Photo by Tim Wildsmith on Unsplash

Okay, so I feel like I have to weigh in on this “quiet quitting” trend (now that it’s probably stale). For the uninitiated, quiet quitting is choosing to fulfill your job duties during your working hours, and nothing more. You’re not actually quitting your job; you’re quitting “the idea of going above and beyond” at work, according to the viral TikTok video that started it all (and that I haven’t seen, but haven’t needed to because LinkedIn is telling me everything I need to know).

I have a running list of blog topic ideas, and one of them is, “How to give less than 100% at work.” I’ve struggled to write it because I don’t actually know how to do that. It’s just not in me. But maybe my angle is wrong for today’s hustle-crazed workplace. Maybe the post should be “How to give exactly 100% at work.” That, I can share.

Here are some ideas/habits to ensure you give 100% at work:

  • Pick a time to start work every morning and get started at that time consistently.
  • Pick a time to end work every evening and consistently shut down at that time.
  • Take your sick days. Don’t work if you’re sick; you’ll feel resentful toward your job and will probably make a lot of mistakes anyway.
  • Take your vacation days. You earn them, they help you to recover from and recharge for work, and they are part of your total compensation.
  • Minimize distractions. Unless your job requires it, don’t spend any time on social media, online shopping, etc. (quick mental breaks are okay, but know yourself!)
  • Be present in meetings: prepare, participate, and do whatever processing and follow-up necessary afterwards. (For the ones you can’t stand, remember that if you can’t get out of it, get into it!)
  • Get to know your colleagues’ habits and preferences, especially when it comes to communication and collaboration, and try to work with them.
  • Take initiative. If you see something broken, say something, and try to be solutions-driven. Anticipate the needs of projects, colleagues, clients, etc.

These tips assume a traditional schedule, which I know is not always the case. Basically, try to be consistent in the number of hours you work each day/week/month. Really, I think the most important thing is doing your job and doing it well, regardless of the number of hours it takes. More on that below.

If you have a deadline or something that requires a little more time from you, give it. Sometimes at work (and in other areas of our lives), we go through “seasons of sacrifice” (h/t to the podcast Happier in Hollywood for that term) that require us to do a little rearranging in order to give more in one area. Make sure it’s temporary. And take a break when it’s over. Also, enjoy the slow times when they come—things tend to even out over time!

Also, workers are people with lives and responsibilities outside of work. Some days, you’re able to start work early, other days, you’ll be late. Make up for it as needed, and again: just make sure you’re getting your job done. If there are any issues with making that happen, communicate them to everyone you’re accountable to.

If you’re salaried, the more hours you work, the lower your hourly rate is. While salary isn’t everything, it is one of the few objective measures of how much your company values your time and skills.

The thing is, you can be an amazing employee and colleague—someone who is responsive, dependable, and accountable—without working All. The. Time. You can set boundaries and let your teammates know when you are and aren’t available. In fact, I submit that that’s the only way to be an incredible employee and colleague. Otherwise, you’ll end up exhausted, cranky, and curmudgeonly.

You can even take on extra work to chip in or learn something new without it being the norm, permanently adding hours to your workdays and bringing your rate down to something that’s less than fair. But beware of slippery slopes and false finish lines.

My list above includes ways to take time for yourself, but also ways to give your skills and talents to your work. Because since when is 100% considered bad or slacking off? 100% is great! And if your boss or company disagrees, it might be time to give 100% to a job search.

What are some other ways to give 100% at work?

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