Whenever I go back home, I have a habit of going through books and journals and other random junk in my old childhood room. The last time I was there, I came across my East High School Senior Yearbook. Being the vain actor that I am (ask my roommates how many times they’ve had to bang on the bathroom door because I’ve spent the last half hour making faces at myself in the mirror), I flipped right to my picture. I noticed immediately that I’ve only recently learned how to smile, but that’s neither here nor there. The second thing I noticed was my senior quote from the endless fountain of wisdom that is Calvin & Hobbes. It read, underneath my acne-scarred half-smile, “There’s never enough time to do all the Nothing you want.”
My first thought was, damn, I was lazy. My second was, damn! I miss being lazy! I haven’t been lazy in a long, long time! Now, I know what you’re thinking… Harris! Laziness is bad! Didn’t you see se7en? Sloth is a deadly sin! Kevin Spacey will kill you if you’re lazy! (I know, I’m a mind reader). Well, I say to you, dear reader, laziness isn’t that bad.
I feel like laziness has been elevated to a crime worthy of federal prosecution. Multi-tasking isn’t even enough for me to feel busy anymore; I need at least 6 tabs on Firefox open, an iPhone in my hand and a meal either being prepared to cook, currently cooking or being eaten so that I can feel like a fully functioning member of society. As I type this sentence, I am simultaneously watching the Nuggets game on-line, looking up “simultaneously” on thesaurus.com to sound smarter and responding to a txt message about getting this blog-post done on time. The Nuggets are barely hanging on against the lowly Hornets, by the way, so if this blog suddenly takes a sharp turn for the negative, you’ll know why.
We’ve entered the Age of Efficiency, alright. Next time you’re driving look to your right and left and I guarantee that at least one of the drivers next to you will be head down, typing away on their “smart” phone, instead of, you know, just driving. That is, if you’re not busy yourself, composing an e-mail on the 405. Why is it so impossible for us to focus on one thing at a time? Whether it be simply eating an undistracted breakfast, or talking to a friend without talking to six others on Facebook chat. Would you rather watch a juggler juggle ten different things at once and drop half of them, or an archer send one singular arrow flying through the air into a direct bulls-eye?
Remember all those math classes in Middle School where you had to take all the fractions and simplify, simplify, simplify? Well, simplification works in Middle School math, it works in acting and it works in life too. Put your focus on one thing at a time and realize how much more efficient you’ll become. Maybe you’ll even carve enough time into your day to just sit and watch the clouds move across a brilliantly blue sky. And when someone looks up from their phone to ask what you’re doing, you won’t feel guilty in saying, “Oh, nothing.”