Be Lazy. Be Dumb.

“Before you begin, think as if you are a lazy person. Imagine the competition will work harder. Your only chance is a better strategy.

After you begin, work as if you are a dumb person. Imagine the competition is smarter and more talented. Your only chance is to outwork them.”

James Clear

So, basically to make sure you succeed, start with a good strategy and then work your butt off.

My challenge is that my strategies are often more complicated than they need to be. Simple and minimalist strategies that focus on the fundamentals are often the most effective. By creating a convoluted “organized” mess I often end up getting in my own way.

And often I start strong, but taper off when things become less interesting. It is part of the grind that I wrote about before. Being comfortable with discomfort — specifically the discomfort of doing the same thing over and over.

Working harder doesn’t mean doing fancy stuff — it usually just means putting in the reps and staying consistent.

So, start with a simple plan:

  • Want to work out? Just start walking.
  • Want to get stronger? Just do a few compound body weight exercises — squats, pushups, planks.
  • Want to get smarter? Read a book.
  • Want to get richer? Spend less than you make.
  • Want to be healthier? Get more sleep and don’t eat so much junk.
  • Want to be happier? Learn to say no so you can focus on what you enjoy and the things that fulfill you.

Then, put in the reps and increase the weights:

  • Walking? Just go for 10 minutes every day. Every month, just add 5 minutes to your time. In a year you’re walking an hour every day.
  • Strength? Do 3 sets of 10 three times a week. Increase the weight/reps by 1% each week.
  • Reading? Read 5 minutes before you go to bed.
  • Richer? Eliminate one recurring expense each month and put that money towards debts, savings, or investments.
  • Healthier? Cook at least three meals (or even one meal) a week and increase it by one meal each month. Go to bed at the same time every evening. That is often more challenging than getting up at the same time every morning (at least for me).
  • Happier? Focus on just three projects at a time. You can only say yes to a new one when you finish a current one. If that seems hard, start with five and then work down to three as you finish them. The main thing is to say “no” to any new projects until you are down to the three main projects.
    • Pro Bonus: Try to have just one. Then you’re really going to see some major growth.

Speaking of going to bed …

Photo by Noémi Macavei-Katócz on Unsplash