Why You Should Be a Slacker

Last Updated Mar 29, 2011 3:09 PM EDT

If you want to get ahead, you need a Type A personality. Go, go, go. Right? The more stress you're under, the better you perform. You can handle everything.

Sue Shellenbarger at the Wall Street Journal reported on a new study in the Journal of Applied Psychology. Researchers found that slackers actually handled life better than their go getter counterparts.

But in a finding that may baffle busy-bee readers, people who avoid problems »" those we might call slackers in a different context -- who withdraw and, say, lie down and take a nap instead of tackling dilemmas right away, actually do better with life conflict, and seem to have more energy, says the study.

The part about the "slackers" having more energy isn't surprising. After all, they just took naps.

But, overall this makes sense. By taking some down time, they have time to evaluate whether this new problem is actually worth solving. How many of times have you had "urgent requests" become "oh never mind, we're going another direction" an hour later? Look over your email after you've been stuck in an off site training all day without access to email? You weren't there and magically some problems solved themselves.

In addition, you can often think of solutions when you're not staring at a problem directly. Go for a walk, talk to a friend, do something other than dwelling on the problem you are currently facing.

More fascinating is the finding that people who seek out other people for emotional support reported more stress. These people probably take the stress into their relationships instead of using the relationships for an escape from problems.

So, stop complaining, and go take a nap. By the time you wake up, perhaps you'll be less stressed and one of your type A coworkers will have taken care of three items on your to-do list.

For Further Reading:

Photo by 8one6, Flickr cc 2.0

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