Have you ever worked with someone who can only be described as a “slacker”? Do you have any family members, perhaps brothers or sisters who you think are slackers? Or maybe they think you are?
I am the youngest in my family, which makes me the baby. They say the youngest in the family gets away with everything. The baby also has a reputation for “never doing anything wrong” or being a slacker.
As a kid I remember being called a slacker quite a bit. Sister Kenneth, the principle of my elementary school was always giving me the “potential” talk. The one that starts with “You have so much potential…” and then fades off. Ever heard it?
Recently I was going through some of my old report cards and progress reports with my wife. She was horrified by my grades in elementary school and by the comments teachers made about me. They were comments like:
“Billy continuously does not turn in his assignments.”
“Billy has 100’s on everything he has turned in, but has only turned in 3 of 10 assignments.”
“Billy needs to pay more attention.”
Thinking back to those comments I received as a kid I can’t help but think of the movie Back to the Future when Mr. Strickland says to Marty McFly, “You’re a Slacker!” That’s basically what Sister Kenneth and my teachers said to me as a kid, and they were right. I was a slacker.
Luckily, I have grown up a bit. I realized that part of the reason I was a slacker as a kid was because I already knew what I wanted out of life. I knew what I cared about and I also knew what didn’t matter to me (obviously things like turning in my homework). I knew I wanted to be GREAT and didn’t believe school would help me get there, or at least that’s what I told myself as an excuse.
As I’ve gotten older, I have less patience for slackers. I hate poor attitudes. I don’t understand why anyone would do something halfway and not to the best of their abilities.
Now I’ve come up with a list to help you spot the Marty McFly’s in your life. Maybe this list will even help you realize you’ve been slacking a bit as well.
Here are 7 signs of a slacker:
- A slacker always tells you what you want to hear. They are “working on it as we speak.” Or they will “have it to you by the end of the day.” Really though, they are just full of excuses. Those excuses often sound legit, but they rarely are.
- A slacker always looks for the easy way. If you ask them to do something for you, a slacker probably will do it the quickest way. They won’t be worried about quality.
- A slacker doesn’t ever apologize. They rarely take responsibility for their actions. When something goes wrong you’ll rarely hear them say it was because of something they did wrong.
- A slacker looks forward to every possible day off. They are always counting down the days until the weekend. They even hate when holidays fall on the weekend, and will be the first to ask if Friday or Monday will be an off day. They don’t understand that the amount of work doesn’t change with less days of physically being at work. Instead of working harder to make up for lost time during a shorter workweek a slacker will gladly skimp by doing less.
- A slacker always wants more, but won’t do what’s necessary to get more. They love to talk about things they want to do, but you rarely see them ever taking action. They day dream, but they don’t DO.
- A slacker has no written goals. Not writing goals down essentially means they have no goals. They lack clarity in their lives. They don’t know what they want to be when they grow up and they often never do.
- A slacker doesn’t invest resources in their own personal growth. They refuse to grow. They don’t want to change for anyone. They are good the way they are. Why waste time or money or energy on trying to change?
I could easily list a lot more signs of being a slacker, but these are a solid start. If you’ve come across other signs of slacking, share them with me in the comments section below.
Do you see some of these signs in your coworkers, boss… or even yourself?
Here’s the thing. I have known a lot of slackers. But what I’ve realized more so than anything is a slacker refuses to become the best version of themselves. They are fine with the status quo.
So when I say I have known a lot of slackers, I have to be honest and say that the biggest slacker I have ever met is ME.
When I don’t invest in myself: I am a slacker. When I make excuses: slacker. When I blame others: slacker. My ultimate goal is to be the BOSS of my life. I cannot do that by being a slacker. I need to realize my full potential, like Sister Kenneth and all my teachers used to say years ago.
Today, I am taking responsibility and admitting that I am a slacker. And I am making a commitment to never be one again. I hope you will join me. I hope you will work to become the BOSS of your life.