We’ve all seen the XYZ ways of being more productive, ways of more efficiently managing your time, workflow, work-life balance (btw, isn’t it scary that we all agree work is not life, but there is rarely any life beyond work) and so on and so on. I won’t lie to you, I am actually a big fan of such lists and have already read dozens of them. Usually it is just to check if I am tuned to the latest productivity trends and let me tell you, sometimes these advices are not so straightforward as one would think!
Should I check my e-mails first thing in the morning? It seems a great majority strongly advises you against such toxic behaviour, I guess for our brains checking the mails, social networks, lol cats and other essential stuff, first thing in the morning, is like having half a liter of vodka on an empty stomach. After you process it you inevitably feel like puking. However there is a smaller group that says you should check e-mails first thing in the morning. I personally think they are some evil motherfuckers, but then again, what if they are right?
What such lists do have in common is that they always urge you to be more productive, they are absolutely adamant that getting and being more productive is good for you. Well guess what, it is not!
Working your ass off for someone else or even for yourself won’t do you any good. Science is now slowly realizing that sitting on your ass for 10 hours plus is, wait for it, not good for you! Being under constant stress, being under the heavy yoke of deadlines and in perpetual fear of losing your job, well yes, it is not good for you. Of course we are living in a society that doesn’t give a slightest fuck about these things. Bosses couldn’t care less about your wellbeing, especially when there are hundreds like you to take your position if you dare to complain too much. Yes ladies and gentlemen, we are living in capitalism and it is no fun at all.
The system is gangbanging us daily and in return we don’t even get a lousy t-shirt. It is high time to fuck up the productivity agenda and start developing a wage slave tutorial on how to be unproductive, without losing your job.
1. Your Boss is NOT your Friend.
He or she never will be. Never ever ever, period. We first need to work on our attitude, since without the correct attitude no anti-productivity strategies will ever help us. Why is this so important? Well obviously there are many cases in which it is quite obvious that your boss is an evil asshole, milking the profit out of you. For example if you are working in the WalMart, Tesco, Lidl or the like, or if you are working in a sweatshop, it is quite straightforward that your boss is not Mr. Nice. In such instance you probably already have a healthy degree of hatred directed against him or her, but you are then most likely facing grave organisational dificulties on how to properly express such anger. We will get back to this problem in the following points.
For now, let us focus on the, perhaps quite recent phenomena of the »In the Same Boat Type of Boss«. Such boss might seem nice, behaves nice and don’t be fooled, actually is nice. How come then that »In the Same Boat Type of Boss« is especially dangerous and difficult to face? Well because this type of boss uses some state of the art psychological trics to lure us into terrain we otherwise would never have entered, at least not voluntarily. Nota bene, if such behaviour is intentional or not is totally besides the point, what we are trying to grasp is a certain type of boss and its consequences, without caring about the initial intentions. Anyway, instead of threatening to fire you, coercing you through physical, mental or sexual mobbing, the »In the Same Boat Type of Boss« is like a siren gently playing his/her harph and before you know it, it is Sunday, the time is 11 p.m. and you are more than ready to put in another couple of unpaid hours of overtime.
Quite literary such boss actually believes that we are in the same boat and that we should all do our share of sacrifices. So it is not just you, it is the whole colective that does unpaid overtime, the boss included! Well the fact is that we are not on the same boat and even if we are, some of us are under the deck, while others, i.e. the boss, is the captain and the owner. He is the one making and taking all of decisions and the supreme authority, if he gently convinces you that you are all equalls this just makes his authority and dominance so much more powerful. The dificulty here is of course that it is very contraintuitive for us to reject a request, especially when it is formulated nicely and there is enormous peer preassure of the whole working collective. You always need to keep in mind that your boss is not your friend, when push comes to shove and the boat starts to sink, you will be the first to be thrown overboard. All his sympathy and crocodile tears won’t be of much help when you find yourself drowning in the cold waters of unemployment.
So how can you challange such philantropic calls to action, while saving your skin? Well, you need to do exactly the same as Odysseus did when sirens tried to lure and doom him. You need to tie yourself and clog your ears with wax. This is all methapohorical, of course, but it serves the purpose. You can easily achieve this if you…
TO BE CONTINUED!