Do you hate your job? Do you get bored easily? Whatever the reason, you need ways to look like you're getting something accomplished while actually doing nothing at all. Here are some easy ways for you to look busy with zero effort!
1. Keep a coffee mug at your desk
People drink coffee because they’re tired and need energy. When your coworkers and boss see you sipping some java, they’ll assume you need the boost because you’ve been working so hard that your natural energy reserves have been depleted.
2. Wear glasses, whether or not you need them
Seriously. Glasses make people look busier and smarter, so not only will your boss think that you’re working hard, he or she will also think that your work is of higher quality.
3. If your job requires a calculating device, use it frequently
Make sure that you’re using it in a conspicuous enough manner that it’s noticed by passersby, but not so loudly that you’re that guy everyone else hates. If you look like you’re making important calculations, then for all intents and purposes you are making important calculations.
4. Stay very focused on your computer screen
This trick will make you look like you’re really absorbed in something, and since your boss knows you’re a model employee, you’re obviously carefully reviewing some key work documents. There’s no other possibility, right?
5. Write things on Post-it notes or a whiteboard
You can write numbers, doodle, or make a shopping list, but the key here is to look like the information you’re jotting down is related to one of the projects you’re working on. Your boss will be none the wiser.
6. Keep some papers on your desk that you can shuffle around
This will accomplish two things. First of all, the papers across your desk will create the illusion that you’re working on many different tasks. Secondly, the act of looking through your papers proves to your coworkers that you’ve got important things to do.
7. Don’t respond to people when they call your name
This only works up to a certain point; you can’t ignore someone once their voice gets past a certain level. However, if you let someone say your name two or three times before responding, they’ll think that you’re so concentrated on your work that you can’t hear them.
8. The more phone calls you can field, the better
The key here is that these phone calls can NOT be personal calls. That’s just asking for trouble. Work-related calls, however, are always acceptable. If it’s a slow day and no one is dialing your number, call your work phone from your cell phone (hidden below your desk, of course) and fake an extremely important call about the report you have coming up.
9. Leave work-related programs running on your computer when you’re not at your desk
You can slack off while you’re on the move! But, before you leave your desk, make sure you’ve got a spreadsheet or related document pulled up so that your boss will think that you’re just taking a quick bathroom break in the middle of working hard.
10. Have antacids or other digestive aids stationed strategically at your desk
While you don’t need them, these will give people the impression that you’re working so hard that your physical health is suffering slightly. Your boss may even tell you to slow it down!
11. When you’re up and about, make sure you walk at a brisk pace
If people see you moving around looking like you’ve got somewhere to be or something important to take care of, they’ll automatically assume that you’re so busy that you don’t have time to walk as slow as normal people. You’ll be sure to impress your boss with your dedication to efficiency too.
12. Always carry a binder or a stack of papers wherever you go.
Empty-handedness is a sure sign of a slacking employee. If you’re holding onto some papers or a project file, you can go over to someone else’s desk to talk about last night’s baseball game or the newest episode of “The Bachelor” and still look like you’re discussing important work matters.
13. Ask your boss and coworkers smart questions
Asking questions makes it seem like you’re thinking about unique ways to tackle whatever project or assignment you’re working on. Just make sure that you don’t ask too many questions and that they’re not silly, otherwise you just come off as an airhead.
14. Schedule meetings with your coworkers to secretly talk about things completely unrelated to work
As long as your bring your laptops or some pertinent documents, from outside the conference room you’ll look like you’re going over numbers from the latest deal your team closed. In reality, you’re working out a three-way trade in your fantasy football league.
15. Stay hydrated and healthy by drinking water all day long
This actually gives you two incredibly valid reasons to be away from your desk. The first is that you really do need water for your health, and being healthy will lead to you doing better at your job. The second reason is that you’ll keep having to go to the bathroom, which is a perfectly acceptable reason to be away from your desk.