The One with the Genial Laziness

Kendra Adachi, The Lazy Genius Way: Embrace What Matters, Ditch What Doesn’t, and Get Stuff Done (2020)

I was genuinely excited when I heard from Instagram and podcasts that this book was out, as I’m following its author on social media. I received it at the end of year, started almost immediately the first few pages, and then… I put it on a shelf where it lingered for months. It didn’t stop me from watching some more IG videos and listening to her podcast, but I had some difficulty to sustain the bubbly enthusiasm of Kendra Adachi when reading it on paper. I bet the audio-book experience is much more fun, as I realize much of what makes the message interesting is in Kendra Adachi’s personality.

The principles behind the catchy sentence of “Lazy Genius” are simple enough. They focus on women (especially mothers, but not only) who are perfectionists and are on the eternal quest for the one miracle step-by-step routine to have it all together. And when they fail they blame themselves and go to the next system. But Kendra Adachi reminds us that it is not the “how” but the “why” that makes a routine successful.

What I enjoyed:

  • the friendly and humorous voice
  • the author is not prescriptive but lets every reader defines her own priorities, her method is suited to almost every situation or phase of life
  • there are some very moving pages about authenticity
  • the book is both practical and philosophical
  • I’ve tried it and it works (which is the whole point, I guess)

What I didn’t enjoy so much:

  • the target reader is an American Christian suburban stay-at-home mother, and I’m definitely not in those categories, so many examples didn’t talk to me, but the principles are still applicable
  • the book seem to repeat itself at some points, it’s the kind of read that is best when you dip in and out for a quick few pages once in a while
  • too religious in the few last chapters, I didn’t come for that
  • many ideas are not fundamentally new or ground-breaking per se, I guess that it’s the combination of them that make this system successful

I’m afraid this is once more a case of expectations set too high, especially for books written by bloggers / podcasters / social media influencers. It doesn’t make the book terribly bad, and I’ll probably follow some of its advice, but I’d have been content with the Cliffnotes version, or a long Youtube video series. Still, a comforting self-help book which proves useful without being judgmental is well worth a quick read.

2 thoughts on “The One with the Genial Laziness

  1. I’ve listened to a few episodes of her podcasts and enjoyed them very much – and subscribed. But I wondered how it would translate to a book. I kinda figured you might get all you needed from podcast. Sounds like that’s the case. Thanks for introducing me to her.

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