People sometimes ask me what a typical day is like for me at work… Well, I generally come in at least fifteen minutes late. I use the side door–that way my boss can’t see me. And after that, I sort of space out for an hour. Yeah, I just stare at my desk, but it looks like I’m working. I do that for probably another hour after lunch too. I’d say in a given week I probably only do about fifteen minutes of real, actual work.
That’s a quote from Office Space, by the way. If you didn’t recognize it, you should immediately re-watch it! It’s funny because it’s true. What about you… Are you actually working hard at work? Or are you working hard at looking like you’re working?
Some people are busy because they are filling the time with tedious activity. Try it out: Fiddle with margins and fonts all day on a simple document, and if anyone bothers you just tell them to leave you alone because you’re obviously super busy. It’s also very effective to randomly walk around the office at a fast pace from room to room. There’s a different between being busy and productive. Make sure you’re actually getting things done when you work, not just keeping occupied.
Or maybe you’ve put in your time already and feel like you can just coast on your accomplishments. So what?” you might ask, “I’m already at the top of my game so I don’t even need to actually put in work.” Guess what? If others out there are actually working while you’re not, they are going to catch up to you. Watch out, because that co-worker who’s gunning for your job might actually get it. And the competitor who you beat you out might steal that client back from you. In effect, you’re actually getting worse while others are getting better.
But you can do something about it! Stop just spinning your wheels trying to stay busy. Actively work on growing yourself, and getting better at what you do. Invest in YOU. Work on yourself while you work at your job.
Work on your work!