I don’t think I’m much different from everyone else.
I just want to somehow have a lot of money and take a lot of vacations with very little effort involved, on my part, in getting that cash.
*Poof* One hundred million dollars in my pocket like magic.
Wouldn’t that be nice.
Well that’s never going to happen. So I’m stuck earning a living and building that cash flow one dollar at a time.
This totally goes against every lazy instinct I have. My soul says “watch some tv” while my brain says “do your work”.
“So how do you do a good job, get work done, and stay lazy?”
I’m glad you asked. I have narrowed my strategy down to a science. A thing of beauty one might say.
You Only Need to Do One Thing
Do it the best you can the very first time.
I know, I know. That’s so stupid. I knew that already.
Yes. OK, but do you actually do it?
I Tricked You. Sorry
You actually have to do a few things. But if I told you that, you may not have read any further. Especially if you’re lazy.
So I’ll keep it simple with just 3 steps.
Prepare ahead of time: If you have a specific way of doing things or if your company has a guide on how to handle certain tasks or situations, then it makes sense to spend the little bit of time getting prepped now than to spend more time later.
For example: I have to give out home exercise programs when someone’s therapy is coming to an end. Each one has to be personalized but generally the exercises we send home are standard. So I make programs for the most common conditions and just mark off the moves that don’t apply to that person or add special instructions on each one. This way I can just pull the sheets I need from a file and customize it in minutes instead of spending thirty minutes making them one at a time. I don’t waste their time or mine.
Another example: If you’re an Admin Assistant and you have to send out emails regularly about the same thing, find a way to shortcut that task. Gmail has canned responses that are easy to make and use, Apple devices have shortcuts you can enable to autofill when cued and if you just have a regular desktop you can use Word to make documents you can easily copy and paste from.
Let me tell you, the autofill feature was a lifesaver for me when I had to use an IPad for documentation. Instead of writing out a whole sentence for my reasoning behind a specific exercise or task I could just set in the options to fill in the text whenever wrote tx or ta or whatever simple letter arrangement. Just 2 letters instead of whole sentences! It was so easy! Setting up the responses took about 20 minutes that first day and saved me about 45 minutes every day after that. Talk about a great time investment!
Set a timer: To be truly lazy you also have to be efficient. Sometimes before I get to work I like the just sit a few minutes and think about how long a task will take me. If I can calculate how much time I need to get a job done, then I can also calculate how much time I have to do whatever I feel like doing.
Examples of the mental math:
If I have 1 hour and it takes me 45 minutes to answer emails, then I have 15 minutes to play some candy crush! :45+:15=1hr
If I have 3 hours to edit a course and it takes me 2:15 to finish, then I have 45 minutes to lie on the couch and take a nap. 2:15+:45= 3 hrs
It also sets me up to have a reward for being so efficient. If you get the job done right, in a timely manner, you can reap the benefits. Those benefits don’t have to be time based, its relatively easy to take those numbers to your boss when you’re asking for a raise or negotiating a salary at a new job.
The benefits of setting a timer
- It gives you a true awareness of how long any given task takes you to complete. Getting sucked in and losing track of time is easy to do. If you have a stopwatch or kitchen timer near you, you can get a clear picture of what you spend the most or least amount of time on. It’s hard to do the mental math above if you have no idea how long you actually need to finish a job. You may need to do a few test runs.
- You can remind yourself to take needed breaks. Downtime is good. We’ve all heard the saying, “All work and no play…” The ending is always negative.
- It trains you to be more productive. When you have your numbers in your head, you can make a plan. Whether that plan involves even more work or making work less stressful, at least you’ll know it and be prepared for it.
Know your limits: Sometimes in life we take on more than we can handle. Having your kids in baseball, soccer, piano and karate seemed like a good idea at the time, but now you have to get to all of those things and still make dinner and do homework and sleep at some point, etc…
The same thing happens at work. We think we can handle another project or we want to do the job ourselves when we just simply don’t have the hours in the day to make it happen.
Do you just do an okay job on too many projects or a great job on a few?
Sometimes this is a decision we have to make. So when your boss comes to you and asks if you can handle more work, use step 2 from above to guide you. If you have the time and the want to take on more, you can easily say yes. If you do the math and you just cannot make it happen, most bosses will appreciate the honesty. Having to get a project redone will make more work for them in the long run and possible less revenue for the company, so this bit of honesty in the beginning can save you your sanity and possibly your job. When year-end reviews come around, you’ll find your increased productivity and exemplary work will benefit you more than a mountain of half finished tasks.
Efficiency Pays $$$
In more way than one.
Like I mentioned in step 2, knowing your productivity is BIG leverage when you want to ask for that raise. If you can show that you are more efficient and do a good job to your boss you will have the upper hand with the negotiations. I personally use this on my resume and bring it up in job interviews. That way, when they inevitably ask what I expect to be paid, I can ask for what I want without hesitation.
I’ve actually writing another article on how to negotiate for a better salary at your job or for a new job.
Check it out here->Negotiate Your Pay Rate Like a Pro
It also pays in extra time and reduced stress. I use steps 1 and 3 for budgeting and accounting projects. I’m not an accountant, so when tax time was approaching and I needed some help for our small business, I first tried to do it myself but when I figured out all of the time it would take and possible money I could screw up, I turned to step 3 and found an accounting firm to do it for me.
On the other hand, I knew I could handle budgeting for the household, so when I wanted to use coupons for groceries, I looked to step 1 and made a template to organize them and maximize my savings. 30 minutes making the template saves me hundreds of dollars a year.
Good luck being the best lazy employee you can be.