Updated: Dec 8, 2022
"Quiet quitting" has become a popular term recently and got viral on TikTok and other social media, particularly among Generation Z, but it seems to be making sense for many.
Quiet quitting means performing the essential workplace responsibilities and not trying to go "above and beyond." Just keep the minimum to stay employed.
Some employees take it as "no extra work without pay" and set boundaries for the company's "hard-working culture." One way or another, it is partially or mentally checking out of work while still at the workplace.
Although it sounds rebellious and tempting, you must still perform your job responsibilities to remain employed. However, it is also possible to have an outstanding work-life balance between prioritizing your mental health without overwhelming yourself with work-related issues, spending more time with your family and friends, and doing the things you love.
Here are a few tactics you can slowly use to make quiet quitting and still stay as a star employee and collect your paycheck;
1- Work smarter, not harder.
Working smarter, not harder, means developing a clear plan to prioritize your top tasks and responsibilities so you can feel content and productive after each work day rather than overburdened, overcommitted, frustrated, and overworked.
So how to work smarter, but not harder, you ask. Here are a few tips;
When you constantly switch back and forth between even simple tasks, you can accomplish any of them well.
It is almost impossible to multitask for us as humans. It is instead to focus on only one task at a time and not think about any other job before completing it.
Switch to airplane mode.
The notifications on your smartphone and email are the biggest distractors for your inability to focus.
Switching to airplane mode and turning off all the notifications will enable you to focus on your work, be more productive, and not sacrifice your mental health. You will enjoy it as you check off the task from your list.
Develop your skills.
Technology enabled us to make the tasks faster with less error. Try learning some automation techniques to perform some repetitive tasks.
Go and watch a Youtube video to understand that excel trick to make the task in a shorter time. Do not tell your boss how you did it!
Group similar tasks
Once you start working on a mission, continue completing some other similar ones so that you won't switch back and forth and lose interest and focus.
Know your most productive time
Not all tasks are the same.
You should adjust your time for the week to work on more complicated and challenging tasks when you feel fresher and more energetic.
Is this the beginning of the week, Monday, for you? If so, start working on them and relax the rest of the week to work on more manageable tasks.
2- Switch to remote work
Many companies offer work-from-home or hybrid work for their employees as they have seen that workers still can be as productive as they were in the offices while the company downsizes their physical locations.
Further Reading: The Future of Work. Is Hybrid Or Working From Home Not Sustainable?
3- Say no to extra work
Learning how to say "No" to extra work is the key to relieving yourself into the world of "quiet quitters." Because most burnout is caused by taking extra work on ourselves just being the smartest guy in the meetings, trying to pretend to be a high-performer, or sometimes not knowing how to delegate.
You can exercise by saying "No" to meetings scheduled on your lunch breaks or Saturdays.
It is okay not to accept extra work if it does not help you reach your goals. On the other hand, if you are offered extra work with additional or overtime pay, and you are willing to make extra cash, go for it.
4- Set boundaries
Setting boundaries is one of the most important tactics if you are determined to maintain your work-life balance and become a "quiet quitter."
However, this may not be easy at the beginning if you have never done so before.
It's not easy to say no to your boss or colleagues, especially when they ask you to stay late or come in on the weekend. It might feel like you're letting them down, but there's no need to feel guilty about saying no.
There are times when we have to put our own needs first. That might mean saying no to an extra meeting or event, or asking for leave because our personal commitments have taken over.
Start setting boundaries with your co-workers first.
For example, do not immediately respond to their emails or text messages by turning off your notifications. Respond a while later. Most probably, they have already figured out the solution they were seeking or googled the answer before you replied them.
You should use your PTO days without guilt or checking your work email. Also, always leave work on time.
These are the important steps to be a quiet quitter and you should start now, if you'd like to become one.
Or stay as workaholic forever!
Further Reading: What about Work-Life Balance?
5- Do not go above and beyond
Quiet quitters do not worry about getting the perfect performance reviews.
Going above and beyond usually takes a lot of effort, staying after work for long hours, showing up on weekends without extra pay, answering emails or texts on vacation because there is an emergency (never ending emergencies!), taking responsibilities which are way off of your job description, and not taking PTO days.
It is time to find a balance for your work and life in order for you to maintain both an enjoyable and fulfilling work and your personal life. Quiet quitting does not mean to do sloppy job or avoid performing your responsibilities. You still should focus on your goals, if you are still after your performance bonuses.
Work is stressful, so it's not surprising that some people choose to become "Quiet Quitter."
Also, there is nothing wrong with wanting to work hard and go above and beyond expectations, especially if you're working towards specific goals, but it's also necessary to take time for yourself.
Even if you love your career, you shouldn't put your interests, health and welfare on the back burner.