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Week of 1 May 2017: Up and at 'em--or just sitting?

Email Jim at jthompson@taii.com

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Recently I have seen a number of cases in which human energy was not being expended to any appreciable extent. Actually, I was witnessing laziness. I have not discussed this topic in a long time, so perhaps it is time once again to bring it up. It is a topic that tends to offend some folks, for people do not like to be singled out as lazy or unenergetic.

To assuage the embarrassment of the truly guilty, let me say that we all are struck by this at one time or another. And we must admit that we know some people who are in a permanent rut of inactivity. So, who to blame? What to do? If we want a large and wide ranging place to plant the guilt (other than ourselves) perhaps we should blame the Industrial Revolution. In the developed countries most of us have sedentary workplaces. Even the farmers are now riding tractors with air conditioned cabs, full entertainment systems and on-board wireless computers. As an aside, the Minneapolis Moline company tried to sell a tractor in the late 1930's, early 1940's with a full cab and heat; it was a flop because farmers did not think it "manly" to ride in such comfort.

The sedentary workplace has made us generally lethargic, not only physically but mentally as well. Quick, now---how often do you experience a slight drift toward laziness as you look for a file on your computer by moving the mouse around? Intellectually, this is silly, of course, but unless you are much different from me, you have had this experience more than once. After all, how many calories does it take to move a mouse 10 cm?

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Taking things a step further, how many pieces of paper have been on your desk for over 3 months and truly just been shuffled around? When was the last time you thoroughly cleaned out every desk drawer and reorganized the messes you have there? These activities are not big calorie consumers. They don't get done because we are mentally lazy, or perhaps numb is a better word.

I have seen many people over the years try myriad time management systems. I think scheduling resources, calendars and so forth are a personal selection choice. I also think changing systems on a rapid turnover basis indicates not a fault with the systems, but some disconnect in the grey matter between our ears.

So, stamp out human laziness, starting with your own. Take a walk at lunch time. Walk upstairs, don't take elevators. Getting the blood flowing through physical exercise will get the mental game back in shape, too. Moving that mouse across the desk will seem far less of a formidable task.

How many accidents are caused by laziness? You will find that many contain some aspect of it. Stamping out laziness will help your safety record.

Be safe and we will talk next week.

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