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That Guy’s Tips for Faking It: Sweat the Small Stuff April 28, 2009

Posted by That Guy in Tips for Corporate Success, Tips for Faking It, Wasting Time.
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This is the second entry in “That Guy’s Tips for Faking It”, a week’s worth of useful tricks to get out of working too hard while also looking like you’re worth keeping around.

Sweat the Small Stuff

CC-licensed photo by Roshan Vyas

CC-licensed photo by Roshan Vyas

One of the tricks to keeping your job isn’t a trick at all: just be so good at what you do that you make it impossible to fire you. But once you pull that off, you’ll realize that you work too fast and have too much down-time. You don’t want your boss to realize that.

So sweat the small stuff.

When you get a project, go through your usual project tasks. Just don’t finish it. Leave one — or, even better, three or four — small, relatively-easy things to fix up or polish, so that when your boss comes by, it looks like you’re actually working on something. It’s even better if it’s visual, so you can be saving, refreshing, checking, changing and so on. Designers in particular benefit from sweating the small stuff because they really do have to work hard on colors, sizes, and placements. Coders can pretend to be testing out new code, come up with an error, and then say “well, I was testing out this new thing, but it didn’t work, so I’m going to do it the way I did that last project”.

Trust me. There are dozens of ways to sweat the small stuff. Just so long as it looks like you’re actually working when your boss — or anyone else — strolls by. That’s the important part.

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