Being a Lazy Genius isn't about doing more or doing less. It's about doing what matters to you. "I could not be more excited about this book."--Jenna Fischer, actor and cohost of Office Ladies podcast
The chorus of "shoulds" is loud. You should enjoy the moment, dream big, have it all, get up before the sun, track your water consumption, go on date nights, and be the best. Or maybe you should ignore what people think, live on dry shampoo, be a negligent PTA mom, have a dirty house, and claim your hot mess like a badge of honor.
It's so easy to feel overwhelmed by the mixed messages of what it means to live well.
Kendra Adachi, the creator of the Lazy Genius movement, invites you to live well by your own definition and equips you to be a genius about what matters and lazy about what doesn't. Everything from your morning routine to napping without guilt falls into place with Kendra's thirteen Lazy Genius principles, including:
- Decide once - Start small - Ask the Magic Question - Go in the right order - Schedule rest
Discover a better way to approach your relationships, work, and piles of mail. Be who you are without the complication of everyone else's "shoulds." Do what matters, skip the rest, and be a person again.
If you're a suburban, middle-class, Christian, stay-at-home mom of three from the USA, this is probably the book for you. Since I fit very few of these categories, I struggled with resonating with the messages and stories as much I would have hoped to.
The author offers 13 principles for living a more fulfilled life, in what she calls the "Lazy Genius Way". These principles are all illustrated through real-life situations she has gone through. Although I found some of the principles to be useful and resonated with several passages, I just couldn't connect to it as a whole. I don't think this is a bad book, I just don't think it's a book for me.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing this book in exchange for an honest review.
The DNF pile is toppling over this year so I decided to focus on non-fiction. It's been a mixed bag.
“Be a genius about the things that matter and lazy about the things that don’t.”
I follow the author on Instagram and have watched her videos and find her delightful, relatable, and funny. So, when I saw she had a book out, I was intrigued enough to grab it. It has 'lazy' and 'genius' in the title and what is not appealing about that?
I no longer have kids at home, so I’m not in the frantic years where I’m trying to fit too many hours into the day, but it doesn’t mean many of the principles don’t apply. Still…maybe I didn’t really care that much about this stuff in the first place, but most seems either intuitive or of no help to me.
What I did like is that Kendra doesn’t tell you exactly what to do and when, but helps you decide how to identify what matters to YOU. She teaches you how to be a “genius” in what matters, and let the rest go.
For me, I have the time, and I'm comfortable in being a perfectionist, ha! I suppose I do let some things go, but none of it bothers me (I'm old enough to just not care anymore). In other words, I'm not the intended audience for this book.
Recommended for those who are trying to cram too much into a day and feel the need to be perfect (a genius) at everything.
ALL. THE. STARS! I have been waiting for this book for over a year and it still blew me away!
I received an advanced copy of The Lazy Genius Way for endorsement and I read it in one sitting. THE WORLD CANNOT WAIT UNTIL AUGUST FOR THIS BOOK! Kendra's book not only held my attention because it is so well written and witty, but because I could not get enough of learning about new systems for life. Her words and the brilliant way she lays out the book made me feel like a loved and seen human, not a robot just trying to get the next task completed.
This book is everything you are expecting from Kendra and then more. After reading this you will have new, revolutionary systems that will help you get things done in a way that saves time, money and your sanity.
What Surprised Me Most: this book has a heartbeat. It’s not just another book about how to get stuff done. Kendra Adachi so obviously cares about her readers. Through the whole book I felt she gave me permission to approach laundry differently, but also to love how I uniquely approach life.
Tried and true principles cleverly branded in a new way.
It boils down to one question, what matters most. Be a genius about the things that matter and lazy about the things that don't. More of a refresher than a primer for me, but if you're looking for a kickstart in the new year and other books of this ilk haven't done it for you, this one might.
And if you do decide to read it, go into it with the author's final thoughts: never feel guilty about what matters to you and stop trying to be the ideal, future you, carrying a load you were never meant to carry.
I was stopped in my tracks reading the end of Kendra Adachi’s THE LAZY GENIUS WAY: “Hear this now, friend. You are loved. You are seen. You are enough.”
What does this profound reassurance have to with the book’s focus: Living a more fulfilled life? Because the author, a Christian, reminds us that God is in charge and we don’t have to be. Just figure out what matters most and do only that. No apologies!
Kendra offers 13 principles to get stuff done, including:
• Decide once • Start small • Find out what you value most • Go in the right order • Schedule rest
The title and her bracing ideas made me relax instantly. They reinforce what I’ve been doing the last 10 years. Life is rich and I feel free!
5 of 5 Stars
Pub Date 11 Aug 2020
Thanks to the author, WaterBrook & Multnomah, and NetGalley for the review copy. Opinions are mine.
Smart. Practical. Personal. This is so far from a book that tells you to do XYZ or leaves you with endless lists and a million ideas without solutions. Instead, Kendra offers you systems and shares stories, inviting you to implement *what works for you*.
I immediately saw several ways I could take the tools she offers and incorporate them into my life, while also making a list of friends to tell about The Lazy Genius Way (it's one that I'll gift and happily recommend).
What surprised me the most wasn't the practical content or helpful systems throughout... it was Kendra's heart in every chapter. You might think a book like this would feel a bit removed or robotic, somewhat like a textbook in the form of a nonfiction title, but Kendra's voice offers kindness, honesty, and the feeling of "she really does get it" in every chapter.
This book accomplishes exactly what it set out to do -- and more. It deserves 5 stars.
I think I've officially reached the peak saturation point for books, blogs, and podcasts from white ladies in their thirties and forties telling us all to figure out what matters to us and then do that. All of these books say the same thing in every chapter. I'm not sure why I still read them. The part about "batching" Valentine's Day cards for kids, as if it were a new idea, was like my jump-the-shark moment for paying attention to mom bloggers.
I really hate to give this book a low rating, because I think I would really like Kendra if I met her, and she seems to be writing from a place of genuinely trying to help women focus on what is important and stress less about what is not. She is funny and a good writer.
But there was not one single idea in this entire book that wasn’t something I’ve heard in a dozen other places, or a suggestion too painfully obvious to be even considered a tip. She almost lost me at the “batching” chapter. When she started talking about the order to do things it felt like someone telling me to put on my underwear before my pants… Well, of course! I made myself get through the whole book because I was determined to find one take away that I had not heard or implemented already out of common sense, but finished the book with zero notes (and I am a big note taker). I don’t follow her online or listen to her podcast (not because I don’t like her content, just because I have never sought it out, even though tons of people I know are fans) so it’s not that I’ve heard her suggestions from her posts.
I’m happy for her success, I admire her as a mom and person who seems to have her priorities straight, and her advice might be just right for someone who has never considered how to work smarter not harder, or is at the very beginning of their home making journey. But if you have ever put moderate energy or thought into simplifying your life or making it easier by planning ahead or improving efficiency or reducing choices or deciding what really matters to you, then you will find no revelations here.
This week has been a bit of a struggle for me reading-wise due to some personal issues I’ve had to deal with that has been a huge drain on both my time and energy. Prior to this issue cropping up, I had started Kendra Adachi’s The Lazy Genius Way and since it’s a relatively short book, I figured I would be able to finish it quickly. In hindsight now, I realize that was wishful thinking, as I ended up slogging through this book and taking way more time than I should have to finish it. Just to be clear though, this is one of those situations where it’s me, not the book. In general, non-fiction books always take me a longer time to get through, mainly because I feel that I have to grasp and absorb each detail in order to make the reading experience worthwhile – unlike fiction where I don’t need to make a conscious effort to remember every detail, just enough to get into the story and its characters.
In any case – even though it took me longer than I would’ve liked to read, I did enjoy Adachi’s book overall. In addition to being well-written, one of the things I appreciated most about this book is that it doesn’t follow the traditional “preachy” self-help book path -- you know, those books that always come across as though the author (usually an academic) is trying to persuade you to live your life a certain way because they (supposedly) know more than you do. With her book, Adachi takes the opposite approach in that the main message is about doing what matters to you, NOT what matters to someone else. Using her own experiences as examples, she lays out 13 principles she lives by that help her “be a genius about what matters and lazy about what doesn’t.” I found the advice practical and the way Adachi went about conveying it was engaging enough to keep me interested in what she had to say.
With all that said however, the sticking point for me is that, unfortunately, a lot of what was talked about in the book didn’t resonate with me. Technically, this isn’t the book’s fault – it’s more I don’t have much in common with the perspective that Adachi writes from (white, middle class, Christian wife and mother), plus I consider my personal situation a bit unique, so it was hard for me to see how some of the principles fit into my life. With self-help books, resonance to the subject matter is absolutely important for me, so much so that when I’m not able to relate to a lot of the book, I feel like I just wasted my time reading it. Of course, this is not to say that timing could’ve played a role as well, since, as I mentioned earlier, I’m going through some things right now where my frame of mind may not be as receptive to books like this at the moment.
Overall, I would still recommend this one, as I feel that, as far as self-help books go, this is definitely a good one. Also, I don’t doubt the usefulness of Adachi’s advice or the fact that the Lazy Genius method does work for many people, it’s just I’m not able to see the relevance and application to my life as it is at this moment. I do want to try listening to Adachi’s Lazy Genius podcast at some point though to see if perhaps that format will work out better for me.
1) There is a lot of "god" talk, which isn't explicitly stated in the summary. But there isn't so much that it discredits this book entirely. 2) A lot of this book reads as "if you are anxious or depressed, I've got a solution for you, don't be!" Which is well-meaning. 3) As for a self-help book, the author makes a suggestion/recommendation to better your life and then goes "But everyone is different, so if it doesn't work for you and something else does, then do that." I mean...I could have written that.
The author is sweet and well-meaning, but there is nothing new or helpful in this book that you haven't already read.
Who sent this book my way? I don't know, but somehow this book arrived in my last library curbside pickup. Lazy Genius, I thought. What is that? I began to read with skepticism.
I was wrong to doubt this book. It is what it says; it's lazy and it's genius.
The starting point for the entire book is: Always start with what matters. And each of us decides for ourselves. I like that.
The author outlines a series of thirteen Lazy Genius Principles, and I (basically) like these, too. Number two on the list is something I've used successfully for years: Start small. Absolutely. (It's also the reason I always set 100 books as my Goodreads goal. I know I can do that.) I really like number four: Live in the season. That is, it won't always be this way, but it is this way now. Accept it. Do the next thing with love. Yes. Brilliant. I'm also taken with #5, Build the right routines, and #7, Put everything in its place, and #8, Let people in.
A perfect read for the first week of January. Or any time you want to start fresh.
I loved this. I took my time reading through it and took pages and pages of notes. I love the concept of really paying attention to what matters most to you. Everyone is different and life looks differently for everyone. This was fantastic and I’m planning to implement many of these principles into my life.
"Telling yourself you're better than someone is just as harmful as telling yourself you're worse"
The book is very easy to follow as it uses a relaxed/colloquial language instead of the "I am more intelligent than you" language many nonfiction books tend to use. So you can read lots of pages in a short time, however, the book fails keeping us interested in the author's principles and sooner than later we feel that we are reading the same example for the 7th time.
"Not caring and caring too much leave you in the same place"
Some tips are useful (Decide Once), and some are not (live in the season). But I guess every person will feel different about this point. What we can't deny is that some principles are too obvious to even be on a book. Some are very repetitive too, not only from one Principle to another, but in the same Principle/chapter as well.
The footnotes are really unnecessary. I suppose that, as the reader, I decide whether to read them or not. But I shouldn't decide because they shouldn't even be there. They are annoying
If the book were shorter, I'd be more enjoyable.
"[...] it's easier to clean up a cup of spilled milk than it is to mend a second grader's hurt feelings"
The Best: The book is easy to follow. At the beginning.
The Worst Extremely repetitive after the first 30% or something.
About the Quoting: the book explicitly says we shouldn't quote it yet, and I ask the author and publisher to forgive me for breaking this "rule" but I do think that the quoting is a very important part of a book. A book that is worth to be quoted is a book that, usually, is worth to be read. And buy, of course. And I am sure that my fellow readers would agree with me.
If the book's author or publisher ask me to delete them then I'll do it. But I certainly believe that including quotes on a book's review helps that book to get more attention.
I received this for free via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
This is a book for people who still have a lot of traditional gender models they’re trying to fill while falling short. It’s got some helpful tips about saving time trying to do everything —buying gifts, making dinners, and inviting people over. It’s like the old timey home-maker guides but with a modern twist.
Little to no information on her background and qualifications for her to start telling people about how to live. Could only find some sketchy personate website where she is acting like a guru telling people what they want to hear and amassing a tiny slither of followers which probably transcended into the fanbase of this book. Just reading the description made me cringe as I don't think it's healthy to start encouraging people that it's okay to be negligent about some aspects of your life in order to maximize in others - I mean, I thought this book was designed to relax perfectionists? Which, uh... yeah only a psychologist could do if it starts to mess with your life. I think this strategy of "prioritizing happiness and satisfaction" in your life is not a healthy strategy, instead learning how to deal with the hard and troublesome things is more important and realistic. It's too easy to get yourself entangled into the opposite which is becoming totally careless and negligent. Sorry but a clean house DOES make for an inviting home, not to mention is a sanitary thing to do. The book is too lax, random, emotional and almost nonsensical in some of its contradictions. Overly centered on the author's personal experience with tackling some stuff that only females in her age range and from the same country and financial status could relate to.
This book reminded me of a mental version of Marie Kondo's tidying book. Overall, I really liked the tips Adachi gives. Personally, I feel like a lot of her tips are aimed toward mothers, which is great, just didn't apply to me so I skipped those sections.
60 // I’ve been a longtime fan of @thelazygenius podcast and have been eagerly awaiting her book, which releases later this summer! THE LAZY GENIUS WAY was everything I’d hoped it would be and more. if you’ve listened to her podcast, some of the themes and principles will be familiar, but this book is not just a regurgitation of her podcast library. the book breaks down the principles of how to be lazy about what doesn’t matter and how to be a genius about what does matter—to YOU. Kendra doesn’t lay out a list of things to do but offers a new way to see and guidelines for building a system so that we can focus on what matters to us and let the other stuff go. I thought all of the principles were really helpful and I’m pretty sure I highlighted something I learned or want to try or want to think through more in each chapter. in addition to all of the practical tips and helpful strategies, the book is filled with such truth and encouragement, and all of it is offered in love. highly recommend this book! 5/5⭐️—I loved it! ▫️ thank you to @netgalley for the early copy of this book! #thelazygeniusway #lazygenius #netgalley
I've been a big fan of Kendra's work for several years. so I knew right away I would want to read her first book. What I didn't expect was how deeply moving this book was for a so-called self help book. Rather than prescribing specific hacks to perfect your life, Kendra teaches her readers how to name what matters TO YOU, so you can relax into YOUR best life -- not hers or anyone else's. "Little did I know you can be just as exhausted from not trying as you can from trying too hard," she says. Kendra's compassionate, understanding, soothing tone simultaneously encourages us to be mindful around creating systems that work for us, while also giving us permission to ignore what isn't helpful. I thought I knew how to be a Lazy Genius before, but now I feel fully equipped to approach any situation that comes my way using Kendra's practical principles. I can't recommend this book highly enough, no matter your age or stage of life. This book is for everyone!
Thank you to NetGalley and WaterBrook for the ARC.
The chatty, conversational tone might appeal to many readers but didn't necessarily work for me. Also, the book seemed largely geared toward young stay-at-home moms. I love reading about organisation and discovering new recipes but there were so. many. laundry examples!
That said - the author did provide a number of principles that would easily apply to most any situation; just use your imagination to make it fit to your life. I appreciated her emphasis on the freedom found in concentrating on one's current life stage. Goals and habits tend to be geared toward building toward a future better life but can distract from doing today well. This isn't to say that we shouldn't work toward future goals or life changes, but instead is a reminder that the future will take care of itself if I am faithful with the tiny, incremental steps I take today. Another principle I keep coming back to is one of her first ones: to make a decision once; i.e. to reduce decision friction (having a clothing 'uniform', having meal plans, etc). I think this is something I do intuitively but it's helpful to have it articulated.
The kicker for all of her principles – best articulated in the section on rest – is that a big part of streamlining your life or reducing friction comes by knowing what's actually important to you. For instance, I wonder if many find it hard to rest well because they aren't used to being in their own company, or find it uncomfortable not having the distracting swirl of busyness. Many of Kendra's prompts are geared toward the kind of self-reflection that should help you to let go of things that don't matter ('lazy') whilst building good systems to encourage things that *do* matter ('genius'). Chattiness aside, this kind of intentional self-reflection is a good thing.
What I love about Kendra Adachi is that she does not decide what is most important for you. She doesn’t tell you how you should be living your life. She doesn’t give you a formula or a system. In The Lazy Genius Way, Adachi gives you tools to help you figure that out for yourself. To often, self-help books try to force a “one size fits all” solution into lives and values that look completely different from one another. That is not the case here. If you are tired of hoping that the newest foolproof plan will fix your life, this is the book for you! If you need a mindset shift in your daily life, this book is for you! It’s practical and simple. She gives easy to remember principles and tips for making things that don’t matter easier in order to make room for what does matter. Adachi helps you focus on the essential things in life, and that is an invaluable tool!
I’m not in a season where I am reading a lot of productivity, optimize your life kind of books. I mean, all they’d really do is make me feel bad about myself because of our current season of postpartum depression + 3 little kids + *waves vaguely at the world*. But friends, let me tell you, this book isn’t your typical productivity, optimize your life kind of book. Kendra holds your hand as you figure out what matters to you and what doesn’t. She’s my adulting doula. If you’ve been around my socials for any length of time, y’all know we’re going through a TOUGH time. This book didn’t make me feel bad about myself and lack of productivity and life optimization. No. This book is filled with grace and felt like a hug. It was like Jerry from “Cheer” giving me a mat talk.
Maybe I’ve just read too many self-help books lately, but I found the advice presented in this book to be simple and obvious. I got kind of annoyed throughout waiting for ideas I hadn’t heard of or thought about before. However, it seems I am an outlier as most people who read this book really enjoyed it. That being said, I highly recommend Atomic Habits instead!
This is a book I wish I had 10 years ago when starting adult life on my own. I am easily overwhelmed by to-do lists and clutter and everyday tasks; I have a "caffeinated-squirrel brain;" I am not a natural organizer or planner; I am also a perfectionist. Kendra Adachi's 13 Lazy Genius principles are so basic, yet so life-changing for someone like me. (Bonus: the book is a fast read with a recap of points and a suggestion for one small step to take at the end of each chapter.)
By now, I've been able to learn ways to calm the chaos, so not all of her principles were new ideas to me. Yet all of them were great reminders.
Some favorite quotes:
"Routines are on-ramps to somewhere else, not destinations themselves."
"It's hard to choose your one thing when others are so passionate about theirs. . . . But here's the thing: you get to choose the best way to start your day. . . . If an activity doesn't prepare you for what matters to you, it's just noise."
"Deep relationships don't come from letting others into deep stuff only; deep relationships come from a willingness to let others into all of it.
An interaction doesn't count less because no one bared her soul—at least not in the way you might typically define it. You can bare your soul in ordinary, everyday moments too."
"Not everything has to be thoughtful. Some of your work can be automated for the sake of your time and energy, leaving those valuable resources for the pursuits you want to be thoughtful about."
"The more you choose what's essential and intentionally support what matters, the less noise you have to manage and the more energy you have for a fulfilling life."
"You add to feel satisfied, but it's an empty, fleeting satisfaction.
And now you have more noise to manage.
True fulfilment comes from subtraction, from removing everything that distracts you from what matters and leaving only what's essential."
Note: I had some theological disagreements with the chapter on the last principle, "Be kind to yourself." I would recast this principle to say "Be thankful for who God made you to be" or "Be thankful for how God has grown you thus far."
The Lazy Genius Way: "Be genius about the things that matter and lazy about the things that don't--- to you."
It's a pleasant, nurturing read that was only mildly useful. It's full of recycled ideas (James Clear's Atomic Habits, Greg Mckeown's Essentialism, Emily P. Freeman's the Next Right Thing) and I wonder if I might have benefited more from it had I not already read those books. I preferred to see more originality on a subject I've read so much about. All that to say, I found myself contemplating her thoughts, ideas and personal examples and how they might apply in my life. She speaks of...
STARTING SMALL, promoting movement. Decreasing the value you place on the supposed finish line.
LIVING IN THE SEASON, refusing to try and cram aspects of another season into your current season. Allowing each season to teach you things.
BUILDING THE APPROPRIATE ROUTINE and recognizing routine offers a soft place to land while functioning as an on ramp to something else entirely.
(RE)WRITING HOUSE RULES, choosing to favor connection over protection.
As Kendra states in the book, "you don't need a new list of things to do; you need a new way to see."
I actually really liked this one. Not every single one of her lazy genius principles were life-shattering AT ALL but I found so many practical and actionable items, when she talked about her own application of them, within this that I've already implemented to try and help get a handle on the chaos in my life. Definitely gave me a little inspiration to change some things.
I don't actually know who the author is (I looked her up afterwards) but had seen someone talking about this book on Instagram and was pleasantly surprised. I didn't realize it would be a little Jesus-y because I don't follow Kendra. It wasn't overwhelming to me personally and it didn't bother me but just FYI if that turns you off.
I particularly like the principles of "decide once" and "set house rules". I've already implemented little things based on those two. For example, with how I go about meal planning and a new house rule that any time I walk up the stairs I have to grab one thing off the steps (where everything that needs to go upstairs inevitably ends up in purgatory) to go up with me.
Short, easy to read. Like the actionable items in it.