Quite a few people seemed to enjoy my first article about Doing Nothing at Work, so I figured I would follow it up with even more ways to get even less done.
- Watch Your Back: If you work an office where your workstation is a cubical, stick a couple of those mirrors that you can get for lockers (you know the ones, they have magnets on the back) to the wall of your cubical. Position them in such a way that with a quick glance you will be able to see down your row. out your door, whatever. This trick will enable you to easily keep tabs on who is coming up behind you, whether you want to watch out for your boss, annoying co-workers, or the gorgeous new chick from accounting.
- Steaming Cup of Coffee: Employ a Fake Cup of Coffee 3000 from the Bud Lite Institute. If you have a steaming cup of coffee on your desk at all times, people will assume you’re at work but just out of the office at the moment.
- Never Let People Know When You Work: I once worked at a call center where is was common for everyone to write their shift hours on a whiteboard that was on their desk. This is a terrible idea as everyone will know exactly when to find you. You should try not to post your shift times anywhere public. A better idea is to simply post the wrong shift, preferably having the hours start and end after you’ve already gone home. Please use caution: this may work on co-workers, but you boss can always find out what your shift is.
- Be a Jerk: People are less likely to approach you for anything if you have a jackass stigma attached to you. Beware though, this may end up backfiring on you down the road.
- Join a Committee: Join as many committees at work as possible, as long as you know that they meet during work time. The best ones to join are the Social, Charity, or Health and Safety committees because you have to meet often (usually monthly, or even every 2 weeks), and you normally don’t have to do a whole lot of actual work.
At an old job, I was a “Fire Marshal” which meant that every month I met with all the other Fire Marshals and we went over the fire exits, what to do in case of an emercency, etc. That took about 5 minutes, so after that we just sat around and talked for an hour or two.
- Hide in Plain Sight: If you have the ability, choose a new desk or cubical to sit at every day. This will make it harder for your manager/co-workers to find you and delegate work.
- Pass The Buck: If your boss approaches you with any project, try to convince them that you are much too busy with your current workload, and see if the work could be passed onto someone else to complete. This may seem a bit low, but we’re talking about doing work here!
- If Self Employed, Justify Laziness: If you are self-employed you can still accomplish way less than you’re supposed to, though it’s a bit more difficult. If you’re your own boss, chances are that you are already a hard-working individual (if so, why are you reading this?), but you might be able to accomplish less in a day by convincing yourself that other things are more important: have you spent enough time at the golf course or gym to warrant that membership? Your wife/girlfriend always need more attention, so why not plan a day trip.. on a Monday? Have you wanted to paint your office for a while, but just haven’t got it done? Well, hire a contractor to paint it (did you think i was going to suggest painting it yourself? Ha!). While painting, you obviously can’t work in your office, so see one of the earlier suggestions.
- Work From Home: Set up your browser or PDA to access your email from home. If you leave a jacket over your chair at work, and your computer on all night, you can send emails just as though you were sitting at your desk. Wake up and send out a flurry of emails at 7AM, go back to sleep until about 10, then sneak into work. Via: Mark
- Extra Off-Site Meetings: If you work with outside clients at all, put a lot of extra off-site ‘meetings with clients’ on your calendar. Via: Mark
- Fake a Phone Call: If you hear someone coming to your cube, pick up the phone and start speaking angrily into it, like you’ve been listening to some annoying doof for awhile and you’ve just had it with his excuses for not helping you get your project done. Via: Mark
- Know who to blame: Prepare a ‘blame list’ showing how it’s everyone else’s fault your project isn’t done. Make sure this is reflected in your project reports. Via: Mark
- Power of Disguise: Always keep an Excel Spreadsheet minimized in the tray so that when you hear someone coming towards your office (or cubicle) you can always maximize the window just before the person enters the room, and that DOES look like you’re doing some pretty complicated things! Tip: Insert a couple of graphs in there! Via: Nathan
- Use an ‘Email Time Machine’: If you’re using Outlook for email you can schedule emails to be sent at a later time, this is great because you can make it look like you’re working some God awful hours on a project when all you’ve done is programmed the emails to be sent when you’re not in the office. Via: Jimmy R’eh
- Two keys are all you need: [alt]+[tab] Via: Sue Donim
- Get Virtual: A Virtual Desktop Manager will allow you to set up several Desktop views. I suggest setting up 3 work-related desktops and a single ‘play’ desktop simply because when trying to find the right desktop under pressure (boss working towards you), you will NEVER click the right one first. You can get virtual desktops for Windows, and Mac. KDE and Gnome on Linux have a virtual desktop manager built in, and if you use linux command line, employ screen.
Well, there you have it. It’s up to you if you want to use these tricks to get out of work, but if you do and get caught, don’t come crying to me! Oh, and please don’t flame my comments, this really is just a joke.