How To Look Busy At Work
Burned out but still need to look busy at work? Draw inspiration from television and nature and look busy while you surf the net, take care of personal business or plan your vacation. Bosses are getting more savvy, so the old "ALT/TAB" trick of switching your computer screen between work and play won't cut it any more, but these sneaky ideas will.
- Get inspired. Add a few old episodes of Seinfeld to your video queue. George Costanza is "Master of His Domain," and a master at weaseling out of work. From making a cozy bed under your desk to faking a disability, George will help you come up with fresh ways to look busy.
- Make like a cat. A dog will greet any task with excitement, and work frantically all day long. A cat always looks busy, grooming, eating, stalking dust bunnies, and simply staring into space while he thinks. Master the art of making something out of nothing by hand delivering papers, wandering the hallways with a stack of "important" files, talking passionately about your work onto your cell phone and obviously checking your watch to make sure you are not late for your "big meeting." The appearance of "busy" takes little effort, and pays off big-time.
- Rearrange the furniture. Make sure your computer screen faces away from the office door, it will give you a few precious seconds to click away from Facebook when your boss approaches.
- Take Notes. Keep a legal pad handy and scribble in it during meetings. You can write your laundry list, and it will still look like you are concentrating hard on the topic at hand.
- Show up early. Showing up early sounds like the opposite of "looking busy," but not if you do it correctly. Show up early in the morning, send an email or leave a voice mail for the boss (who won't be in yet). Put a notebook and a coffee mug on your desk, and leave a pen out like you just stepped away for a minute. The email will be time stamped and show what a diligent worker you are. Once you leave the message, wander out to Starbucks for some coffee, or just kick back and relax while everyone assumes you are hard at work.