On Coping with Laziness

When you’re feeling overwhelmed by the number of tasks you’ve taken on, how do you determine if you’re just being lazy or if prudence obliges you to excuse yourself from being on the hook for it all? If you take on too much, you might panic and quit, and so accomplish nothing. Left to my own devices, that’s my usual approach. The older I get, though, the number of things on my to-do list that I can simply excuse myself from without an obvious negative impact on other people has gotten smaller and smaller. As I suspect for many people, that’s one of the most natural consequences of being married and having small children. For me, the bare minimum of providing for their day-to-day necessities often seems like enough, which is why it’s always so impressive when I meet someone or read about parents that are doing all that while also excelling in their profession, running a business, or doing any number of side hustles. While I am definitely lazy by default, I’ve discovered over the past few years that I’m actually pretty good at managing habits, as long as I take them on in small doses, and that’s the primary way I cope with having a lot to do. One of my most important habits is making a prioritized to-do list, with the most important things at the top. Sometimes I get to it all, sometimes I don’t, but as long as I’ve not given up working on it until the kids go to sleep, I let myself sleep in peace (often shortly after the kids). Today is a day I won’t be getting to everything, but at least I got to this.