The one thing that pandemic has made me realize is that overworking and being stressed all the time is not something glamorous. I should not be striving for that. In movies, they show people loving their job and working all day and trying to achieve the best life.
The fast-paced New York lifestyle is over glamorized. Just having the commute removed from your life through work from home probably made you realize it is not necessary to always be on the grind.
In Hollywood movies, they show people overworking as if it is something great. These people are shown as they don’t have time to talk to their family and friends. But it’s okay because they are trying to achieve success and their dreams. They are too busy working the grind. That life is displayed to us as if it is the norm and what we should try to achieve. Those that are trying to work less are made to seem as if they are lazy.
What we don’t realize is that we are most productive if we work 6 hours a day which is 30 hours a week. Overworking actually causes us to lower productivity.
Is leaving everything for retirement the ideal goal?
Is overworking really what our life is meant for? Just earning more and more money and not having time to spend it. Most of the time at work we aren’t even trying to achieve our dreams we are helping someone else achieve their dreams by working for them.
I respect the people that work long hours to put food on their plates and that is not what I am referring to. I am talking about those people that are just focusing all their energy on earning more and more money. An amount that is way beyond their necessities just so they can retire happily. Do you really think that at that age you will suddenly be able to enjoy your life? Will you be able to do all the fun activities you can do in your youth? Like travelling, bungee jumping, climbing a mountain, or skydiving.
Do you want to spend 75 percent of your life making money so you can enjoy just 25 percent of it?
We start at age 16 we work long hours to make our college applications look great. Then we work in University to get us through university and prepare for the real world. Everyone is doing so we start believing we have to do it as well. Then we keep working till retirement.
What about social connections?
If you spend all your time just working you are missing out on making social connections. You aren’t giving your current family and friends time that is needed to flourish those relationships. If you have a family if you are working 100 hours a week you are not going to be able to provide your children the time they need.
When we become 70 years old if we invested all our time in our job instead of maintaining social connections there isn’t going to be anyone to spend time with when we are old. You will be so used to working that is what you will end up doing. I see so many people that are still at 75 or 80 continuing to work because they don’t know what else to do.
Does money equal happiness?
We have started believing this idea that money equals happiness. And yeah you might rather be crying in Lamborghini than on the streets but is money really giving you the joy you think. First, we strive for 60k then we reach 60k we are like now we need 100k. Then when reach 100k it becomes 150k salary. Then it becomes we need to become a millionaire. The amount we want keeps changing. Each time I strive for a higher salary. When I get there instead of appreciating that salary I am onto getting the next salary amount.
Research has been done to show that to be happy the ideal salary is 75k annually. Below this, we feel unhappy but above this amount, we do not feel any happier.
Pandemic is making people re-evaluate their lives
The pandemic might change the way people view their life. Virtual work has removed that social connection building aspect of work. As we work virtually people are starting to realize that working isn’t all we were made for. Having the 3 hours of life that we were commuting in returned to us has made us realize we can spend our time on hobbies, friends, and families.
We have time to appreciate the small joys like staring at the clouds move or drinking a cup of tea on our front porch.
I am hoping there is a switch in our society and we stop overworking. These lessons we learned about self-care and valuing our time don’t just go away when we return to the post-pandemic era.