Well in a previous post, I pointed out my plan to not work so hard at work anymore since it didn’t seem to be an effective usage of my energy based on the flaws in our performance review system. I think I used the term coasting, but slacking would also cover it. One particular astute person commented that I might find myself out of a job if I wasn’t careful, which was a valid point.
So the trick was a slack away at my job a bit, but not too much as I might find myself out of job. Well another cycle of my performance review is over and I got exactly the same rating as last year. Ironically, with about a magnitude less effort on my part (and yes, I mean magnitude like logarithmic scale) so I would say my slacking was just about bang on. I even got a raise this year (which is better than last where they gave to us and then took it away). As an aside, I timed this perfectly this year as there was no difference between the top performance people and my raise (again supporting my theory that the process currently discourages people from being exceptional performers).
Now I basically go into to work, do my job until the day is done and whatever isn’t complete will have to wait until tomorrow. I avoid overtime like the plague, I don’t put in that extra effort I used to on projects and I don’t even bother thinking two steps head of most of the other people. The result is my job stress is basically dropped like a stone and I have to say I like it.
Perhaps the only interesting constructive feedback I got on my performance was regarding my interactions with some other people in the department. Apparently, I believe the term they used was “abrupt” with some people. Which is fair since in the last year since my tolerance for office politics has tanked to a all time low. I’m not crude, I just won’t bother playing the game. But ironically, my boss noted he felt he was reaching to find something to say with regards to that comment. He doesn’t mind my tendency to get to the point in the slightest and nor does my co-workers who I spend the most time with.
So overall I’m putting in a lot less effort and enjoying my day job a lot more since I don’t stress over it. I now aim for ‘good work’ not ‘great’ or ‘hard’, just good enough. I just wished I had discovered this pace of work years ago, but oh well, I know it now and I’m enjoying my last few years of work because of it.
How much effort do you put into your job? Would you slack off at the end of your career or not? Why?