“To do nothing at all is the most difficult thing in the world, the most difficult and the most intellectual.” —Oscar Wilde
Procrastinating is postponing what can be done today until tomorrow in favor of other, more appealing activities. However laziness, well, that’s just a whole other story. But just because someone appears to be lazy, it doesn’t mean they deserve to be labeled as stupid or incompetent. The act of being lazy isn’t necessarily an accurate portrayal of what is actually going on in someone’s head. It’s very possible to be lazy and smart, and sometimes, being lazy just might pay off. So if you can muster up the energy, read on to discover 39 laidback facts about being just plain lazy.
39. Two Feet and a Heartbeat
At a hospital in Canada, researchers found that when staff climbed the stairs rather than took the elevator, each employee saved an average of 15 minutes out of their working day—makes sense considering the amount of time spent waiting for the elevator and waiting for people to get off.
38. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Baby!
Most American states have extensive recycling programs in place. However, thousands of lazy Americans still toss their recycling in the garbage, generating about 251 million tons of trash in 2012. And the recycling rate? Only 4.5%.
37. Don’t Mess With Texas, or Anywhere Else for that Matter
Sometimes the trash bin can be a little out of the way, but with an ever-growing waste problem on the horizon, an astonishing 75% of Americans STILL confess to littering in the past 5 years.
36. 1-800-Junk. You’re Welcome.
Even though the means to dispose of any kind of waste, from hazardous materials to electronics, is readily available, the United States spends around $10.8 billion per year on cleaning up garbage that wasn’t disposed of properly.
35. Isn’t That Convenient?
Sloths move SOOOOOO slow that algae grows on their bodies, turning their fur green, which actually acts as camouflage in the trees. Mother Nature sure does work in mysterious ways….
Curious to know if you have slothful tendencies? Lazy fact #837495735373839 proves that you were probably way too lazy to even read through that entire number. So yes, you’re definitely a little lazy at times.
33. Cut to the Chase
Another sign of a truly lazy person? Never reading the Terms and Conditions before hitting the agree button. Ever. Come on, you’ve definitely done that once or twice. Today.
32. First Things First
Do you not make your bed because, well, you’re just going to jump back into it again anyway? Well, maybe it’s worth taking the time, because studies show that making your bed first thing in the morning leads to better productivity, creating a “keystone habit” that leads to “a greater sense of well-being, and stronger budgeting skills.”
31. Just Google It
If it’s not on Page 1 of Google Search, you don’t need to know about it, right? Well, there might be something to that. Scientists have found that the ability to Google anything at anytime is making our brains much lazier when it comes to remembering information. Why remember something when you can just Google it again later?
30. Energy Saver Mode Engaged
And it’s ok to be lazy, in fact, some human laziness stems from evolution. Preserving energy was a key factor in our survival, especially if our ancestors didn’t know how or when or where their next meal would appear. Sitting around conserving calories kept us alive—although I’m not sure that evolution predicted Instagram and The Kardashians…
29. Blame It on Genetics
A mutation in a gene could explain why some couch potatoes are more couch potato-y than others. It was found that in some people, the system that regulates physical activity levels in the brain is mutated, which means that your own brain can turn against you, making those with this mutation not want to work.
28. Pill Poppin’
To counteract the genetic predisposition to laziness, researchers are looking into a pill that will activate dopamine receptors to get people up and moving. Scientists are really hoping that this medication will be a huge contributing factor in the fight against obesity.
27. Houston, We Have a Problem
Generations like the baby boomers and Gen Xers are quick to call millennials lazy. Sure, the Internet is really convenient, and the ability to get virtually anything from anywhere delivered to your doorstep at any time is a reality, not a dream, but are millennials really that lazy? Do they totally lack work ethic? A shocking 50% of millennials actually say yes.
26. It’s Cool to be a Book Worm
Apparently, books are just too long to read these days. With the Internet providing easily digestible content you can absorb in minutes, why would anyone go through the arduous process of reading a book with—gasp!—chapters? But it looks good to others if you read, which is why people are lying about it—a whopping 60% of people bluff about pretending to read a book they haven’t read.
25. Guess No One Really Liked the Book to Begin With…?
What’s more, a 2009 poll conducted by the organizers of World Book Day found that 42% of people lied about reading George Orwell’s 1984 from front to back, topping their list as the #1 book Brits have lied about reading.
23. …But Everyone’s Seen the Movie
Another poll, this one by The Telegraph, lists the Top 5 books people lie about reading:
5. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
4. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
3. The Lord Of the Rings Trilogy by JRR Tolkien
2. 1984 by George Orwell
1. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.
22. Don’t Let the Glasses Fool You
So why do people try to sweep their laziness under the rug when it comes to reading books? Some 2,000 Brits participated in a study commissioned by the BBC Store that further delved into their reading habits. The findings? 1 in 4 Brits fibbed about reading a book they think they should have read because they didn’t want to appear dumb if they couldn’t contribute to an enlightened conversation.
21. Appearances can be Deceiving
A huge 60% of those surveyed by the BBC believe that being well-read makes a person more charming and attractive, thus 1 in 3 admitted they would never correct someone for thinking they’re better educated than they really are (cause that’s just a waste of energy…).
20. Judging an Article by Its Headline
Can’t make it through a novel that has elaborate plots, heavily developed characters, and more than 20 chapters? At least you can make it through an online article right? Wrong. It’s extremely common for people to share an article that they haven’t even read, merely reading the headline and deciding it’s good enough to circulate. But you read this one all the way through… right?
19. Where Does it Come From?
While conducting research for an American study, children as young as 3 years old told researchers that they consider overweight people to be “mean, stupid, ugly and have few friends.” Into adulthood, the fat stigma worsens when words like “self-indulgent, and lazy” are added to the list.
18. Cultural Differences
Since the 1990s, psychologist Chris Crandell has surveyed hundreds of people worldwide about the correlation between being fat and the perception of laziness. The word association that fat=lazy isn’t as common in countries like India, Mexico, and Turkey as it is in America.
17. How Some People Think
Maybe part of the reason why there’s still a lot of discrimination against obese people in the US is that Americans hold strong to an ideology that states that success happens with hard work and determination, and failure happens when there’s a lack of effort (being lazy). Generally, thin people think fat people are fat because don’t put in the effort to become thin, even though there’s plenty of evidence that makes it clear this is often not the case.
16. Something To Sit Around and Think About
If you stop to think about it, without lazy people, we would not be living in the fast-moving, innovative world we find ourselves living in today. Inventions were designed to make a task easier and more convenient. You don’t make time-saving devices like we’ve got today if you’re not just a little lazy.
15. Advice for Lazy Bones
Not everyone thinks laziness is bad: Bill Gates himself once said “choose a lazy person to do a hard job because that person will find an easy way to do it.”
14. Different Strokes For Different Folks
Leave a trail of messiness wherever you go? Fret not. Research from the University of Minnesota showed that those who operate in orderly, and more organized environments lead toward a more traditional and conventional lifestyle. On the other hand, those who are a little more hectic and chaotic, tend to be more creative and riskier. One is not inherently better than the other (Ahem, Mom).
13. You Never Know
Winston Churchill got terrible marks in school, didn’t go on to college, didn’t enjoy sports, and much preferred to sit comfortably on his rocking chair with a cigar, but he still managed to become an inspiring politician, voted the greatest Briton of all time in several polls.
12. Idleness is the Devil’s Playground…?
Albert Einstein, Pablo Picasso, and Isaac Newton, some of the greatest minds the world has ever seen, were all accused of being terribly lazy.
11. One School of Thought
On the topic of tidiness (or being too lazy to tidy), author Marie Kondo of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up writes, “When people revert to clutter no matter how much they tidy, it is not their room or their belongings but their way of thinking that is at fault.” And here I thought it was my socks’ fault that they didn’t pick themselves up off the floor!
10. Another School of Thought
Researchers are well aware that some of the messiest people led to the greatest contributions to the modern world. Famous disorderly person Albert Einstein once observed: “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?” Chew on that for a minute.
9. Relax, Go Do it, When You Want To Go Do It
Some “lazy” people might actually just have better energy management skills. Rather than pushing themselves to the limit and exerting every last ounce of energy, these people know the value of rest, knowing when to exert energy and when to save it, making them overall more relaxed, and less likely to suffer a breakdown.
8. One Track Mind
Lazy people have a better grasp on how to manage their own goals, not goals and deadlines set on them by others, because who has time to do double the work? Paying attention to other people’s priorities is draining, and takes away precious time from focusing on their own.
7. Perks of the Job
What’s a good career choice for a lazy person? Become a computer programmer. A programmer who does their job well writes as few lines of code as efficiently as possible and the pay is good which, in turn, encourages laziness. Plus, you get to work with other lazy…err… smart, technically oriented people.
6. China or Bust
Teaching English in China is another good career choice for the lazy mind. Teaching roles are lucrative and in demand, and usually only require that the teacher was born in an English-speaking country. A computer game designer once mentioned that one out of every three English teachers he met in Beijing considered themselves to be very smart, but also very lazy.
5. Able to Cut Through the Crap!
Lazy people have a knack for seeing the bare bones of a task. Other factors like stress and self-doubt don’t phase them as much because they are able to discern what concerns them and what doesn’t. Everything else is a waste of time.
4. Slower Than Snails and Molasses?
The three-toed sloth is the slowest moving mammal in the world, averaging a “lightning quick” speed of 0.15 miles per hour.
3. The Name That Says it All
Why do sloths have a lazy reputation (their name is sloth after all)? The cute and slow-moving mammals have a very low metabolism because they subsist on a very low-energy diet consisting of just leaves. Their slow deliberate movements also help them stay alive by avoiding hawks and cats who hunt at night.
2. Lazy by Nature
A Sloth’s claws allow them to spend most of their life hanging upside down in the trees with next to no effort—female sloths even give birth while upside down! But out of the trees and on the ground, sloths are pretty much useless (although they’re surprisingly good swimmers).
1. Answer the Call of the Ocean
Disgustingly, 1 in 5 Americans have confessed to being so lazy that they don’t bother getting out of the public swimming pool to pee.
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