Layoffs and budget cuts may make you anxious, but that's no reason to triple your workload. In fact, there are many ways to look as though you're working hard when you're hardly working, says business humorist Stanley Bing.
His new book, How to Relax Without Getting the Axe: A Survival Guide to the New Workplace, lists such strategies to liberate yourself from boring and tedious work tasks.
"There is a tremendous amount of pressure in the workplace right now, so it's really a matter of meeting the requirements of your job while also having control over the workflow of that job," said Bing, a regular columnist for Fortune magazine.
• The easiest way to remove yourself from a small project you don't want to deal with is asking, or even tricking, others into doing it for you. There's a polite word for this: delegation.
• Your absence could support the idea that you're a busy beaver always on the road, especially if you take conference calls and are constantly available via BlackBerry. Don't forget to shoot some out right before you go to bed to give the impression you work around the clock.
• To prove your value to bosses, find a small problem somewhere to which you are the only person with access to the solution. Then offer to handle it so that they don't have to.
• Look into corporate programs involving mentoring, philanthropy, community-based activity and social activism. It can be a pleasant alternative to actual work.