Why Being Lazy Can Make You Successful

By Jordan Michaelides
May 08, 2017

Unsplash Marie Sophie Tekian Small


I’ve come to realise over the last few weeks, that I need a hobby, desperately. Having the ability to switch my brain from thinking about business, work, or physical performance is so important for my type-A personality.

A small hobby farm is what I’ve always wanted, but I don’t think I really have the funds nor time right now to commit to that. So I’m going to start with an indoor garden, and specifically bonsai trees first. That should also suffice my Japanese obsession.


💊  Tim Ferriss’ Favourite Nootropics

Smart Drugs are the bees knees right now in the brain performance space. I think there’s a lot of quackery here that people need to be wary of, so it’s important to have a trusted authority share their own list of resources. Tim Ferriss is a good place to start if you’re intrigued.

🤔 The Neurochemistry of Flow

Flow is something I’m always trying to induce, also known as the “source code of motivation”. That state of concentration that you experience by playing sports, engaging in hobbies, or other high concentration activities. If you can induce flow during work, you’re going to get a lot done.

🔫  Compliance

This is the story of one horrific day at work for a fast food worker. A police officer calls up and tells a manager, Sandra, that one of her staff stole from a customer’s bag informing her that it is likely 19-year-old worker Becky. The caller tells Sandra that Becky has to be detained until police arrive, then starts to outline a string of increasingly humiliating punishments. Sandra, worried about being seen as uncooperative, goes along; Becky, worried about losing her job, does so as well.
The abuse and humiliation that follows is what you’d expect in horror movies, except that it actually happened and these events are based on a real incident from 2004 in Kentucky. The police eventually catch a 37-year-old prison warden with making the calls, but he was never found guilty of the crimes. This movie and crime reminded me of a famous psychology experiment in the ‘70s, on power and authority. The Stanford Prison Experiment was one of many ways that psychologists attempted to investigate how a small group of Nazi’s were able to convince the population of Germany to do what they did. What happened in this test has to be seen to be believed, this trailer for the movie is fantastic and an interview by Tim Ferriss with Dr Phil Zimbardo is illuminating. Above all, these examples highlight the power of perceived authority and how it can force individuals to commit acts they would never usually agree upon.

Mental Models

🛀  Why Being Lazy Can Make You Successful

Being lazy can act as a filter to life, to focus on the important things, according to the Best-Selling Author of 'Moneyball'.

🕴️ Busy vs Productive

Buy an hour of your time back, stop being “busy”. Productivity is greater than busy, and busyness is actually quite a social quandary. We spend less hours working than our grandparents did, and yet we’re all “busier” apparently.

🐺  Hedgehog vs fox mentality

Another brilliant read on systems thinking versus goal based thinking with a nice analogy.

🖥️  Do you have sore forearms from typing?

Carpal Tunnel? Try a DVORAK keyboard. Implementing on your phone is a good place to start, it takes a day or so to get used to it.


😶  Don’t disclose investment ideas

Contrary to what most investors wish to do (seek approval of others), this article runs through the probability of you telling others of your investment idea. Why is this relevant? I think it teaches the individual to not externalise to validate their investment, instead they should be focusing on the facts.

👿  Growth devours and corrupts

This is a fantastic article on why the startup model ruins perfectly good business. Another reason why I like companies such as Apple. REMARKABLE READ FOR THOSE IN BUSINESS.

💡 Holacracy

A complete flattening of the organisation that renders there only being a few authority figures in any business. Valve is one of the most successful businesses ever, when it comes to gaming and they currently run this model. Above all, it creates an environment for enviable creativity and productivity, while removing a tonne of politics & gerrymandering from the company. Worth a read, but probably not for all businesses.

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