Have you ever gotten up in the morning and knew you had a bunch of stuff to get done but no plan to actually do it? Then you are on the right track to being super unproductive. This article will give you the 7 tips you need to fulfill your journey with the least amount of work possible.


If you are just getting started on the path of slackerdom, we don’t want to overwhelm you. Here are the 4 basic steps to get you started.

1 – Procrastinate instead of Plan

The first step to achieving high levels of low productivity (some would consider this an oxymoron) is to procrastinate.

Grab your pen and start planning on how little you plan to get done.

In fact, if you want to scale back a bit, then think about writing that list but never actually write it. You can spend hours simply thinking about what should get done without actually doing anything.

When one of your co-workers asks about what you are doing, simply say “I was thinking about the SQL Fractional Exception problem or Octional Test issue.”

Neither of which exist, but both will take focus off of the fact that you were doing nothing.

2 – Over-Listing

If you want to be look like the conductor of the unproductive super train then all you have to do is write a long list of stuff. Usually about 20-50 items is perfect. Make sure you date that list with today’s date in pencil (so you can reuse it tomorrow).

This is called over-listing. Yes… writing the list is work and will impact your low productivity numbers. But sometimes you have to sacrifice for the greater good. In order to keep your sacrifice to a minimum though, you can copy and paste a basic to-do list by going to this link.

To make your list truly effective, create a smart list by mixing in some project names and complex terms that seem familiar to others but really mean nothing like – Correct the SQL Exception Factoring System so that we can Increase Octional Speed Tests – Critical for Bob Johns

*Note: Adding the word critical along with the name of a top level executive sends the message that this work is important and a priority.

Scratch off a few things so it looks like you are getting stuff done.

Finally, don’t just write it down and put the list in your drawer. Put it front and center on your desk for others who dare to enter your space to ask for you to be productive can see that you already are.

3 – Cater to Distractions

With your list front and center you are now ready to ride that train of low productivity to the bank.

Facebook, LinkedIN, Twitter, Pintrest, YouTube, donuts, Starbucks, the officemate with the long stories, the sales guy with the great bagels, Candy Crush saga, and solitaire can zap every bit of productivity out of your day.

If you give an hour to each one of those items, you will have actually achieved 11 hours of utter unproductiveness.

*Remember, social media is for browsing only. Posting something can be construed as productive and ruins your low-productivity numbers.

4 – Sleep in… way in.

The early bird gets the worm but the late bird gets the nest all to himself.

Sleep in, stay warm, and avoid rush hour traffic. Don’t be a lemming like those well trained Pavlov Dog wannabes. You should ignore the dings and rings of incoming emails and phone calls. This is tougher than you think to master. So put your phone on vibrate and place it on the other side of the room where you can’t reach it.

In order to sleep in and get paid, you need to ensure that what you are doing still looks like work.

To make this tactic work, you call your bosses work phone around 9 or 10 pm about a problem with the SQL Exception Factoring System that you will be “working” on. Remember, this is that critical item on your list that he doesn’t understand. Call again around midnight letting him know that you are giving up for tonight and will “hit it hard” from home in the AM.

The best part is that no one will argue with you because no one else is actually working on the SQL Exception Factoring System because it doesn’t exist. No one will question you because they don’t want to look like they don’t know what’s going on.

This alone could buy weeks of high levels of low-productivity.


These tips are for professionals only that have achieved at least 1-2 levels of low productivity on a consistent basis. Proceed with caution.

5 – Super Hero Syndrome (SHS) a Task

To SHS a task, all you have to do is underestimate how much time a task will take in public. Then come up with a super complex and ridiculous list of subtasks along with their approximate durations.

For example: The parent task was estimated at 40 hours. Then you listed out 30 sub-tasks. Each of these tasks will take at least 2-3 hours. Now you have 60-90 hours of work to do on the SQL Exception Factoring System – Part 1 – Critical – Bob Johns.

People will think that you are overwhelmed and overworked because “the man” is expecting you to get 60-90 hours worth of work done on this very complex system in only 40 hours. SLAVE DRIVERS!

To make sure that it looks like you are working really hard, put on your headsets and stare intensely at your monitor – which is probably streaming YouTube. When someone comes towards your desk, pretend that you don’t see them, put your hand on your forehead to wipe away the non-existent perspiration; inhale and exhale with a deep sigh; and shake your head in disgust.

They will likely feel sorry for you and walk away… so you can continue to “work”.

If they do walk in your office, when you look up, be sure to furrow your brow in frustration and stand up quickly. This will ensure that they won’t sit down and take up valuable amounts of your low-productive “work” time.

You have mastered this tactic when your co-workers start bringing you lunch and donuts.

6 – Others First

If you are a leader, you want everyone everywhere to know that you are there for them.

This means that you spend 4 hours sleeping, 20 hours getting stuff done for them, and the weekend is left for getting your work done.

Or at least that’s what it should look like.

To really sell this, make sure that you are double booking meetings so you can use one to cancel out the other. Ask for notes from that dude who always takes massive notes at the meeting just to show interest – don’t actually read them.

When asked to jump in or respond to something, always refer to the person who sent you the notes for answers. If they want you to actually do something or make a decision then set up a committee and demand that they make a unanimous decision.

7 – Over Commit

Saying yes to everything is a great way to get absolutely nothing done. In fact, if you want to be seen as really busy, then then keep committing to everyone and then assign someone else to take your place so you can do something else that is super important. Delegation is your friend.

The only commitments that you need to keep are to that boss that really enjoys ego-stroking and brown-nosing. This top-notch idiot is your biggest advocate so keep him happy. Don’t worry! You won’t actually ruin your low productivity stats. He will likely promote you so that you can continue to delegate effectively.

When you really want to seem committed, have the person requesting your time come to your office and explain what’s going on, in detail, for hours. You don’t actually have to be interested but you might have to fake it a bit.

Ask questions or make statements like: “I am just not understanding why this is critical.” Or “If we do this, what would be the (time, work, financial) benefits and can you explain those in detail?” After the detailed explanation start again by saying, “I am just not understanding why this is critical.” This restarts the cycle and continues until the person just passes out from frustration or gives up.

Again, you are not listening to them. Your goal is to have them explain the same thing over and over again to exhaustion.

If you are a pro – you have a CIA looking flesh tone headsets in your ear and you’ve been listening to your favorite song the whole time.


These 7 steps should get you well on your way to doing a little less than nothing while still earning a paycheck.

BTW – If you recognize these activities in someone that you work with and desperately want them off of your team, then check out my other post – Team SLACKER? How to Dump ‘Em In 7 Steps.


Let’s cut to the chase. Dawnna is a breakthrough business author and rockstar keynote speaker. She works with organizations that want to harness the power of people to improve business performance. If you’d like her to deliver content like what’s in this article or you just want to see her do thisthen give her a shout.