UNITED STATES—America we work too much. I mean I have heard about so many recent studies in the past few weeks that have revealed that Americans are working more and more, but making less and less. To make the situation even worse is the realization that we are not taking our personal holidays or vacations, and for those who take vacations, they are still working to some level of degree. What?! Yeah, hearing such stats leave me overly concerned.
Yes, work is part of everyday life, but the goal in life is NOT to work 24/7 without ever having anytime for one’s self. I like time off from work, I mean I juggle two jobs already and I’m a full-time student. I rarely, and I mean rarely get 24 hours to myself, and the one day of the week that I do is on Saturdays. Anyone, who is anyone who knows me, is well aware that I HATE with a passion working on Saturdays, moreover, I do NOT like doing any work of any kind on my one day off during the week.
The mere idea of someone asking me to work or even contacting me about work makes me livid. Yes, I can be curt and rude at times, which is not my aim, but jeez, let me have the one day that I have to myself to decompress and not be disturbed about work related issues. I hear horror stories about people who sleep next to their phones, and find themselves being awoke in the middle of the night by texts or emails from work. We have to learn how to detach ourselves from work.
Yes it’s very true, those who are always one step ahead, stay ahead, but at what cost? You’re sacrificing your personal time to always work, which means less time with family, less time for extracurricular activities and just down time. I hate to say this, but there are those days where I just don’t want to do anything. I have 24 hours and during those 24 hours, the only thing I want to do is sit back, watch TV and cook a hearty dish or two. I think that is sometimes the body’s way of telling you that you’re doing too much and if you don’t sit down I’m going to force you to sit down.
I’ll be the first to admit I wish there were more than 24 hours in a day, but now that I reflect on things, it’s good we only have 24 hours in a day. Why? If we had more we’d probably just spend those extra hours working instead of living our lives. Anyone who has ready ANY of my columns is well aware that I have a saying, one that I learned as an undergraduate going after my English degree that a professor told me. She always said you work to live, not live to work.
It took me awhile to truly understand what she meant, but as I’ve aged I totally understand what she meant. You work because it’s part of life; it helps provide you with the things you need to live an enjoyable life. However, you goal is not to live your life to solely work. If you’re always working it’s impossible to do anything else America.
This column is not just a warning to Americans not to overwork and overstress themselves, but for employers to be aware that employees are viable assets. You don’t want to push people to feel they have to work all the time. In the end you could find yourself in a situation where a phenomenal employee departs because he or she feels overworked, underappreciated and underpaid. I do believe some workers are irreplaceable, too bad many companies don’t realize that until it’s too late.