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- Would you like to work half your hours but still receive all your pay?
- Do you wish you had more time for reading books and catching up on your RSS feeds?
- Do you have projects underway or in mind that you can’t find time to work on?
- Do you work for a large profit based organisation?
- Do you wish you could slack at work more but can’t figure out how?
If you answered yes to any of these questions then you my friend, are working too hard. In this 5 part series I wish to discuss why you need to spend less effort working and more time furthering your own agenda, on company time.
Becoming a Productive Slacker
Does the idea of being a slacker or having a poor work ethic conflict with you? It does with me, but the older I get the more I realise just how precious time is. I wouldn’t work at all if I didn’t have too, I spent years trying to ‘climb the ladder’, consuming vast amounts of time and energy and for what?
That being said I’m only 27, I haven’t worked for a company longer then 3 years and I now – unknown to my employer of course – actively work less then half of my paid hours. The other half of my time is spent on activities I would be doing if my lifestyle didn’t require me to be working.
What took me years to realise (though I’m glad I’ve realised now and not 10 years down the track!) was that these organisations I have worked hard for are simply money making machines. There is no altruism involved. Managers that I’ve strived to impress don’t care about my personal growth; they just want to look good to their superiors. Hell, people can even just move on – was all that energy spent ‘networking’ or ‘building relationships’ for the sake of moving up really worth it? At work, aside from personal friends, the only one that really cares about my needs is me.
Will it matter in 10 years?
Studies of high level executives show that a large percentage will reach a certain age where they step back and reassess their lives. They ask questions like have the last 10 years of my life made any actual difference to humanity or the lives of those that I love the most? Who am I? Where am I going? And what do I really want? The information is there for us to see now, we just need to internalise it.
The power of denial is massive for us humans, admitting to yourself that what you’ve done for the last 10 years is a painful and confrontational thought. We’re very good at self-preservation and would much rather believe what we do has meaning and that we make a difference.
Understand: your company does not care about you. You are not indespensible. Corporations spend a fortune figuring out techniques geared towards emotionally investing you in the company. This is done with the agenda of making you care about the company so that you will then; work harder, feel bad about slacking and see a correlation between the company’s success and your success as an individual.
Don’t let yourself be tricked. Even if you only work half of your paid time you are still being under compensated for your time. You owe it to yourself to invest as much time as possible to your own personal growth.
Chances are that what you consider meaningful probably doesn’t align with the function you serve in your organisation. It won’t be profitable and thus, in the organisations interest to allow you to fulfil your individual needs for growth and meaning. That is why you need to be sneaky.
Obviously actually doing this needs to be given some thought and being caught could have potential serious consequences. In the following articles I will discuss practical methods for achieving this without being caught. But for now and before proceeding I encourage you to think hard and truly consider these questions:
- Do my company and management truly care about my needs?
- If I continue with the same actions and beliefs how will I feel in 10 years?
- Will I have satifaction for my achievments or regret for wasted time?
- Do I undervalue my time just because my company does?
Continue to Part 2: Don’t Work Too Fast