One of the worst qualities that can be associated with your name is laziness — a conscious lack of desire or motivation to put effort into your job.
Inc.com says you need to avoid these phrases:
• That isn’t my job. Each of us has specific talents and specific responsibilities in our professional roles, and inevitably, we’re tasked with things that fall outside those parameters. Flat-out rejecting a request like these by stating “that isn’t my job” will make you seem lazy. Instead, try to take it on — if you absolutely can’t, use softer, more logical reasoning to suggest a party who might be able to handle it more efficiently.
• I’m just following orders. If someone questions the way you’re going about a given task, this is probably the laziest response you can give. It implies you don’t much care for the end results of the project. It implies you aren’t interested in going above and beyond the bare minimum. It even implies that you aren’t willing to hear outside perspectives. In short, it makes you seem close-minded and apathetic in addition to being lazy.
• I know what I’m doing. This phrase is almost exclusively used in response to someone else’s unsolicited advice or questioning. It may irk you when someone from outside your department makes a comment about work that’s going on in your department, but this isn’t the right way to handle it. If you really know what you’re doing, you can take a few seconds to clarify the other party’s misconception. Otherwise, you can consider their criticism or objection fairly.
• I just have a lot on my plate right now. This is a phrase often used in truth, but there’s one key problem with it; all of us have a lot on our plates, almost all the time.
• I deserve more. The majority of the workforce thinks of themselves as underpaid, undervalued, and overworked. It’s natural to want more, but stating you deserve more without any specific research-backed or logical evidence illustrates you not only as lazy, but also entitled.
• I have a stupid question. Preempting your question with a qualifying phrase like this implies one of two possible scenarios. In scenario one, you know your question has been answered already in some form, and you’re too lazy to try and figure out the answer on your own. In scenario two, you’re afraid your question isn’t well thought-out, so instead of thinking it through in greater detail, you decided to hedge your bets by admitting it might be stupid.
• I don’t know how to do that. There are lots of responsibilities you won’t know how to handle well. If you’re really struggling with an assignment, don’t be afraid to ask for help, but you have to at least try to tackle it on your own. Instead of saying “I don’t know how to do that,” try to figure it out on your own first.
…OTHER PHRASES THAT MAKE YOU SOUND LAZY
Inc.com says phrases like “That isn’t my job” and “I have a lot on my plate right now” make you sound lazy. Again, those are from Inc.com. Now, from American Radio Presenter Toby Knapp, here are some more phrases that make you sound lazy:
• Would you mind moving one chair over… I want to put my feet up.
• I could sure use a fresh cup of coffee. Would you mind rolling me to the break room?
• I know you want me to edit your memo, but cut AND paste? How about I cut and you get someone else to paste.
• I heard the I.T. guy will be on our floor this morning. Ask him to stop by my cubicle… my stapler needs refilling.