- Next trainer development cohort 10th - 14th June 2024

The Lazy Test

22nd September, 2021

The Lazy Test

It took me a while to figure it out.


You see, like many families we have a whole drawer stuffed with water bottles of various shapes and sizes.


Big ones. Small ones. Fat ones. Thin ones.


My objective favourite is a tall glass one (left, below) – Scandinavian in design, minimalist, weighty. Its water is even ‘artesian’ (whatever that is).


But the one I always choose, and the one the rest of my family fight me for, is a £2.99 plastic sports bottle (on the right). It’s not exactly a looker now, is it?


And it took me a while to figure out that it was sheer laziness making us choose it time and time again.


You see, the sports bottle doesn’t have a screw top. You can yank it open with your teeth and start drinking straight away.


Yes, we’re that lazy it turns out. (And before you get all judgy, do you have a favourite bottle too?! Do you pass the lazy test?)


But entrepreneurs and marketers have exploited our slothfulness for years. Many of the best business ideas, and their marketing, show people how they can be lazier. You know the ones:


  • ‘No more scrubbing – try ScaleBegone!’
  • ‘Get a 6-pack without ever going to the gym!’
  • ‘Tired of chopping? NEW – pre-prepared veg boxes!’


And effective communication helps people be bone idle too – it needs to pass the lazy test. So, if you:


  • want a meeting in a busy person’s diary, offer dates and times to choose from
  • need to share a lot of information, include an executive summary and a conclusion and/or steer them directly to the relevant parts
  • want people to read and act on your emails, keep them to 80 words or under (a lot less than you think)


And whenever you’re trying to sell an idea, product or service, highlight the parts that make people’s lives easier. It’s an easy way to get your audience to sit up and listen.

University of Cambridge


- Next trainer development cohort 10th - 14th June 2024

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