Does your closet look like a tornado ripped through it? Are your digital files scattered everywhere? Does the term “healthy eating” cause you to shudder and sprint for the hills? Don't worry—help is here in a guide written by an INTP for INTPs!
With social media flooded with overly complex diet plans, stress-inducing workout regimes and endless tips on closet organization, it can seem like a huge pain to even figure out where to start. As an INTP, you're used to conserving your energy, not wasting it. Your happy place is your unrelenting imagination. You prefer to learn, think and ask crazy questions rather than perform mundane tasks in the real world.
But wait—what if you could use the power of your so-called “laziness” to actually better your life and health? Good news: it can be done, and the process has the potential to be a lot of fun. If you look at it from a different angle, laziness is also resourcefulness—using the least amount of energy possible to reach a desired outcome.
Let’s look at some grade-A lazy-yet-productive strategies to get your life in balance without having to break a sweat. Starting with your haphazard closet and desk…
#1: Own Fewer Things
Less stuff to think about, fewer things to misplace. As an INTP, you likely spend most of your free time in your head anyway. Start with discarding the obvious trash first, and work your way to the more challenging items to part ways with. By practicing minimalism, you’ll get to see your external world from a whole new angle. Less noise, less stress—and more time to focus on what matters.
This goes for digital spaces too—unsubscribe from newsletters you haven’t read since 2010, video streaming services you barely touch, and apps your phone keeps bugging you to put to “deep sleep” mode. Close or deactivate any accounts that you’re done with and take a break from others if you feel an urge to scroll compulsively (Goodreads, anyone?). How’s that for a cleaner inbox? Plus, your credit cards will breathe a sigh of relief.
#2: Simplify Your Meal Plans
Heads up: easy, healthy and palatable meals can be done in a flash! Instead of panic ordering DoorDash at the slightest inconvenience, keep an array of healthy snacks within arm’s reach. Get a high-quality water bottle that you can sip on throughout the day, too. That pounding headache? Could be dehydration. Bonus points if you get a friend to help you with meal prep so you can both reap the benefits.
As for homemade meals, slow cookers are your best friend (read: the gods of cooking appliances). Simply throw all the necessary ingredients in, and your culinary masterpiece will be ready in a few hours. Then, you can focus on what you’re doing without constantly checking to see if the pot’s about to overflow…or if the kitchen’s about to catch on fire.
It’ll even taste great given all the time the flavors have to seep into your proteins, grains and veggies. Stews and chilis are awesome time savers and keep well in the fridge for up to a week. Forget about burning or overcooking dishes ever again!
#3: Double-Down on Watching Shows or Listening to Podcasts
Got a TV series you want to binge or a podcast you dig? Why not have your exercise routine run on autopilot while you focus on something enjoyable? Whether it’s jogging on a treadmill, cycling or climbing the Stairmaster, you’ll get to complete two tasks at once—without sacrificing the quality of either activity. Sweet, now you’ve scored all this extra time.
By a certain point, your brain will associate light exercise with positive feelings, as you’ve programmed it to think so. Next time you do jumping jacks or squats, have your favorite Youtuber play in the background or attend a virtual concert. Give a thought-provoking audiobook a listen. Time will fly right on by, and an hour will pass before you know it.
#4: Behold – Standing Desks and Stretches
Depending on your age, height and weight, you can burn around 100 to 200 calories per hour standing. You also help with your body’s overall blood flow and reduce your chances for heart disease and high blood sugar levels. Experts suggest standing, then sitting for a little before getting up again.
Ever heard of carpal tunnel syndrome after typing for too long? This is when your hands and forearms feel numb, painful or tingly. Stretching is key and only takes about a minute every hour or so. Consider purchasing an ergonomic mouse and try to keep your wrists straight when you’re typing.
#5: Outsource Your Social Life
Instead of having to initiate plans and doing the unspeakable of saying hello to a stranger, why not have a token extraverted friend (or two) help you out? You'll have more time to focus on your solitary activities, and they'll totally appreciate you asking them for support. A win-win situation all around!
Let your extraverted (or ambiverted) friends know that you're happy to tag along to social events, if and only if you have enough energy to do so and can leave early without explanation (for recharging those batteries, obviously). But assuming you’re up for some social time, it could be fun to outsource the planning to those who actually like it. For example, you could have an extraverted buddy drag you to the gym to help keep your fitness goals in check, plan the logistics for a road trip or introduce you to new people, instead of initiating yourself.
Transform Your Laziness to Success
Instead of viewing your lazy side as a weakness, meld it into a superpower. Whether that looks like a 30-day declutter frenzy (purge one extra item per day) or getting a friend to do the hard work of keeping you motivated during your running sessions—you get to work towards winning at life, your way. (And still have plenty of time left over for play.)
Try a few things out and do whatever leaves you feeling refreshed and positive while at the same time in a state of lazin—ahem, relaxation. From one slackish INTP to another, you’ve got this!