Over a decade ago, I read about a condition where you love to solve the intricacies of a challenging problem or issue but can't be bothered to actually do the work to implement or prove it. Is this an actual condition? If so what is it called?

Edit: They are fully capable of doing the nitty gritty work as long as it is challenging. Work that often nobody around is capable of doing. They would lose interest after achieving their goal of finding a solution and would be on the hunt for the next challenge.

  • I’m not sure what you mean. Do you have an example? How do you solve an intricate problem without “doing the work”? Commented Jun 25, 2020 at 13:40
  • At the moment, I can only think in terms of programming. Let's say there is a complicated new system to implement. This person would jump to at the problem and offer a working tested solution but won't be willing to actually implement it into the system due to loss of interest. Commented Jun 25, 2020 at 21:41
  • I agree with @Xanne. I don't see how you can enjoy solving problems without actually, you know, solving them. For me, programming was always fun because the process was so engrossing, and the harder I had to work the more rewarding it was to solve the problems.
    – Robusto
    Commented Jun 25, 2020 at 21:56
  • @Robusto that person would definitely solve it but won't work on "boring" bits Commented Jun 25, 2020 at 22:07
  • @mohsinraza Well, imagine that your dishwasher is broken. "Solving the intricacies" means figuring out what the cause of the problem is (say, pinpointing which part is broken). "Actually doing the work" means implementing the solution to the problem (say, taking the broken part out and installing a new one). Commented Jun 25, 2020 at 23:51

4 Answers 4


Since "you love to solve the intricacies of a challenging problem or issue", I think it's not so much about laziness, but maybe something about the process of analyzing the intricacies of the challenging problem that leads to what you describe as "can't be bothered to actually do the work to implement or prove it".

Perhaps it is a case of analysis paralysis, which can be described as:

Analysis paralysis refers to a situation in which an individual or group is unable to move forward with a decision as a result of overanalyzing data or overthinking a problem.

If the "can't be bothered" part of your question is important, then maybe it's not so much of analysis paralysis, as that the person is a big picture thinker, who loves to think in terms of the big picture, but doesn't enjoy working out the details. Hence, they may be accused of not being detail-oriented, etc.

Big picture thinking can be defined as:

the ability to come up with ideas, solutions and opportunities. Big thinkers see possibilities and jump on opportunities. They are willing to take risks because they see the chance to make big gains.



a condition of complete inactivity or laziness. Only an extremely forceful stimulant can induce a reaction from a person in such a condition.

"The patient's torpor condition is to blame for his lethargy."

Also less frequently: acedia.

psychologydictionary.org and wikipedia.org respectivley.

  • I don't know why this was upvoted, it's clearly not a fit for the question. Commented Apr 30 at 15:18

I note you are British English, so a new word, "Mycroftism," might fit the bill. For those not of your background, Mycroft was Sherlock Holmes' older brother who was even better than he at detailed analysis but was too lazy to follow it up (or precede it) with investigation.

  • Please read the site recommendations. ELU deals with established usages (and SE in general on matters that can be ratified), so suggestions of DIY candidate words (real words need currency) are inappropriate. Would Mycroftism mean extremely high-functioning extreme sociopathy? A desire to be the power behind the throne? How could one decide? Ask Conan-Doyle? Commented Jul 3, 2020 at 16:38

I'm not really sure what you mean because you have not given any example.

It could be Conscientiousness, executive dysfunction, or pipe dream.

Try armchair scientist.

Or could it be unambitious/unmotivated?

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