous every weekend that I’ve never tried before.
I have a little bit more energy and I have a little bit more time, and so I try very hard to come up with something creative.
It’s not exactly what foods I have, but it is a meal matrix that I can rely on and I know for the most part what I’m going to eat each day.
She even mentions that you can put like soups or salads together.
There’s those meals in a jar.
I know there’s a lot of recipe books on the freeze meals where you can bake meals, freeze them up into individual packets.
I have one of those food sealers.
And then you always have something ready.
Once you get decided on what you’re going to do and you decide once on it, it’ll make your whole life better.
By the way, if you’re more interested in this meal matrix plan, she has some amazing YouTube videos that you can watch and she’ll show you how her plan works for making those meal matrices.
Here comes lazy genius principle number two.
You know I’m gonna like this one.
She talks about it in an interesting way that I hadn’t considered.
Is that you know anything from losing weight or getting better at something is always gonna take small steps.
But it’s also good for our body you know like even if we’re like broken when I injured myself.
How am I going to get back to the way I was.
Obviously going to be small steps because if I take big steps, I’m just going to hurt myself anymore.
So she said that these small steps are very important.
She says quote the right system is irrelevant.
If you haven’t yet named what matters and is especially irrelevant.
If you dismiss the value of small steps small steps get you unstuck and we talked about that when it came to the mini habits a couple of weeks ago, but that when you have small steps, ones that you couldn’t even not do, one push-up, floss one tooth from the Tiny Steps book from BJ Fogg, you’re always going to be in that situation where you can get things done.
And she said that people dismiss small steps because they don’t see action fast enough, they think it’s going to take a very long time.
I mentioned this on the early podcast.
When I was trying to lose weight early on, I wanted to lose a lot of weight fast.
I’m going to starve myself.
I’m going to eat pickles every day for dinner.
That way I can lose five pounds a week and I can get done with this in a very quick fashion.
However, it never worked.
I always gained the weight back.
Had I consistently lost half a pound, which is pretty reasonable, a week, I would have been done with my weight loss issue when I was in college.
what’s so funny is we hate the small steps because we think it takes too long and that we think we’re never gonna get to our goal but the real image there is that the small steps would have gotten me there had I just done it every day and been disappointed with my results maybe but it would have happened that I would have gotten there earlier than with all this screwing around I did with this diet and that diet and this plan but she said that the reason that small steps work is because it’s easy to accomplish and she calls it sustainable which means we can keep going.
Again if I was gonna go on the great pickle diet and just eat nothing but pickles until I lost all the weight it’s not sustainable I just couldn’t do it.
There are some weird people out there who can do it.
Penn Jillette lost over a hundred pounds by eating nothing but potatoes.
He’s a different character and that’s just not gonna work for most of us.
Instead we need to have sustainable in our lives, we need to know that we’re making progress and if it and it’s not utterly destroying us and so even if it’s a small step it’ll make every difference in the world for us.
She says in the end take small steps towards something that matters and stop getting stuck and you’re not gonna get stuck because it’s so easy to accomplish.
She talks about her own struggles when she was gonna do yoga or certain exercise I’m gonna do this amazing piece of exercise every day for 30 minutes.
And the reason it failed all the time is because her goal, her system was too big.
And so she failed at it all the time.
I noticed for myself, I mentioned it a few weeks ago, that when I got into peak physical shape before I got injured, I was going on two to three hour bike rides on weekends after work.
I was crushing exercise.
I mean, I think I was doing like 10 hours of exercise a week.
And now I’m going, oh, well, this is really dumb.
If I just get my Apple watch rings, that’s like 20 minutes of exercise every day.
Why am I even bothering.
It’s so little.
But that’s the point.
I can’t jump myself back into the 12 hours of exercise a week.
It’s not going to work.
And if I do it, I’m going to feel bad.
I’m going to just resent exercise.
Right now, I’m on a system that seems to be working pretty well for me, even though some days I look at it and say, you know, this wasn’t really that big of accomplishment.
It was because I’m doing it every day.
She said that as we go along these small steps will get easier and easier and easier and that means we’re gonna start building momentum.
We’re gonna start being able to do things on a regular basis.
She says in the end her routine was so small it was too small to quit and so eventually it made her win.
She was able to do it and she was able to grow from there.
And she says if we want to take small steps and make it even easier, we can set things out.
We can make our small step easier by preparing ahead of time.
And that we shouldn’t get down on small steps.
That we shouldn’t think it’s too little, it’s too insignificant, it doesn’t even matter.
Once we start thinking about it that way.
We’re lost in that.
Small steps matter.
They make the world of difference and you know I believe that because I have a whole podcast about it.
Lazy Genius Principle #3 – Ask the Magic Question.
She says that the magic question is, “What can I do now to make life easier later.
” So you’re going to take some kind of step, some people call it sharpening the axe in the business world, but what can you do in in order to make that step easier.
And so you can think about in some cases, if I’m trying to eat healthier, it means that maybe my kitchen is more organized so that I can find the utensils, the cooking pots and pans, the things I want to do, the things that chop up the vegetables, I can find it even easier.
How can I make everything easier by this.
And in my case, I had a spare bedroom and I had another spare room in my house.
And you know what I did.
I took every piece of exercise equipment I ever bought.
I ever dreamed it was gonna fix me.
Mostly it was some thing that promised, “You’ll lose weight if you do this one exercise.
” I put down gym flooring in this room and I put all the exercise equipment in there.
And now I just make sure that that room never gets cluttered.
So there’s no excuse that I don’t have room or a place to do exercise.
I even made it pleasant.
I hung up all my Star Wars posters.
I put a TV with a fire stick in there and a speaker so I could listen to music.
I have this really great room.
I made it easier.
And I know that’s because I live alone and I have that ability to change a room over into a gym.
But you have something in your life that you could do that would make everything easier.
What would that be.
So can you make dinner preparation easier if you have to cook for your family.
Can you make work easier by setting out what you’re going to bring to work the next day out the night before.
Or can you take tasks that you have to do and make them more simple.
Like if you walk around a grocery store wondering what in the world you should eat every week, could you just make a quick list of the things that you need so that you’ll know.
But the idea is if you can make things easier for you, you’ll find out that you’ll be able to get through things much faster.
And I’ve been doing that for a while now, trying to make everything easier.
This podcast was hard for me because I didn’t have a very nice space to record podcasts.
So I took that guest bedroom and I turned it into a recording studio.
I put blankets that were adorable on the wall.
I put clouds on the ceiling to tamp the sound down from the ceiling.
I tried to make everything I could better by creating a recording space for me.
Because every time I had to record, which now is weekly, I didn’t have a spot for myself and I didn’t have a place for all the microphones and microphone stands and all the things I needed to do.
Now I have a place.
So I made podcasting easier for me by asking the question, what could I do to make my podcast easier.
Another part of that was a software that would help me to edit the podcast more quickly and make it sound better at the same time.
So sometimes that thing may cost money and sometimes you just have to do something that takes a little bit of work.
Like the gym, the gym didn’t really cost me very much money.
I think it cost me about $70 for the flooring, but the rest was just work.
So you’ll have to figure out for you, what could you do that would make everything easier for you.
So I hope you’re seeing right now that she’s setting this stage up.
You’re deciding things once, you’re asking what’s important, and now you’re going to make your life easier.
This is all a system that’s going to build on itself to make your life easier and to build up strength to make everything that you do from here on out better.
So my challenge to you is can you think of one area, maybe it’s cooking, maybe it’s cleaning your house, maybe it’s going to work or exercising, that you could take some steps that would just make that one task easier and make sure that it’s a task that’s important to you.
All right, everyone, thanks so much.
I appreciate listening to the podcast.
Please remember that you can subscribe to the podcast.
And if you wouldn’t mind telling a friend about this podcast or Small Steps with God podcast.
Got two of them going right now.
Believe it, there’s more coming.
But if you could just tell a friend about it, I’d appreciate it much.
Have a great week.