According to the Bureau of Labor statistics for 2017, the average amount of hours worked for an individual aged 25-54 was 40.3 hours per week. This means there are 127.7 non-working hours remaining for the week. Take away 56 hours for sleeping 8 hours per night if we’re lucky, 4.3 hours on average for commuting to work, 2.5 for lunch at minimum, and 2.6 hours on average getting ready for work, we’re left with a little over 62 hours per week not working. I have intentionally chosen not to add in vacation time because that would reflect 1-2 weeks on an abnormal week.
What does this equate to exactly?
62 hours not working
56 hours sleeping
50 hours with work related activities
So, lets get rid of the sleeping hours and see how much of our awake time is spent working. Are you ready? An estimated 45% of our time is spent working. Let me repeat this. Nearly half of the time we are awake is spent working!
I’m sorry, not sorry, but we are working too much.
I’m not sure how we got here. Oh yes, I know. We want everything yesterday. As a result, businesses are in the business of working to make things leaner and help us, the customer get things yesterday. Seriously, companies are working to make things so efficient which means the employees are part of this go, go, go mentality. We don’t realize we are contributing to this madness. Why?
Why do we need everything yesterday? Well, we don’t. But, we have grown accustomed to getting things when we want them, which is right now. Don’t get me wrong, there is some amazing work going on and some companies who take the extra step to offer amenities to their staff. But, this doesn’t change the fact that we are working too many hours of our life to accommodate for our so-called immediate need for service, products, and so on. I mean we now get products shipped to our doors tomorrow. We get upset if we must wait more than five minutes for anything. It is ludicrous! And we have created this monster. We complain we work so much but we continue to do it. Alternatively, we complain if we are not helped quickly but we continue to do it.
I’m not sure of the exact solution right this minute. I know you’ll have to wait. Say what?!
What if we all slowed down just a tad? The way we are going, we will all end up with some stress-related illness or disease: heart disease, asthma, obesity, diabetes, headaches, depression and anxiety, gastrointestinal problems, Alzheimer’s, increased aging, and premature death. We will just keep accelerating our needs and wants and how fast we want them, and businesses will be forced to conform to not a go-go-go society but a I need this and want this now society.
We have contributed to this problem so how about we contribute to the solution? Businesses can come together to promise reasonable fulfillment of products and services. You know those restaurants that say our food is homemade and everything takes at least ten minutes. I love it! Have a seat. Enjoy the present. And chill.
As a leader, an employee, a customer, you have a choice of how you lead, of what company aligns with your goals and values, and how fast you really need things.
It starts with you. If everyone came together and realized it started with them then it would really start with us.
How are you going to be the most efficient at work so you’re not becoming burnout and not working nearly half of your life? How are you going to communicate the need for really living to your teams at work? How are you going to help businesses stop this trajectory of meeting unreasonable demands? What if you chose something longer than next-day or two-day shipping? Crazy, I know.
As a recovering people pleaser, burnout survivor, and anxiety-ridden workaholic, I know all too well the real dangers of working too much. Don’t wait until you are suffering to wake up and be the most successful you personally and professionally. Making that time for you and your family. Showing up to an event without checking your phone for texts and emails. Creating space in your life to show you some love.
If you’d like to read more articles, find out how you can work with me, or just drop me an email, go to jendiehl.net. Be warned though, it may take me longer than an hour to respond.
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