Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Seven habits of highly effective slackers

To help others become effective slackers, here are the seven habits of highly effective slackers:

1. Don't volunteer yourself for anything. Whether a request comes via email or in a meeting, don't ever get yourself involved in something that isn't mandatory. If no one else volunteers, they'll eventually assign someone. Until they do, bank on the fact that a go-getter will jump at the opportunity and fail miserably. Getting yourself into non-mandatory activities only threatens to reduce your free time, or even worse, increase your physical hours at work. The one exception is actual volunteer work. Anything that gets you out of the office is ok in the effective slacker handbook.

2. Always send emails when making a request to another employee. Others at the office love to schedule 30 - 60 minute meetings to make sure "everything is covered" or to schedule a "kickoff" or "walkthrough" before handing off an "action item" to another employee. Using these tactics ultimately lead to schedules packed with unnecessary meetings. An empty outlook calendar is the true sign of a highly effective slacker. Emails that end with "if you have any questions or concerns feel free to contact me" are basically a legal disclaimer that translate to "I sent it to you. If it doesn't get done and I'm not aware of you not getting it done, or your inability to not get it done, it's your fault, not mine." Many experts disagree and advise personal conversation. 90% of your work does not require personal conversation.

3. Never inform people that you finish things early. Delivering on time is just as good. There's no reason to be over ambitious. Getting things done early is highly recommended but only for your own advantage. For example, when forced into meetings, try to listen closely during the first portion of the meeting. You can usually clue in on what the "action items" are and complete them before the end of the meeting. Highly organized people will be in charge of determining the timeline for your "deliverables". They are usually completely clueless and they'll give you way too much time to complete the item. When you find out they just gave you three days on an item you already completed, it is highly imperative to keep your mouth shut. Finding out you just received three days to do absolutely nothing is like waking up on Christmas morning as a child and finding Nintendo's Rad Racer under the tree.

4. Follow the instructions on How to sneak out of the office early (and often). Not being at work doesn't make you less effective. You already finished everything.

5. Never skip lunch or eat lunch at your desk. Even eating at the corporate cafeteria is dangerous. Eating lunch at your desk is like landing on Free Parking and not taking the cash in the middle. Your employer is obligated to give you a lunch break. Leave. Staying at your desk could not only result in working during the lunch hour but it may also result in additional afternoon work. The less hours you are present at the office, the less likely you are of obtaining unneeded additional work. Most requests that come during the lunch hour are very low priority items that eventually fall off the map if you're unavailable. If you're feeling lucky, try the 2 hour lunch.

6. Never allow others to take credit for your work. Go-getters and other related types of employees love to take credit for other people's work. As an incredibly lazy member of your office, you need to ensure that all of your work is credited to you. Your deliverables are all you have because it's the only work you do between the internet browsing and coin flips for cold beverages in the break room. Without your impressive deliverables you are the the guy who takes long lunches and is next in line for being laid off. To prevent go-getters from taking credit for your work, CAP them. Sending a threatening email in all caps is enough to scare most corporate employees from bad behavior.

7. On especially lazy days, if your office has wifi, book a conference room with other effective slackers (probably your Work Posse) for the entire day. Bring your laptops in and your workday pretty much consists of vulgar conversation, keeping up on incoming emails, and about 4 hours of determining who can throw a paper airplane the furthest on the FlightSimX Paperplane Game.




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