“I could not be more excited about this book.”—Jenna Fischer, actor and cohost of Office Ladies podcast
The chorus of “shoulds” is loud. You should enjoy the moment, dream big, have it all, get up before the sun, track your water consumption, go on date nights, and be the best. Or maybe you should ignore what people think, live on dry shampoo, be a negligent PTA mom, have a dirty house, and claim your hot mess like a badge of honor.
It’s so easy to feel overwhelmed by the mixed messages of what it means to live well.
Kendra Adachi, the creator of the Lazy Genius movement, invites you to live well by your own definition and equips you to be a genius about what matters and lazy about what doesn’t. Everything from your morning routine to napping without guilt falls into place with Kendra’s thirteen Lazy Genius principles, including:
• Decide once
• Start small
• Ask the Magic Question
• Go in the right order
• Schedule rest
Discover a better way to approach your relationships, work, and piles of mail. Be who you are without the complication of everyone else’s “shoulds.” Do what matters, skip the rest, and be a person again.
|Publisher:||The Crown Publishing Group|
|Sold by:||Random House|
|File size:||835 KB|
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
An Introduction I’m Afraid to Call an Introduction
(Because I Don’t Want You to Skip It)
I’m not a mom who plays. I mean, I will, but I personally don’t like knocking down a stack of blocks twenty thousand times in a row, no matter how much joy it brings my kids.
Thankfully, my husband is a dad who plays. A few summers ago, he came up big while we were vacationing at the beach. He dug an impressive hole in the sand, a hole so deep you had to lean over the edge to see the bottom. Then, with the enthusiasm of a carnival showman, he got all three kids to race back and forth from the ocean, carrying buckets of water to fill the hole as quickly as they could.
Over and over again, they hauled and poured, hauled and poured.
But that hole would not fill up.
Every single drop soaked back into the sand, taunting them in their efforts. Because my kids are adorable little weirdos, they thought it was fun and played the game for a long while—that is, until a flock of aggressive seagulls became more interesting.
As they ran off to chase birds, I saw the discarded buckets surrounding an empty hole and realized I was looking at a metaphor of my life. Maybe it’s one for yours too.
Here’s what we do as women. We pick our spot in the sand to dig a hole, checking to see if the women around us are choosing similar (or, gulp, better) spots, trying not to be distracted by their motherly patience and bikini bodies. We start digging, hoping the hole is deep enough and headed in the right direction. Where is it going? No idea, but who cares. Everyone else is digging, so we dig too.
Eventually it’s time to start hauling buckets to fill the hole. We carry load after load of “water”—color-coded calendars, room-mom responsibilities, meal plans, and work-life balance. We haul. We try. We sweat. And we watch that hole stay empty.
Now we’re confused.
Does everyone else have this figured out? Is my hole too deep? And where is all the water going?
We pause to catch our breath, wondering if everyone else feels like an epic failure too. One person can’t possibly keep up with a clean house, a fulfilling job, a well-adjusted family, an active social life, and a running regimen of fifteen miles a week, right?
With silence our only answer, we decide, No, it’s just me. I need to get it together. What follows is a flurry of habit trackers, calendar overhauls, and internet rabbit holes to figure out how to be better, until we pass out from emotional exhaustion or actual adrenal fatigue or we give up completely and head back to the beach house for a shame-filled margarita.
The Real Reason You’re Tired
You’re not tired because laundry takes up more space on your couch than humans do, no one in your house seems to care about your work deadline, or your kid’s school lunch rule is “grapes must be quartered.” The tasks are plentiful, but you know your to-do list isn’t solely to blame.
You’re “on” all the time, trying to be present with your people, managing the emotions of everyone around you, carrying the invisible needs of strangers in line at the post office, and figuring out how to meet your own needs with whatever you have left over—assuming you know what your needs are in the first place.
It’s too much. Or maybe it feels like too much because you haven’t read the right book, listened to the right podcast, or found the right system.
I know that feeling. I’ve spent an embarrassing number of hours searching for the right tools to make my life feel under control, and I have the abandoned stack of planners and highlighted self-help books to prove it. Unnecessary spoiler alert: they didn’t help.
On one side, I felt like I had to create a carbon copy of the author’s life, even though I dislike going to bed early and don’t travel to twenty cities a year speaking at events.
On the other side? Follow your dreams, girl. Apparently, my to-do list isn’t the problem; my small-time thinking is.
Still, I highlighted dozens of passages, trying to MacGyver together some kind of plan that made sense for me. Maybe the right combination of life hacks and inspirational quotes would keep me from lying awake in the middle of the night with worry. Yet despite book after book, quote after quote, and plan after plan, I stayed tired. Maybe you’re reading this book because you feel it too.
I have good news. You don’t need a new list of things to do; you need a new way to see.
Why Simplifying Doesn’t Work
It’s the most common solution to feeling overwhelmed: simplify. Do less, have less, get on Instagram less. Cut down on commitments, outsource, and say no. But also give back to the community, join a book club, and grow heirloom tomatoes. Make your own baby food, run an impressive side hustle, and go on a regular date night with your spouse if you expect your marriage to survive. How is that simple? In my experience, marriage, entrepreneurship, and gardening are all super complicated.
For Christians, the concept of a simple life can feel even more muddled. Jesus was homeless, had twelve friends, and depended on the kindness of others for a meal and a bed. His life focused on a singular goal, and everything else was straightforward. But a little further back in the Bible, we find the (very misunderstood) Proverbs 31 woman who gets up before the sun, sews bed linens for her family, plants vineyards, and has strong arms.
Will someone please tell me what I’m supposed to care about so I can just live my life?
And that’s why simplification is anything but simple. No single voice can tell us how to live. Even within the biblical message of “love God and love people” lie a million possibilities of how that could look practically.
We need a filter that allows us to craft a life focusing only on what matters to us, not on what everyone else saysshould matter.
My friend, welcome to the Lazy Genius Way.
How to Read This Book
Here’s your new mantra: be a genius about the things that matter and lazy about the things that don’t…to you.
As life circumstances change, needs and priorities follow suit. This book is designed to be a helpful reference through all those transitions, giving you language and tools to make room for what matters.
Each chapter highlights a Lazy Genius principle, with ideas to implement it immediately. One principle on its own will have a tangible impact, but as you apply each to your daily life, you’ll see how the thirteen principles can harmoniously create personalized solutions to your problems and illuminate the ones that don’t matter so much.
You can quickly scan these pages for concrete steps and helpful lists and, when you have time, read more deeply as you create space to become your truest self. I encourage you to grab this book whenever you hit a wall in your routine, when a transition is looming, or when you feel the weight of busyness.
You’ll learn better ways to do laundry, finish projects, and get dinner on the table. Praise! But beyond the practical, you’ll learn to embrace a life that offers space for success and struggle, energy and exhaustion, clean houses and crappy meals. It all counts because it’s all yours.
Whether you’re home with tiny humans, pursuing the corner office, lonely, busy, or bored, this book will help you name what matters, ditch what doesn’t, and Lazy Genius a life full of both productivity and peace.
Let’s get started.