Bill Gates once said, “I will always choose a lazy person to do a difficult job because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it.” It is indeed true in many circumstances that a lazy person will always find a way to do a difficult job with the least amount of effort possible. Whether it’s through shortcuts, hacks, or finding a tool to automate the task, the end goal is to make the job as easy as possible. While some may see this as a negative trait, it can also lead to innovation and efficiency in the workplace. A question on this same topic was posted on Reddit that asked users to reveal some real-life examples of lazy people finding an easy way to do difficult jobs and here are 25 of the best responses.
I was working as a stockboy in a supermarket and when we had to fill the milk cooler people would bust open a 12 pack of milk cartons and put them in one by one.
On my first day I just placed the 12 pack in the cooler and cut the plastic off on one side with my box cutter and yanked it from under it and the look of the store manager and the other employee who was training me was pure bewilderment.
From that day everyone did it my way.
Start of lockdown, my 9 year old son was having worksheets emailed to complete at home. One day, left him at the laptop doing his maths while I made some dinner with my 3 year old daughter. Walked into the living room with his dinner to find him asking the Alexa all of his maths questions.
Worked as a laborer at a nursery one summer. Daily tasks included manually watering 15,000 plants each day. Put together a back of the napkin plan to build an irrigation system and spent the next few weeks building it with some money from the boss. That system is still running 15 years later and does all the work now. I did automate myself out of the job and had to find another eventually.
Couple years later got my engineering degree. I’m convinced Engineers are inherently lazy people that will spend a disproportionate effort to make things easier.
My brother gave my oldest nephew 10 dollars a week if he did all his chores with out needing to be told or complaining.
One day he gets home early from work and sees. The neighbor kid tossing a bag in the trash. He asks him what he is doing and the kid says he gets 5 bucks a week to take care of a few chores.
My nephew outsourced his chores.
I plug clocks in at midnight so they’re already set.
I worked ‘goods in’ for an aircraft manufacturer as a summer job at university. Parts would arrive, we’d open them and key in all the details into a terminal. That bit was long winded. I discovered the terminal keyboard has assignable shortcuts, and set up a bunch of them for all the boilerplate such that keying in an item was about six keystrokes. Saved myself and my workmate hours every day, which we would spend pranking each other, other warehouse staff and staff at other sites.
I’m doing it right now, automated data cleaning in Python. My coworkers don’t know about it, so something that takes me 10 mins at most takes them 2 hours.
Years ago as a student I got a job stocking shelves. Guys were carrying the heavy boxes, put them on the floor and bend each time to pick up the items to put on the shelves. I was maybe a light 100 pounds (woman) and carrying the boxes was just killing me physically. So one day I had an idea. I put the box on a old desk chair and rolled it around. No more carrying and no more bending! Funny thing is that, instead of doing the same thing, most of the guys called me lazy and kept carrying the heavy boxes. Just to prove how strong they were.
Now they have special rolling carts to do the job.
An engineer spent hours developing a program so they could start the coffee pot from their desk and not have to wait for coffee when arriving in the break room.
I was invited to my friend’s yearly apple picking: it was a full day of apples and kids and filling a truck for cider. I’m lazy and suggested we make the process more efficient with tarps on the ground. We managed in 2 hours what historically took all day. We didn’t even get to the picnic lunch. Essentially, I ruined apple picking
The clerk was asked to bring 145 white papers into the office. He doesn’t want to count the papers manually so he printed 145 blank sheets and took them in.
Walkie Talkie’s. In every job I’ve ever had these things make your day far less labor intensive if used correctly.
Does Alexander and the Gordian Knot count?
“A complex knot that, according to prophecy, was to be undone only by the person who was to rule Asia, and that was cut, rather than untied, by Alexander the Great.”
The entire micellaneous kitchen tools section at Bed, Bath, and Beyond. I don’t need an avocado slicer or a lemon squeezer or an automatic chopper/dicer, but lazy old me definitely puts them to good use.
Me. I automate shit all the time at work to make daily routine jobs more easy. I write manuals with screenshots with arrows indicating where to click or where to fill in what. Whenever I write a manual, I assume that whoever reads it is a complete idiot so that whenever customers call for the same questions again, I just send them to the online manual I created. No need to type it out again by email or explain it again by phone.
I had to carry groceries into the house when I was a kid. I didn’t want to make multiple trips, so I tied several bags to the belt loops on my pants to do it in one trip.
Eating dinner out of the pot so there’s fewer dishes to wash.
I had a math teacher that actively encouraged his students to be as lazy as possible, defining lazy as actively searching for ways to do as minimal work as possible. His logic was that, the way math is now, it could always be simplified and still work the same, someone just needs to be lazy enough to find that.
It took me like 3 months, but I automated a data pipeline to extract data, clean it up, and spit it out in an excel or pdf format to one of our clients.
I walked over to shoot the shit with the lady who handles my client and gives me tasks and she told me we make 40k off them every month for that automated job.
My greenhouse’s watering system.
I would spend an hour per day watering the garden. 30 hours per month.
So for $50, I setup a PVC watering system in a few hours. Now I just turn on the spigot and watch while I smoke a joint.
If I need directions I’m not asking a man with one tooth, I’m asking a man with one leg. Cause he definitely knows the easiest way to get there. Yup, if there’s a shortcut that one legged fucker knows where it is. You won’t be hoppin’ fences neither.
When Peter the Great was building St Petersburg there was a huge boulder needed removing as it was in the way of a road. Lots of contractors tendered for the job. The would use explosives to start, smash it into smaller pieces using sledgehammers and then cart them away. A local peasant also put in an offer for half the price. They gave him the job. He and a few friends dug a large hole next to it, took away the excess earth, tipped the boulder in and covered it up with the remaining earth.
In Australia explorers discovered a mountain that was taller than Mt Kosciuszko, which was though to be the tallest mountain in Australia. Rather then cause confusion by telling everyone a new tallest mountain had been found, they simply named the new mountain Mt Kosciuszko and renamed the original to something else.
My wife and I have a chore list. I now am tasked with vacuuming which she gloated about not having to do because it is so time consuming. I bought a Roomba and now the house is cleaner than ever and all I have to do is press a button on my phone
As you’ve learned from the comments above lazy people indeed find easy ways to do difficult jobs. Do you have any other examples of lazy people finding easy ways to do difficult jobs? Let us know in the comments.