Laziness to Balance Important Coordinates of Your Life – Job Hunting and Graduate Research in Japan
Lai Hung Wei
Updated in January 2021
The Pareto’s principle dictates that roughly 80 % of the consequences we are facing originates from 20 % of our own causes (one’s action). This means that we would be gaining 4 times the result based on the effort we put in under most circumstances. Working hard is important in achieving our life goals, but we would be able to achieve significantly more if we work smart consistently. It is not the first time we saw articles commenting on the advantages of working smart, but how exactly are we going to execute it perfectly?
Human are lazy and tend to procrastinate. It is in our nature. The difference is how you used this personality to your advantage. As a final year doctorate student graduating next year, job hunting and graduate research are two of the most important coordinates of my life in Japan, and finding a balance between these two has been an excruciating process. However, with the correct usage of my laziness, I manage to meet deadlines of these tasks without much problem.
Since I enjoy spending time doing literally nothing in the weekends, I had come out with the most effective ways in completing various tasks within the week days. One, prepare a list of deadlines at all times. Two, always start working on tasks as soon as you received them. Focusing on tasks which have closer deadlines first before moving on to the others. It is also important set a time period for each task. e.g. I aimed to finish writing 4 essays for the entry sheets of company A in 2 days and 2 essays from company B in a day. I am very strict and disciplined when it comes to completing tasks and therefore have never missed a deadline so far.
Some might ask what if all these tasks have to be completed on the same day? My advice is always start on your task as soon as you received them. For example, as my research is focused on membrane proteins, I tend to carry out a lot of Western blot experiments. There are several waiting time intervals during the whole process. I utilized these experiment intervals to gather information on the internet for my job interview in the late evening. This constant, desperate action of squeezing out extra time from nowhere is essential to maximize your efficiency. I then have extra time to prepare for the company interview after the experiment.
I always thought the definition of strengths and weaknesses are flawed. It all depends on how an individual interpret and use that particular characteristic as a weapon. For example, a cunning person might not be suitable as a scientist but his cunningness may be highly required as a police inspector. It is a fact that humans are lazy living beings that love to procrastinate. Set your mind well and to use the power of procrastinating to complete all given task within the same day (with high precision) so that you could spend your extra free time to laze around doing nothing after that.