Quiet Quitting

In any work environment, you have a mixture of the super-achievers who always go above and beyond, the solid performers you can always count on, those who are meeting expectations, and finally, that group who is disgruntled, disengaged, and doing as little work as possible.

From “quiet quitting” to “grumpy staying”

Researchers like those at Gallup have studied “engagement” in the workplace for decades. Not surprisingly, “disengagement” surged during the COVID-19 pandemic. A Gallup study found that in the second half of 2022, the ratio of “engaged” to “actively disengaged” employees was 1.8 to 1, the lowest in almost a decade. The proportion of “engaged” workers remained at 32 percent, but the proportion of “actively disengaged” employees rose to 18 percent.

During the pandemic, a growing number of people realized they were not being paid appropriately for their efforts. Many of them decided to put in only the amount of effort they perceived they were being paid for and began doing the bare minimum. Some analysts began using the term “quiet quitting” to describe these newly disengaged workers. They didn’t actually quit their jobs; they just quit giving their best efforts. They do just enough to meet the requirements. In 2022, Gallup estimated that “quiet quitters” made up at least 50 percent of the U.S. workforce.

More recently, analysts say the “quiet quitting” is getting louder and giving way to what they call “grumpy staying.”

  • To what extent have you been a quiet quitter in some area of your life? What caused you to stop over-achieving and start doing the bare minimum?
  • Looking back on that situation, what might have been a more productive, effective way to handle your dissatisfaction?

Yes, high performers can be quiet quitters

Average is as average does. Since the beginning of time, there have been people who put in only the most basic effort, with zero passion. They’re just going through the motions.

High performers would never be quiet quitters, would they? How is it possible that the term “quiet quitting” could be applied to high performers? How could high performers ever be quietly quitting anything in their lives?

Actually, it happens all the time.

Why? Because they’re overwhelmed. They have too many things on their plates. Every single day, they have to choose what to prioritize and what to put on the back burner, yet they want to accomplish it all. For people who are performing at a high level, things are flying every which way. They are trying to give every aspect of life everything they’ve got.

As a high performer, you make an immense impact on the people and environments around you every day. You constantly bring unbelievable contributions to the table. You are making a difference in the world and driving success, moving everything forward. But are you doing so in every box of your life? As a LIFE Optimization specialist, I believe we make the biggest impact when we focus on LIFE — love, impact, faith and energy — the most critical components of our lives.

  • When was the last time you felt overwhelmed about your life? Do you feel overwhelmed right now? If so, what steps can you take to create more balance in your life?
  • If you have too much “stuff” on your plate, what can you eliminate? Write down all your responsibilities and priorities. What can you delegate to someone else? What can you change to make something less of a priority?
  • Take these steps before you reach crisis mode!

A three-step process to end quiet quitting in your life

There are so many boxes of our lives that are constantly in motion. We can quietly quit one or more of them and not even know it’s happening. But the good news is, we can fix it.

Here are three things you can do to make sure quiet quitting is reserved for everybody else, and not you.

1. Reflect

It’s important to stop and reflect on those four most important aspects of life, which I call the four quadrants — love, impact, faith and energy — to discover areas you might be neglecting.

Think about the people you love. Are you giving them the attention they need? Or are you quietly quitting them? What about the impact you want to make in your community? Are you continuing to devote your time and energy to the causes you care about? Or are you quietly quitting them? What about your faith? Are you nurturing and strengthening your faith every day, or are you quietly quitting it? And what about your energy? Are you taking care of your physical, mental and emotional health? Or have you been so busy with everything else that you’ve stopped taking care of yourself?

Many times, I get lost. Everybody can get lost. Reflection gives you a chance to identify how to get better. We won’t know where we should increase our efforts until we’ve identified where the gaps are, where we might be quiet quitting.

  • In what areas of your life are you just killing it right now?
  • In what areas of life are you just showing up? Where are you quiet quitting? Who or what are you neglecting, for whatever reason?

2. Prioritize

One you have identified where you are quiet quitting in your life, the next step is prioritization. Identify the area or areas that need your attention, the areas where you are not showing up the way you’d like to. The areas you are neglecting today will become your priorities for the day. And your priorities are always going to be shifting, changing.

  • Now that you’ve identified the areas you are neglecting, prioritize how you will provide more focus in those areas.
  • Establish a system for yourself that helps you make a habit of prioritizing what’s being neglected in your life.

3. Execute

If there’s one thing high performers excel at, it’s execution. Once you have done reflection to identify which areas of your life are being neglected, and then you prioritize the areas that need your attention, the next step is to execute — take action to make that part of your life a priority.

Thinking about it and talking about it don’t count; you have to make it happen.

For example, let’s say you just returned from work-related travel, which caused you to neglect your family. So your current priority is to spend quality time with your family. What does that look like, in a practical sense? Will you plan a “date night” for your wife and each of your children and do something they each love doing? Will you plan a family outing to a game, festival or other event?

Or maybe you have been so busy outside work that you are quietly quitting a project. Your new priority is to move that project forward. How can you do that? If you can’t get to it right away, maybe you can delegate it to someone else who can execute it.

  • What actions will you take to give more focus and attention to the parts of your life you have been neglecting?
  • Write these actions down. Make them goals. Commit yourself to them. Delegate them to someone else, where possible. (This probably isn’t possible in the areas of family and faith.)


This three-step process is something you need to go through often — at least once a day: reflect, prioritize, execute.

This exercise is going to help you be better today and in the future. And it can actually help you discover your next passion project. Sometimes, shedding the stuff that isn’t working in your life that you have been quietly quitting helps you identify what you really want to do. So this exercise actually helps the good stuff rise to the top.

Let’s stop quietly quitting as high performers. Let’s figure out a way to get better together, let’s reflect, prioritize and execute — both individually and as a team, and let’s work on making quiet quitting something reserved for other people, not us.