Is There Such A Thing As Working Too Hard?
It there really such a thing as working too hard? Before modern day labor laws and unions people, children included, would work 16 hour days with no breaks in rooms with no windows, I am sure that there are countries where this still happens. The average American works a 44-hour week that includes breaks and time off (studies show that approximately one third of that week is spent idly). Now I am not saying that we should be working 16-hour days seven days a week, you have to make sure you enjoy your life, but I am against the notion of “working too hard”. What I do believe is that to do a job well the work needs to be put in but not at the cost of your health or your happiness.
In today’s day and age we have seen a big transition from the standard 40-hour workweek to a less traditional schedule in an effort to increase both quality of life and productivity. I think that there is merit in some of these non-traditional approaches in regards to maximizing productivity, I do however think that years ago people worked harder and longer and no one was worse off for it. I unfortunately believe that we do not possess the same work ethic that the generations that came before us did. This country was built on the backs of honest hard working people, nose to the grindstone type people who were stubborn and strong. Today people seem to look for the easiest course of action or loopholes with which to game the system, generations today don’t seem interested in following the rules and working harder.
Maybe this is because we have become disenchanted and we are witnessing the death of the American dream, people no longer believe that honest hard work will get you where you want to be. Maybe it is because the advancements made in communications technology and computer sciences have bred a generation that is used too and expects instant gratification, and they do not possess the patience or the work ethic to put the required time into certain efforts. Whatever the reason a new order is rising, and while they may not possess the work ethic of their forefathers they are far from unintelligent. Their values are different and while their predecessors may have valued honesty, hard work and material gain this generation is more about subjective quality of life. Here is where I tend to agree; it makes no sense to work hard if you never have the time to enjoy the fruits of your labor. If you are the type that never takes time off, has sacrificed their health or diet and who cant seem to ever turn off the cell phone for fear of missing a business call then take a cue from the Millennials. Your happiness is what is most important; your quality of life is paramount. Don’t misunderstand me however this is not a reason to be lazy or too not strive for success or excellence, and don’t be disillusioned no one is going to ever hand you anything in this life.
Ultimately it comes down to balance, work hard and do the best that you can do no matter what you do but also remember that its important to stop and smell the roses. Life is not about working yourself to death nor is it about finding the easiest or quickest way to get things done. Doing anything right requires time and effort and that should never be forgotten, but nothing is worth sacrificing your happiness or health.
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by Jarrad Kulick