With the evenings getting longer and Christmas and the holidays drawing in after an eventful year, this year could see a divergence from the norm of the last few working weeks of December that are ordinarily for tying up projects, work parties, and enjoying time with friends and family.
Businesses are still trying to plan for next year and rebuild after a turbulent economic year, meaning many could leave the year feeling worn out, counterproductive, and stressed.
But with so much instability and challenges in the world, many business leaders, entrepreneurs, managers, and executives are still having to work to strict deadlines, risk a disrupted festive period, and find themselves more exhausted and less productive than ever before.
With all that in mind, could it be right to say that it is time that more of us embraced laziness?
December: The month to turn to laziness
Laurence Shorter, author of The Lazy Guru's Guide to Life: A Mindful Approach to Achieving More by Doing Less, thinks December is indeed the month to turn to laziness.
Laurence shares his views on why he thinks that is so and the importance of laziness in this brief interview:
How important will laziness be to refocus businesses post-COVID-19?
"For me, lazy is shorthand for creating space for reflection. Hard work is important in business, but operational efficiency is crucial.
Leaders and teams should create enough space for their own reflection and creativity. As an example, I guard time in my calendar before 11 am on most days because I want time to think strategically; to ensure my brain is in focus before I go to work. This sort of approach is going to become more and more important to understand the best working patterns for individuals. This applies to teams too.
Often, teams jump into a task, but creating space through connection and communication can help them work better and more cohesively. The connection between teams can drive better performance."
Do business leaders need to further incorporate flow management into their working plans to be successful?
"Flow is a mysterious thing. There are an endless number of hacks that people who are committed to improving their work can try out and have done for years; experimenting with bursts of work, or focusing on emails at a particular time of the day, for instance.
In terms of encouraging a flow state on a day-to-day basis, this curve has not been hugely accelerated by lockdown. It has been developing for decades among the entrepreneurs of Silicon Valley, for example. They’ll try “brain hacking” to change their brain state. I’m more interested in locking into a flow state for teams, where they are able to improve their team awareness.
Teams are often quite hierarchical and topdown, but now there is a shift to embrace agility. This has been a long-term evolution that has been accelerated by the pandemic. In recent months, people’s experiences of working as a team have become less effective over Zoom. So, there is a real need for teams to start learning and thinking about how to work together on distributed networks."