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Slacker vs. Creative: Why You Can’t Work 9 to 5


Although there are probably thousands of people working 9-to-5s who will tell you they don’t particularly enjoy their jobs, research indicates that creative types struggle with the standard workday more than regular employees. And then there are those who just have a difficult time working at all. Are you too creative for your job, or are you just a slacker? Here are a few signs to help you figure it out.


(Photo Credit: Kuba Bozanowski/Flickr)

Everyone is foggy-headed in the morning, but creative types often do their best work when everyone else is going home. In the middle of the night, for example. Your preference to only work when others are vegging out to Dancing With the Stars though, isn’t the only sign that you’re just too darn creative for your job. How then, do you determine if you are creative or just a regular old slacker who doesn’t want to work?

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You Can’t Focus Early in the Morning

Creative types often find it a complete waste of time to try to work early in the morning because they just can’t focus and no amount of Starbucks is going to change that. If you find yourself spending the first four hours in the morning fascinated by the bees outside your window, you are probably one of those people. 

Slackers, however, can’t focus in the morning because he or she was probably drinking wine until 3 a.m.

Your Brain Is Incapable of Focusing 8 Hours a Day

As noted in, Science Confirms That 9 to 5 is Hell for Creative Workers, creative people aren’t the greatest at focusing for eight hours straight – if you are lucky you’ll get five or six good hours of work out of a creative person. If you’re creative, you will spend the other two or three hours trying to find some kind of way to entertain yourself with Post-It notes and rainbow sharpie markers.

If you are just a slacker,  you prefer to spend those hours taking a nap or sleeping. Because why would you do anything else?

The Magic Happens in the Middle of the Night

If your best work is produced from 1 a.m. to 3 a.m., you are most likely creative and/or on whatever drugs make people stay up all night. While working out laws of visual perspective, Renaissance painter Paolo Uccello was known to pace through the night muttering, “What a beautiful thing is this perspective!” While these are ideal hours for creative types, there are very few employers who allow middle of the night working and almost none who would consider 1 a.m. to 3 a.m. as full-time hours.

Slackers on the other hand aren’t usually working at 3 a.m. and won’t claim to be working if they are awake, because they know that eventually someone is going to ask them why they have nothing to show for working all those late nights.

While it probably won’t earn you any good-employee brownie points the next time you wander into the office two hours late, at least you know now, whether or not you are just too creative for your job.

Tell Us What You Think

Do you find it difficult to work a normal 9-to-5 job? Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

Christina Majaski
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