Should you really go into work and do the best possible job at all times???
I work in a corporate setting (investment bank) and am thinking along those lines for the work environment. The problem with working hard, is it is seldom appreciated. Instead, the Man (Boss whatever you wanna call your superior) will come to expect that level of work and then want more. So you get more work while someone doing a crappier job get’s less work, becuase they want to give it to the guy who can handle it best. Then you do more work and get promoted to a job that’s more work than you can handle (Peter principal: http://pespmc1.vub.ac.be/PETERPR.html – first paragraph) or want. The place ends up getting run incompetantly anyway. So I propose this as the ultimate working strategy in a corporate setting:
Do the bare minimum you can and still maintain the job. Add a couple minutes to how long tasks take you so as to avoid standing out as an exceptional worker. Take long breaks. Let things go as long as possible. Generally, have a slacker attitude about the whole thing. Be careful not to push it too far, but I would advise against doing your best.
Note: Doctors and such who have peoples lives in their hands are an exception. If you truly love what you are doing, or own part of the company, that also is an exception.
I just can’t see killing myself for a company I care nothing about. If I can pay my bills and not get fired, than I am not trying any harder. I’ll spend my real effort on things I love (art, music).