Even if you have the greatest job in the world, no one wants to be working constantly. The unfortunate reality is that most of us will spend the majority of our lives working, just to pay for the 20% of time we get to ourselves. Here are some tips for how you can avoid doing work, while actually at work…
1. Random Errands of Kindness
While errands like getting coffee and buying more cups for the water cooler are typically delegated to the office intern, they aren’t always available. Thankfully, you’re bored and don’t feel like working! Of course, it’s important to make sure someone more bored than you doesn’t beat you to it. Tips include monitoring how much paper is left in the printer, calculating how many cups of coffee your boss goes through in a day, and checking the date when the office milk expires.
2. Bathroom Break
Have you ever thought about how many minutes in a work day you get paid for just excreting bodily fluids? I have, for me it’s about 15 minutes. That’s over an hour per week I’m paid for just sitting on the toilet, thinking about life’s biggest questions:
What is the meaning of life? Who shot JFK? Why did I have Indian food for lunch?
Be careful though, any more than 20 minutes a day and your boss might get suspicious. That, and you should probably see a doctor.
3. Take an Urgent Call from a Family Member
Those of you with moral fiber may not want to pretend you have a family emergency to get out of work, lest it actually occurs, but even the meanest boss will understand why you have to take a call from your mom in the middle of the day. Why else would she be calling unless there is a real emergency?
Little does your boss know that the ‘Mom’ in your contacts is actually your best friend, who’s calling to discuss last night’s episode of Game of Thrones.
4. Cleaning Dishes
It’s only Wednesday, and the office kitchen is already a mess. The cleaner doesn’t come until Friday afternoon, so someone has to do something… but who? You raise your hand confidently....
Washing dishes can actually be fun. Well, more fun than cold-calling or emailing clients. Plus, you can’t pretend it doesn’t feel good to ‘accidentally’ throw away the lunch of your nemesis – that colleague who reported you for sleeping at your desk. Which brings me to number four…
5. SleepingThis can be a risky tactic. Unless you have your own office or one of those giant office chairs, it can be hard to get away with this.
I recommend dark sunglasses, and if anyone asks why you’re wearing them inside, you have a headache and the harsh fluorescent lighting is making you feel nauseated. Report your ‘medical condition’ to HR to really cover yourself, and enjoy the midday nap.
6. Prepare for an Emergency
Every office needs an evacuation plan in case of an emergency, just like you need a good excuse to avoid working. Take a few hours to draw a floor plan that indicates the office exits; photocopy and laminate it; plaster it all over the office.
This is an easy task, and the boss will appreciate your initiative and forward thinking. If you want to help everyone in the office get out of work, organize a fire drill. Wear a hard hat at all times so people know you’re serious.
7. Write for the Company Blog
This is my fail-safe. In fact, it’s what I’m doing right now. Whenever I get bored at work, I volunteer to write an article for our company blog.
You can pretty much write about whatever you want, and it can actually be quite fun. I did loads of research for this article in particular.
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