I used to tell people that I'm the laziest productive person you'll ever meet. I'm great at giving the impression that I “do a lot of stuff” but the truth is, my business is held together with automations and my awesome team of contractors.

When I understood that I'm designed to operate this way, I stopped calling myself “lazy.” This is usually a word given to people who:

  • Find shortcuts
  • Prioritize their body's needs
  • Are managing their mental health

Some ways you might believe you're lazy:

  • Manifestor ➡ Outsourcing and telling other people what to do instead of doing it yourself.
  • Manifesting Generator ➡ Simplifying what needs to be done, multi-tasking, or finding an easier way to get the same result
  • Generator ➡ Spending a lot of time focusing on the foundational steps.
  • Projector ➡ Writing courses, books, or “one to many” products and limiting 1:1 clients.
  • Reflector ➡ Outsourcing minor decision making to a team or OBM.

Spoiler: Doing any of these things is likely to be part of your Human Design.

In today's post, we'll explore the Root Center, which processes pressure in the body. When we're working with the right kind of pressure, we make magic (think: putting the right amount of liquid in a pressure cooker) but when we're conditioned by the wrong kind of pressure, we freeze up/explode (think: pressure cooker burnt due to lack of liquid).

This post will help shed some light on how to alleviate those feelings of, “I'm just lazy,” by understanding how your Human Design processes the stress to be productive.

Finding Your Root Center

Head over to myBodygraph and grab a copy of your Human Design chart.

Look for the center all the way at the bottom of your chart (it may or may not be colored in).

Root Center Human Design

Fun fact: Both the root and head (the center all the way at the top of the bodygraph) are pressure centers. Richard Rudd once described the human body as a giant “pressure sandwich.”

The Defined Root Center

If your root center is colored in, it's known as “defined.” This means that you constantly feel the “pressure cooker” energy and it may be difficult to “turn it off.”

Your defined root center, when healthy, can feel like:

  • Doing your best work when “under pressure.”
  • Acknowledging the perfect “amount” of stress for yourself.
  • Pressuring other people, but knowing when to hold back.

When your defined root gets caught in the “not-self,” it can feel like:

  • Suppressing your ambition to please others or so you don't come off as “annoying.”
  • Pushing other people away because you're expecting them to deal with pressure the same way you do.
  • Explosive anger/frustration/bitterness/disappointment. Think of a bottle of soda that gets shaken up and shaken up with no way to release the pressure until… woosh.

Experiment with this for your defined root center:

“Active work” versus “passive work.” I learned this concept from Naima last year. Active work is work that actively takes energy. This is usually work were you have to fully be “present” without distractions. Passive work is more laid-back.


  • Active work: Writing a blog post.
  • Passive work: Scrolling social media to find blog post ideas.
  • Active work: Writing a proposal for a potential client.
  • Passive work: Commenting on social media posts for potential leads.

Try coming up with a list of active work and passive work so when you need to switch gears, you can still ride the pressure wave without feeling guilty of “working less.” Think of it as working differently.

The Undefined Root Center

The undefined root center is “not colored in” in the bodygraph. This means that you do not constantly feel pressure, unless the planets (yes, transits are a thing in Human Design) or someone with a defined root center conditions you.

Remember: Conditioning is not a “bad thing.” We are always being conditioned by something. The idea is to acknowledge the conditioning and be aware of how it manifests in our life.

Your undefined root center, when healthy, can feel like:

  • Setting boundaries and denying people who want you to make a decision quickly (like people who do “high pressure” sales tactics).
  • Acknowledging adrenaline rushes, without needing it or being afraid of it.
  • Working on your own schedule or ahead of the deadline.

The “deadline” can go both ways… if you enjoy the adrenaline rush of doing something at the last minute and it fuels your creativity, go for it!

If the idea of a looming deadline makes you tense/freeze up, it's worth exploring how to get things done before the deadline or question if the deadline is reasonable. (Don't let other people pressure you into accepting tight deadlines if it feels wrong).

When your undefined root gets caught in the “not-self,” it can feel like:

  • A rushed frenzy to meet a deadline or to knock everything out at once.
  • Making decisions out of other people pressuring you instead of through your authority.
  • Constant feeling of working in a chaotic frenzy – “doing a lot, but getting little done.”
  • Feels guilty about taking time off.

Experiment with this for your undefined root center:

Track your work hours. Seriously. You probably have no idea how much you really do or how long it takes. Tracking how much time you spend on each task can help you pace yourself or determine if more/less should be added to your day to day.

There are two ways you can do this:

  • Track time as you go. I use Toggl to track my hours and then review, at the end of the day, how I spent my time. This helped me reconcile feelings of “got nothing done today.”
  • Pre-schedule your time in blocks. I love Sunsama (referral link) for this because I can schedule tasks and determine exactly how long it takes for that task to be done. This prevents me from overbooking. It also synchronizes with my Google Cal and accounts for those hours.
Image (c) Todoist.

If you do content marketing and you're struggling with the pressure of getting it out into the world, I recommend checking out Brittany Berger‘s blog or subscribing to her “Work Brighter” newsletter. I'm someone who struggles with mental health and physical health limitations, so it's inspiring to see Brittany speak so candidly about ableism and how to create alternative workarounds.

Your fellow passenger,
Fiona Wong