Lazy loading

 The view along the coast from a short hike the other weekend. From where I sit now, it’s hard to tell the difference between the birds in the sky and the specks on my screen.

The view along the coast from a short hike the other weekend. From where I sit now, it’s hard to tell the difference between the birds in the sky and the specks on my screen.

Lazy loading is a favorite notion of mine. It goes like this:

Lazy loading is a design pattern commonly used in computer programming to defer initialization of an object until the point at which it is needed. It can contribute to efficiency in the program's operation if properly and appropriately used.

I use the phrase all the time. Especially at work, where talking with engineers is a big part of my job. But also just in my head.

At work: Oh, I bet we could lazy-load that decision. Meaning: let’s only worry about it once it comes up.

At home, in my head: I’ll lazy-load taking those boxes out to recycling—I can do it just before my friend shows up tomorrow. Meaning: I don’t want to do it now! But I’m sure I can do it later if I need to.

Reflecting just now on where “lazy-load” comes in handy, I realized I basically use it as a synonym for procrastinate. It’s just a way of talking about procrastination that makes me feel satisfied and smart, rather than bad and—well, lazy.

The truth underneath lazy loading is that not everything can happen at once. Some things will happen now, and some will happen later. So, might as well do them in a sensible order.

Diana Berlin