The Lazy Genius Way

Review of The Lazy Genius Way by Kendra Adachi

Reviewed By: Gretchen
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As a mom of four (now either grown or well on their way to that end) I can still say I am still juggling routine and the constant in and out traffic in our household. So I was intrigued by the title of this book. Is there a way to be a lazy genius? If so, please sign me up!

The author makes the point that all decisions should be made once. Decide that you will have a certain outfit to wear on Monday. Tacos is what is for dinner on Tuesday, etc. I see the efficiency in this mode, though I personally would not prefer it, due to the sheer monotony of such a system. However doing things in batches does make sense to me and a method I employ frequently. For instance, cooking extra chicken once for meals throughout the week. She also employs the Magic Question: What can I do now that would make xyz easier later? I can vouch for the efficacy of this mode, when, as the mother of a baby known for unhappy tantrums late in the day, an experienced midwife once advised me to prep meals in the morning to save the frustration later in the evening on what was rather euphemistically referred to as “happy hour” and was neither happy nor relegated to only an hour.

Adachi’s methods are common sense, but it could be argued that much of what she has to say has a way of forcing the reader to look consciously at habits taken for granted and see things in a different light. Once you get the basic idea, you see where you can apply these modes to all areas of life. All this aside, I perhaps, after over two decades of experience as an HE (home executive) have already come up with her strategies and tricks. I personally did not find any strategies that were new to me, though I did enjoy a chuckle at her humor and enjoyed her insight on the strategies that she employed. She is as real as they come and she speaks in a down to earth level that anyone balancing a household can understand. That said, I do believe anyone who is new to this or perhaps has just not “got it together” yet, would totally benefit from her approach.

However what I did find a valuable takeaway was her approach to mindset. She speaks of life in seasons. Not just the teeth-gritting season of boots scattered on the floor and muddy snow tracked in the foyer (not that I would know about any of that) but the season of two in diapers and Cheerios under the car seats, or the season of staying up late until you hear the familiar crunch of gravel under your teenagers car signaling at long last that you can relax. The season of needing to care for an elder parent, or facing the retirement years with a new frame of mind. She suggests we embrace each season joyfully and mindfully which to me came across as purely Zen. This in itself was worth reading the book. It reminds us that rather than striving to look forward to the time when “this is over” or we “have attained that” to instead greet it in a spirit of adaption, to accept what we cannot change. She speaks to us of what these little seasons of life have to teach us. Sometimes we do not enjoy the lessons, yet adapting to them serves as an anchor “when your inner life feels windswept” as she so aptly puts it.  And perhaps best of all, she speaks of what really matters to you and letting go of what doesn’t. How often do we cling desperately to that which we do not love, but hold on to it anyway because of the expectations of others? In this she is referring not only to possessions, but things, obligations and even people who drain your time and energy.

Kendra Adachi gets it. She is real and open, frequently laughs at herself and her past mistakes. For me the takeaway of this book wasn’t even so much the tips, tricks, routines and advice as her honest, compassionate understanding of what so many of us go through. It’s okay to let go of perfection. Perfection is a double-edged sword. Perfection gets you nowhere, because sooner or later, the pendulum will swing the other way and you will sink once again into indolence and apathy.  You don’t have to start your day with intense cardio and lemon water if that doesn’t work for you. Forget other people’s rules. You must forge your own way! Be a genius about the things that matter and lazy about the things that don’t!

This book is available as a hard copy and also via our app Libby.

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