Are we working too hard?
Home girl knows what I’m talking about.
This question shot into my brain as soon as my alarm went off Monday morning. My body felt like I got repeatedly drop-kicked by Miguel. If Kevin Hart were by my bed, he would definitely be hollering,
Bet ya’ll forgot about this, ha!
I honestly was not ready to go out and face the world because I felt exhausted and filled with seemingly distant hopes of the three-day weekend to come.
While I technically don’t work full-time, I work as a part-time graduate assistant and I’m a full-time graduate student. I can only imagine what the full-time employees with 40+ hour work weeks and 12 hours shifts feel like (Insert serenity prayer for you guys here).
As I tried to persuade myself to leave my bed, I mumbled, “ain’t nobody got time to spend their entire lives working and not have time to enjoy their
paycheck life outside of work ”. But we do it anyway…
However, during my multiple snooze breaks, I kept daydreaming about what it would be like to have more free time on our hands. Would we be happier as a nation? I mean, I definitely would be happier (I’m lazy). I’d have more time to spend with the people I love while unwinding and recuperating from a busy week.
Oh! And I’d also have time to, you know, actually make my doctor/dentist/optometrist appointment so I can get rid of the flu virus/cavity/ astigmatism that I developed while I was slaving throughout the month…(I like to exaggerate, but the struggle is real).
Free Mon Tues Wed Thurs Free Free
Photo cred: Kali Ciesemier
I also appreciate the time off to go celebrate special holidays, religious activities and historical events but sometimes life gets so stressful that you feel like these sparse breaks can’t come sooner.
I get it. We are living in the land of the free to do whatever we want. And there will be people who don’t mind working without a longer break. But we’re all about the don’t-sleep-if-you-want-to-make-that-paper, can’t-talk-because-I only-have-10-minutes-to-enjoy-my-lunch, I-want-that-Louie- V-bag-so-I-gotta-grind, team-no-sleep, deathly-ill-but-I-don’t-want-to-use-up-my-sick-days-because-i-gotta-grind….
We are always ON because we are a country of unmistakable go-getterness (not a word). While all these things can be great, I can’t help but wonder why we don’t also focus on our mental health that allows us to be efficient and productive members of this society. How many times have you heard people in the public eye being admitted to clinics/hospitals for exhaustion? How many people do you know who are so stressed out that they start to develop illnesses, ulcers and migraines?
For that reason alone, even if we accommodated one 3 day weekend per month I’d be
Consider what happened in Utah in 2008, when, Jon Hunstman, the governor at the time, ordered Utah state employees to adopt a temporary 4 day work week in an effort to offset their economic difficulties. Although there were a few snags (employees with children having to rearrange daycare schedules and 10 hour shifts), the employees reported having a higher sense of well-being, increased efficiency, and even volunteered more in their spare time!
Obviously, this is only one illustration and it takes more to implement than just saying,
“3 day weekend, anyone? Come on, you know want it..”,
But, I believe it’s something we need to think about for the future. Applied research has aided in setting up good guidelines that we live by, ( e.g. how many hours of sleep is recommended, glasses of water to consume). So I feel that we should always keep researching what makes us feel better so that we can do better. Some people believe that time is money, but while you can get your money back, you can’t get your time back.
So, humor me. What if we had three day weekends? Do you think it would help stimulate the economy, overall efficiency in the workforce and increase overall happiness? Or do you think the odds will never be in our favor?
Until next time,
P.S. Get some rest this weekend and I hope you all get to celebrate MLK Day!