How to be lazy to make your life better

Pranav Mutatkar
Embrace your Lazy
Published in
6 min readApr 24, 2016


It’s not the internet without a lazy cat

What does a better life look like for you?

If you could slowly work towards that, would you do it?


People tend to think in years. We often ask ourselves…who do I want to be in 10 years?

But why wait?

Create the life you want, today.

Because we know years are filled up with months which are filled up with days which are filled up with minutes. Sometimes, we are so focused on the years that we never think about the minutes that get us there.

All successful people know the importance of the minutes. It’s the minutes that make you successful. And the way you make your minutes meaningful is through habits and rituals.

Last year, I decided I would make my minutes meaningful by embracing my laziness.

It’s like Bill Watterson can see inside my brain

And by doing so, I was able to write, meditate, and floss daily. I was able to establish evening/morning routines, eat better, and read more.

I used my laziness to trick myself into changing for the better. To make my minutes more meaningful and create amazing habits that last.

A couple months ago, I used my experiences to teach an online class about creating habits through laziness.

1000+ students signed up and more importantly I helped people create great habits that stick. I even got amazing reviews like this:

I’ve read so many articles centering on increasing productivity and nothing has helped as much as this class. — Brittany Levers

So, without further ado. Here are three lazy tips that I taught in my class: 3 ways being lazy can help you create long lasting habits.

Lazy Tip #1: Give Up on Your Goals

Goals suck. They don’t work.

“Goal-oriented people exist in a state of continuous pre-success failure at best, and permanent failure at worst if things never work out.” — Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert

Famous people talk about their goals all the time. Goals are sexy. But most successful people don’t remember what it was like before they were successful.

Instead of goals, use habits that you have to do every day to become the person you want to be.

Instead of having a goal of writing a New York times bestseller one day become a writer by writing at least a sentence a day.

Don’t be this guy…

Instead of reaching your 50 books this year goal, read a page of a book every day.

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence is not an act, but a habit” — Aristole

Instead of being a dreamer, become a doer. Become someone who is a better person day in day out.

Lazy Tip #2: Embrace Imperfection and Create Lazy Habits

Create tiny, small lazy habits. Make sure the lazy habit takes less than 2 minutes to do. You want a habit so small and easy that it’s impossible to say no.

Through my research, I found this is backed by a lot of studies. BJ Fogg (famous Stanford habits researcher) said that he made flossing into a habit by only committing to flossing one tooth a night. Stupidly simple.

But if you feel tired, sick, or just don’t want to do the habit…it’s very hard to say no to flossing only one tooth. And on the days you feel motivated, you can floss more than that one required tooth.

When you want to start reading, only commit to reading a page a day. When you start writing, only commit yourself to writing a sentence a day in your journal. Doing the habit is much more important the quality or quantity of the habit.

After you get used to doing the lazy habit, you can slowly raise the stakes. Instead of writing a sentence a day, you are writing half a page, then a page. Then soon enough, you will be well on your way to writing your first book!

Lazy Tip #3: Make Your Environment Adapt to Your Laziness

Accept that you are lazy.

We start the new year with all this willpower and motivation. But we don’t account for the days we feel sick, tired, or just lazy. What happens when the willpower gives out?

Embracing my laziness was incredibly hard for me. But profoundly helpful.

For example, I struggled to read every night because I didn’t keep a good book next to me. The time and mental effort that would be required to find/choose a good book to read made me too lazy to follow through. Accepting that I would be lazy in the future, picking a ‘night reading’ book, and keeping it at arms length was one of the crucial reasons the habit stuck.

When you want to start journal-ing, keep your notebook and pen next to your coffee machine. At that point, you have no excuses. Even at your laziest, you can write a sentence while waiting for your coffee to brew.

You aren’t who your Jan 1st self, thinks you are. You are just a normal, lazy human being. Adapt the environment to your laziness and anticipate your future laziness by setting up systems when you have a burst of willpower. Remember, it is the simple things that destroy good habits.

The most important way to mold your environment for your success is by surrounding yourself with people who will inspire you to follow through on your habit. This is one of the biggest keys to success.

“You want my advice? Don’t play yourself.”

I want to help people create amazing habits, so they can spend time on the things that really matter.

People benefit from my class because I’m not superhuman. Because I am lazy and know the struggle all too well. If I was able to trick myself into creating great habits, I can teach you how to do it too.

And eventually, through gradual change and reinvention, you will create yourself. And then much later you will realize that what you thought you needed were the benefits of the habits you created, but what is really comforting through the difficult times are the habits themselves.

“It’s like discovering that while you thought you needed the tea ceremony for the caffeine, what you really needed was the tea ceremony.” — Anne Lamott

If you like this, check out my newsletter here:

Remix of/Inspired By:

Austin Kleon, Larry Wall, Scott Adams, Tim Ferris, Leo Babauta, Charles Duhigg, Simon Sinek, James Clear, Anne Lamott, BJ Fogg, Mark Manson, Robert Greene, RadioLab, Shankar Vendatam, Lifehacker, Bill Watterson, 99u, Joel Gascoigne, Alain de Botton, Zen Pencils.