Fake It ‘Til You Make It: 14 Tricks to Look Like a Productivity Pro


We’ve all been there, struggling to stay on top of our goals while coping with an insane workload and trying to make it look easy. 

It’s hard enough just being productive, but now you have the additional pressure of making sure no one knows how much effort and energy it takes! 

Don’t worry, though; we’ve got your back. 

In this article, we’re going to go through 14 simple tricks to help you look like a productivity pro, even when things feel overwhelming! 

So, if you want more freedom at work and don’t know where to start, let us show you how faking it ’til you make it can be beneficial for keeping up appearances in the office.

#1. Email Yourself

nerdy guy typing
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When you either have nothing to do or something you don’t want to do, it might be time to send yourself an email.

It can be a reminder, grocery list, or something you want to look up later.

The constant typing and “research” can make it seem like you are one popular and busy individual.

#2. Look Annoyed

Man thinking so annoying
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We all know how stressful and overwhelming work can be, so why not look a bit annoyed even when you are not?

Keeping a serious, confused, or annoyed face can make others assume you have a lot on your plate, and they are less likely to bother you and interrupt your “productivity.”

#3. Make Small Talk

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While chatting with others around the water cooler might not sound like a way to appear busy, it can be as long as you drop seeds in your conversation.

Sprinkle in the big report or assignment you are working on to others, and this will help reinforce the idea that you are busy when you close your office door.

Hearing you are busy and seeing your door closed will make them think twice about interrupting you.

Just be careful not to overshare about assignments, as this can quickly backfire.

#4. Visit The Stock Room

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If you work in a bar, restaurant, or other place of business with a stock room, offer to go there to take inventory, retrieve items, etc.

Since most people don’t enter this room, it is ripe for wasting time.

You can chill out on your phone or relax for a bit.

If anyone asks what took you so long, tell them how unorganized it is down there.

You might even use that excuse to get a new task: organizing the stock room, where you spend your entire day away from your colleagues!

#5. Keep An Open Spreadsheet

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Whether it’s a sales tracker or project management tool, having a spreadsheet open on your screen can give the impression that you’re in the middle of meaningful work.

Plus, it’s easy to glance at and quickly update throughout the day.

You can even change a few numbers and make a note of them, so when someone comes in and questions what you are doing, you can show them how a few numbers are off, and you’re trying to figure out why.

#6. Keep Open Training Books

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Keeping open training manuals on your desk can be a great way to make it look like you’re constantly working hard.

As you may know, appearances can truly be everything in the workplace, and having these manuals in plain sight can help you give the impression that you’re always on task.

Whether you’re referring to them or not, displaying these guides on your desk can convey a sense of diligence and focus to your colleagues and superiors.

#7. Close Your Office Door

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Have you ever noticed how closing your office door can give off the illusion that you’re swamped with work?

It’s a common tactic used by many professionals to appear busy and focused, especially when they need to concentrate on an important task or project.

By closing your office door, you’re sending a clear signal to others that you’re not available for interruptions, whether it’s a chatty coworker or a manager looking to delegate more work.

So close your office door, call a friend, or play solitaire on your computer.

You’ll know you are wasting time, but others will think you are working on something important.

#8. Have a Messy Desk

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They say that a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, but what if I told you that it could also signify a busy worker?

Despite the myths of the clean workspace being the holy grail of productivity, having a messy desk can make you look busier to your colleagues.

Think about it; a stack of papers, a scattering of Post-it notes, and loose pens in every direction give the impression that you’re always busy and juggling multiple tasks.

And I can attest to the opposite.

I kept a clean desk, and my bosses would always come to me first with more work because it looked as though I wasn’t busy because I only had one paper on my desk.

#9. Get To The Office First

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You don’t have to arrive at work hours before everyone else, but rather a few minutes early.

As long as you are there first, they won’t know if you started five minutes ago or five hours.

They will get used to seeing your vehicle in the parking lot first and you at your desk.

This could allow you to leave early since you put in so much time first thing in the morning.

Plus, it will earn you some brownie points when you get caught slacking off.

#10. Schedule Fake Meetings

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If others can access your office calendar, make it a point to put some fake meetings in.

Not only will this limit the times others can schedule meetings for you, but you can use the time you blocked off to do other things.

Ensure you don’t go overboard with this one and block off time every day, as this will raise red flags.

Also, ensure you don’t use that time to go shopping, as you never know when someone might see you and blow up your strategy.

#11. Always Carry Papers

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Carrying a stack of papers or folders at work might seem like a hassle, but have you ever considered the impression it gives off to those around you?

Having paper on hand can make you appear productive and busy, signaling to coworkers and superiors that you’re actively working on tasks and taking your responsibilities seriously, even though you aren’t working much at all.

#12. Attend Industry Events

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If you aim to get out of the office, search for industry-related conferences or networking events you can attend.

When you go, work hard the first day making connections and collecting business cards, and then slack off the rest of the time.

This will allow you to return with great contacts and ideas, making everyone think you hustled the entire trip when you only worked one day.

#13. Bring Two Sets of Car Keys To Work

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Here is a genius trick some people use.

Bring two sets of car keys to work and leave one set on your desk when you go for lunch.

You can take a little longer; people will think you are at work, just not at your desk.

#14. Walk Fast

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Walking fast around the office is common for many people trying to look busy at work.

The hurried pace makes it seem like they are always on the go, taking on many tasks and attending important meetings.

Even if they may not have much to do, walking fast can create an illusion of busyness and productivity.

Research shows that your walking speed and posture can affect how others perceive you in the workplace.

Walking with a purpose and a brisk pace can convey confidence and focus, making you appear more competent and driven.

How To Get Free Money

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The idea of free money sounds like it can’t be true. But it actually is.

There are many ways you can get free money, from playing games, to watching videos, and more.

Here are the best ways you can get free money without having to work for it.


Make Money With Your Body

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Did you know you can make money with your body? While there are ways to earn an income doing things that you might consider objectionable, there are many other options out there that are quite normal.

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Sell Feet Pictures For Serious Cash

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Selling pictures of your feet can be a significant income stream. Some people report earning six figures a year doing this easy job.

All you need is a camera and two feet and you are in business. Here is all you need to know to make life changing wealth selling images of your feet.


Under The Table Jobs That Pay Cash

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If you need cash right away, a typical job won’t work for you. You will have to wait a week to get paid, or in some cases, two weeks.

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Make Money While You Sleep

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Yes, you can make money while you sleep. There are a handful of jobs out there that will earn you an income even after you stop working for the day.

The trick is finding the right one for you.


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