People who are highly intelligent but incredibly lazy often display these 7 behaviors

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When I was younger, I got through school with straight As. My best friend did the same.

The difference between us was that whilst I worked hard to achieve those grades, she almost never prepared, improvised on most of her exams, and had a much higher IQ score.

She was incredibly intelligent, and while I thought this trait of hers was impressive and inspiring, I also noticed that her intelligence often made her a bit… lazy.

Her laziness wasn’t such a big deal back then, but as we progressed through life, it began to make things quite difficult for her because academic prowess and high IQ were no longer the only requirements for success.

That was when I realized that high intelligence could be a double-edged sword.

Without further ado…

People who are highly intelligent but incredibly lazy often display these 7 behaviors.

1) They always try to find a shortcut

What would life be without shortcuts, am I right?

If you’re smart yet lazy, you probably agree. Chances are, you spend longer looking for automation tools and ways to save time than you are working on the actual problem itself.

And you know what? In many cases, this makes complete sense.

Once you find a digital tool that removes a lot of unnecessary friction, your whole working process speeds up – forever.

Once you learn how to do one action that covers five different ones, you have unlocked a new level of efficiency.

I could go on and on, but you get the gist. Overall, shortcuts are great because they allow us to work smart rather than hard.

So, what’s the catch, you may ask?

The way I see it, there is a major difference between what classifies as “smart” and “wise”.

It may be smart to let AI write an essay for you because it reduces the time you spend on it and lets you focus on matters closer to your heart.

It’s not very wise to choose this kind of shortcut on a regular basis, though. The reason is simple: practice makes perfect, and without practice, you’re losing many valuable hours of perfecting a vital skill.

Shortcuts are helpful because they’re time-efficient. However, time efficiency shouldn’t always be the priority.

2) They put in the bare minimum

While I always worked hard and my best friend didn’t, we achieved the same academic results. You’d think that this demotivated me, but the truth is that I knew I was benefiting in many more invisible ways.

I liked to put in more effort than was necessary because I genuinely wanted to learn and grow. This meant that:

  • I became very good at managing my time since I had so much to do
  • I stood out among my peers and made valuable connections with professionals in the field
  • I learned to focus on the journey rather than the results
  • I grew into a disciplined and determined person

When we were younger, these kinds of benefits weren’t all that apparent.

Once we crossed the boundary between teenagehood and adulthood, though, skills such as discipline, networking, and time management started to matter a great deal.

My friend was incredibly smart, but she had spent so long putting in the bare minimum that she now struggled to catch up.

3) Procrastination is their best friend

Most of my friends are very intelligent. And I’d say at least half of them love to procrastinate.

This is because they know they possess the ability to get everything done at the last minute, and while the final result may not be as brilliant as it would be if they put in weeks of work, it is enough.

Of course, this is also tied to the whole bare minimum business. If you start working on something twelve hours before the deadline, there is only so much you can do.

Does this mean that you should always plan things weeks in advance?

Not at all. Time management works differently for everyone. If you work at your absolute best when you’re under stress, planning an assignment for right before it’s due may not be such a bad idea.

The problem is that procrastination isn’t time management. It’s a state of freeze, a state classified by a sense of overwhelm, guilt, and distraction.

If you spend the whole day thinking about the work you should be doing and feeling guilty that you’re not doing it but refusing to do it anyway, you’re not resting properly. It’s a bit of a waste of time.

4) They struggle to effectively organize their lives

Speaking of procrastination, it probably comes as no surprise that highly intelligent yet lazy people find it difficult to manage their time and organize their workload.

Growing up, they never had to learn this skill because they simply didn’t need it. Their high IQ did most of the work for them.

Now that they’re drowning in work and responsibilities, however, organizational skills could really come in handy.

As someone who always had to rely on organizational systems and tools to prepare for exams, schedule everything in advance, and fit in as much valuable work as possible, I realize just how hard it must be to live without these mechanisms in place.

If you don’t use to-do lists or calendars, your day will slip away from you, and before you know it, it’s late at night and you’ve done nothing much.

If you put off every single task until the very last minute, you might suddenly fall ill and have everything fall apart because you’re unable to catch up on time.

The good news is that time management and organization are skills that can be taught. Of course, it’s important to do away with laziness first and foremost.

5) They always want to know “why” before they figure out “how”

Laziness isn’t always a bad thing. This may sound strange after everything we’ve just talked about, but stay with me here.

When you’re lazy, you want to have a valid reason before you get up and do something. You don’t want to bend over backwards just for the sake of appearing busy, which is completely understandable.

Add high intelligence into the equation, and you’ve got people who always want to know “why” before they go ahead to solve “how”.

In fact, this is why many gifted children struggle to complete homework. They want to see a reason behind everything they do, and if there is no point to doing the exercise in question, they don’t understand why they should pour their energy into it in the first place.

Unlike procrastination or putting in the bare minimum, this is actually a great skill overall. It means you won’t waste your time on senseless tasks and will have more capacity to do what truly matters to you.

6) They are stuck in their heads

“What the hell do you mean by that?”

Good question. The answer has everything to do with the difference between ideas and actions.

Smart people come up with all kinds of amazing ideas, from fantasy stories or theatre concepts to engineering inventions and entrepreneurial ventures.

The issue is that laziness gets in the way of transferring those ideas into the realm of physicality.

To put it simply, intelligent but lazy people like to talk the talk. They like to entertain different abstract concepts, dream up different futures for themselves, and explore new avenues of interest.

What they don’t do all that often is put in active effort to make those plans and dreams come true.

I can’t even remember how many smart people in my life have completely given up on their dreams.

It’s not that they couldn’t do it – it’s that they couldn’t bother to put in the work. Somehow, they were happy with the conviction that if they wanted to, they could.

So much potential with nowhere to go.

7) They think they work smart but they actually work hard

If you always look for shortcuts, leave things until the last minute, outsource work to other people or machines, and solve problems on the go, you might think that you just work smart rather than hard.

And there’s some truth to that, at least in the short term.

However, the truth is that refusing to develop skills such as time management, organization, perseverance, resilience, and patience will end up making your life more difficult in the long run.

My friend, for example, always wanted to write a book. Such a large undertaking takes months or even years, though, and since she has never learned to spend too long on one task and truly persevere, she always gives up halfway through.

If you can relate, remember that there is a difference between time efficiency and valuable skills that are born from hours spent on hard work.

Both are important. Don’t prioritize the first just because it’s easier.

Pearl Nash

Pearl Nash has years of experience writing relationship articles for single females looking for love. After being single for years with no hope of meeting Mr. Right, she finally managed to get married to the love of her life. Now that she’s settled down and happier than she’s ever been in her life, she's passionate about sharing all the wisdom she's learned over the journey. Pearl is also an accredited astrologer and publishes Hack Spirit's daily horoscope.

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