Slacking Tips for Work #6: When is it Time to Stop Working?

Sorry for the lack of original content lately. I’ve been busy with other projects and the past day or two struggling to figure out what original content I could provide. I don’t want to just drown you guys in republishings of great anti-work content even if it is pretty great (in my opinion of course…).

So here’s a general question for us slackers: When is it time to stop working?

When do you know to stop? How do you know that you’ve given too much effort?

This question isn’t just good for us slackers. Of course it has perhaps more relevance in some ways since we might be more predisposed to stop quicker than others in some scenarios that require more energy then we are willing to give (which is very much an overly vilified thing in my biased opinion). If we don’t know when to stop then we’re probably going to use way more energy then we intended to use and may find ourselves drained when it is time for the next lackadaisical interest we have.

When I worked at Kohl’s I took a fairly basic approach:

  • Do I feel tired?
  • Do my legs feel like they could use a break?
  • Am I feeling annoyed at someone or something?

If any of these things (and I am sure there were other factors too that I am not remembering but those are the first that come to my mind) I would either sit down immediately (if possible) or I would try to find a place to hide from bosses and brown-nosing co-workers.Most of the time I remember being able to sit down within five minutes of any (or all) of these feelings. Again, I was pretty lucky in that I worked in a fairly big retail store and thus my likelihood of being able to take a break may not reflect your own.

But the larger and more important point here is what you use to determine that you need to take a break from your work. That may be more important than the likelihood of the break so that, in the future, you can learn what to watch for and try to either avoid that sort of specific work entirely, minimize it when possible or something else.

Of course it doesn’t need to be your legs but in retail given the amount of shit you have to carry and the distance you gotta go in big-ish stores like the one I worked in, it makes sense to put it on the top of your list. And sitting down for a minute two can even be sometimes understood by co-workers, though I wouldn’t advise counting on it. Trying to do some mindless busy work was always my go-to thing to make it seem to everyone (customers, bosses, co-workers) that, hey he’s sitting down for a reason. I don’t know if I ever fooled anyone (I doubt it) but almost no one ever gave me crap about it and that was the important thing to me. I got to rest myself and be lazy

But for you you may not be able to just simply sit down or hide away from others. And you may not even be able to do mindless busy work that rests your body or gives your mind a break (hopefully!) from the drudgery you are engaged in. So what can you do in that case?

Some ideas could be to use the restroom. The ol’ “I have been having stomach issues lately” may do the trick. I don’t know from personal use as I never really used that excuse and only used the bathroom as a stall (heh) device a few times. Typically it wasn’t necessary for me because I could just use the store itself instead of relying on the bathroom or anything else. Still, when I called out because I had a “groin injury” (and I used these terms exactly – and it was true!) I didn’t get any calls about it afterwards (and I did this twice – both legitimate). So I definitely think there is potential here.

Otherwise it is always possible to not care at all and just drop what you are doing. If anyone asks you could feign and injury or speak plainly and honestly that you need a break for a second. You’ll probably get some BS comment about this or that but ideally you won’t get even reprimanded let alone fired for it. That’s obviously the riskier option of the ones I’ve mentioned thus far but it’s there if you are desperate and see no other way out. Or if you just don’t care.

My problem/solution was that I almost didn’t care. The only thing that kept me from caring was my paycheck which was really the only thing that kept me from stop working. With the exception of feeling OCD about this or that or just feeling like I should get a given task done just because I started it. Taking away those things and maybe one or two other things I for the most part tried to work on my own terms as much as possible. That meant sitting down when I wanted as much as possible, going to back rooms, sitting behind fixtures or even using the bathroom for a marginally extended times. I had various tactics and I wouldn’t say that any of them will work for anyone but hopefully they can be of some use.

However, if you don’t care then the options become fairly limitless to you. As long as you know what you are doing, risking and are willing to risk it and do it then the sky (AKA being fired) is the limit. Okay, so there will still probably be limits for you but hopefully your slacker instincts will carry you through at the end of the day. By that I mean your instincts or intuitions about when you should slack off and when you shouldn’t. The atmosphere around you, the people around you, the things you can do or hide behind and so on help determine when it is the right time to tell the boss to fuck off.

Slacking ain’t easy, but boy is it rewarding sometimes.

Happy slacking!

One thought on “Slacking Tips for Work #6: When is it Time to Stop Working?

  1. Pingback: The (Lazy) 100th Post Spectacular! | Abolish Work

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