You’re Not Lazy. You Just Have Problem-Solving Efficiency

Have you ever been called lazy because you don’t want to do a task the way you were taught or directed to do it? Do you hate repeating a task that could have been done a better way the first time? Then you, my friend are not lazy, you suffer from problem-solving efficiency.

And they are always busy too!

What Does It Mean to Be Lazy

Lazy is used well…lazily. Anytime someone doesn’t do something exactly as directed immediately, they are automatically called lazy. And if they have loads of spare time then clearly this is an unproductive lazy bastard.

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary definition of lazy, it means being disinclined to activity or exertion. (I don’t know why they used big words to explain a four-letter word.) Basically, to be lazy is to refuse or hate any activity or at least an activity that requires effort. Now it’s time to review your behavior and decide if you are lazy.

The reason behind this honest introspection is that what outsiders assume is laziness could be a few other factors.

  • Stubbornness
  • Dislike for the person
  • A general dislike for authority figures
  • Mood swings
  • Tiredness
  • Unmotivated
  • Overwhelmed
  • Depressed

You can even be genuinely ill and people just assume you’re lazy. (This happened to me) Another group that is constantly deemed lazy is introverts. Extroverts can drain the social batteries of introverts just by their presence alone then the unaware would claim introverts are lazy because they can’t function 100% and desperately need to recharge.

For this reason, deciding whether you are lazy or not should come from you and not even someone who is close to you. People who are lazy are generally unmotivated and have an extreme dislike for any activity, whether fun or not, So if something motivates you, most likely you aren’t lazy, you are just picky about how you spend your precious time.

10 Traits of Exceptional Problem Solvers

And once you understand how important and limited time is, you really don’t want to waste it on unnecessary repetitive tasks that will only add to your stress. If you are introverted, you definitely want to limit the amount of time spent in social interactions. For this and many more reasons, people develop problem-solving efficiency skills to make life easier.

Here are 10 traits you can use to recognize exceptional problem solvers: -

  • Adaptable — Exceptional problem solvers adapt to the environment, culture, and resources.
  • Admit Faults — They understand they don’t have to be right all the time and love input and criticism from others.
  • Critical Thinkers — They believe in having options and would create alternative solutions.
  • Empathetic — Considers various points of view and how their solution will impact all parties before presenting the solution.
  • Opportunistic — Exceptional problem solvers look for opportunities in a problem to make changes to entire systems or themselves.
  • Communicative — They are able to clearly communicate the problem, and solution, or debate the issue if necessary.
  • Creative — Problem solvers will find unique ways to solve the problem.
  • Visionary — Thinks of a solution beyond today. Quick fixes are great for emergencies, but a true problem solver would want a solution that lasts.
  • Risk Takers — Willing to try something new to solve the problem.
  • Risk Adverse — As much as they are willing to try something new to solve the issue, they would prefer to take preventative measures to ensure the problem doesn’t arise in the first place.

As amazing as these problem-solving traits are, used together that person can still appear lazy. Because doing all this together can happen within minutes not always through days of meetings, charts, and planning. So to the untrained eye, this person will not appear to ever be busy, because their brain has done in minutes what another may need hours or days to carefully plan and solve.

If he had problem-solving efficiency his desk would be clearer.

The Existence of the Lazy, ‘Busy’ Worker

We have all been this person at a certain point in our lives. Whether it was through our own design or to be left alone on a job. Even as kids, we have pretended to be busy with homework to get out of chores. The existence of the lazy, ‘busy’ worker isn’t an urban myth, but a reality of the flaws in our systems and human nature.

Busy workers are always overwhelmed by their workload and have serious time management issues. Lazy workers watch the clock more than their desks and are always looking for opportunities to dodge their primary tasks. The busy, lazy worker appears to be busy by creating imaginary important tasks or multitasking on existing tasks and not completing anything.

The sad part is that often in the past the lazy, busy worker was believed to be more productive, it is only in the last decade countries like Luxemburg have shown how unproductive these workers really are. Being busy and not protective hampers businesses and your own work ethic. You may believe that busy work is necessary to survive certain employers, but getting sucked into that kind of environment benefits no one.

Besides, companies that still prefer lazy, busy workers and punish those with problem-solving efficiency aren’t going to last long anyhow. You’ll find they have hiring and staffing issues with poor company culture. So it’s best to do the work the right way or leave the job entirely.

Even though it's not original, its somewhat true

Recognizing Problem Solving Efficiency

Problem-solving efficiency is often mischaracterized as laziness. You can even say Bill Gates was problem-solving efficient when he used an already existing quote on lazy workers and reframed it as his. Problem-solving efficiency is about finding easier ways to accomplish a task in the shortest time and most permanent way possible.

A problem-solving efficient worker hates having to repeat a task that could have been done right the first time. They also take the time to learn from their mistakes and take preventative steps to prevent further mistakes. So it’s not about being lazy, it’s about hating unnecessary tasks that don’t fulfill long-term goals.

And this is what some managers and CEOs blindly misconstrue as laziness. Workers with problem-solving efficiency will prefer to work alone than with an unsupportive team. And they can also begin to withdraw from activities when their suggestions aren’t being considered or permanent solutions aren’t being sought.

Exceptional problem solvers need to have a permanent long-term solution, but they will be adaptable to new research, technology, and ideas. With problem-solving efficiency, they can also see opportunities where this solution can branch out into other ideas or even more solutions. And because of this skill, ‘lazy’ workers are in demand by fortune 500 companies like Microsoft when in reality it’s problem-solving efficiency they’re craving.

You Just Have Problem Solving Efficiency

How to Achieve Problem Solving Efficiency

As a quintessential lazy busy worker who has probably changed jobs or started their own business, you may find it hard to break that habit and actually become productive again. Or maybe you were always busy and thought creating lengthy to-do lists and clearing your inbox was productive. In reality, profitable action is the true sign of productivity and not menial repetitive tasks.

Start With A Positive Mindset

If you think negatively you are not going to be in the right mindset to solve any problem. Positivity breeds optimism and optimism helps you look for solutions instead of only seeing problems.

Know Your Limits

You’ve got to know yourself and what you are capable of at any given moment. If you don’t have a clear sense of your identity and the role you fit in, there may be some hiccups in how you are able to enact your solution. For instance, if you are not in a leadership position you may have to rely on your communication skills to get your point across.

Understand Your Environment

To solve any problem, you have to be aware of the resources available to you. This includes the people that can assist, their feelings and capabilities, the physical environment, and its limitations and opportunities. Culture plays a role in what may be an acceptable solution.

Be Resilient

Panicking is not your friend in a crisis. Resiliency allows you to calm down and think. And when any problem arises you need to think so your brain needs to be trained to think in stressful and chaotic situations.

Be A Lifelong Learner

To have the right answers you need to know the right answers. And not often the answer will come directly from you. To make better decisions you need data and reading and learning provide that information.

Great Communicator

It doesn’t matter if you know how to fix the problem if you don’t know how to articulate the solution. Effective communication can solve 90% of the problem and the next 10% is taking immediate action. Action words than command and give a sense of urgency, expertise, and calm work better when you need to explain what needs to be done.

Develop Key Leadership Traits

Several key leadership qualities are required for problem-solving efficiency. Being empathetic and a visionary helps you foresee how the solution will affect others in the long term. Team building skills to pull a team together in an emergency and take control of any situation.

Quick Decision Maker

To be an exceptional problem solver you must solve problems quickly, sometimes even before they arise. Part of this is great conflict resolution skills and being a great communicator. And this is achieved by being a creative, adaptable, analytical, and critical thinker.

To achieve problem-solving efficiency you need to be calm, not overthink and look for real solutions that are practical to the situation. With time solutions can be found for any problem, but exceptional problem solvers can cut that time by half. The only downside to being an exceptional problem solver is that everyone isn’t one and sometimes it can get frustrating providing solutions that aren’t being implemented effectively.




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MB Haven

MB Haven


In 2016, I decided to turn my life around. So while I was pursuing my BSc, I started searching for jobs in my new field of Marketing and discovered a lifestyle!