I feel the most productive in the morning. I’m an up early and get to work kind of guy. Even on weekends. holidays, and vacations, I prefer to get up early, if just to sit and enjoy coffee in the quiet before getting on with the rest of my day.
While that’s great for my employer, it also means my most productive time is spent at work, and by time I get home, must of my umph is gone, I’m spent and stressed, and the best I can do is make dinner and maybe straighten up the house a little. I never have the energy or desire to be creative or enjoy most of my hobbies on weeknights.
This is what being a full-time cubicle rat does to me. It robs me of the desire or energy to do the things I enjoy.
I wish we had more work life balance in this country. I don’t believe we should have to spend the bulk of our waking hours between the ages of 18 and 70, 62, or even 55 working.
I’m luckier than most, but how wrong is it that my option to retire at 55 is the exception to the rule? I know so many of my friends don’t have such luxury.
And the toll it takes on our hearts and minds and souls, not to mention our bodies, doing this for so long and so much of our time, is downright awful.
If you are one of the lucky few who can do what you love for as often or as long as you want to and earn a living doing it, I am genuinely happy for you. Believe me, I don’t hold resentment towards anyone who has a better working situation than I, nor do I take any solace knowing so many are in my shoes, toiling away at unsatisfying jobs because we/they have no choice.
Not everyone has the same opportunities, and I recognize my own privilege at having the opportunities I did. But I feel like an indentured servant, beholden to people for the bulk of my life in order to earn precious few years of post retirement enjoyment. (And probably less than the average person, given my chronic illnesses.)
So maybe it’s not so much I hate my job as much as I resent having to do it for so much of my life. We shouldn’t have to give up so much of our own time and freedom.
It just isn’t right.
9 thoughts on “Productivity”
The problem with working for me is that it is very all or nothing. When I was working I had no energy for anything else. When I am unemployed I have too much idle time on my hands. I wish there was something in between, but no employer wants that (unless it means they can casually schedule labor on short notice, which means the employee can’t do anything for fear of being called into work).
I wish three and four day work weeks were acceptable, but somebody decided that 40 hours was the standard. (This being May Day, Auntie Debra would like to remind you that it used to be 48 hours, and even that was an improvement on 60 hour work weeks.)
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Yes, Auntie Debra would like to do precisely that. But that doesn’t mean that the 40 hour week is ideal and should be the static norm.
I retired at 57 and I like my life and myself so much more. Despite how far much of the world has come, modern work life is not happy for the majority of people.
There are a couple of project that extend beyond my exit date, I tried to negotiate cutting back to 1 or 2 days a week for a few months so I could finish those up, with one of the people who keeps trying to talk me out of retiring and was told NO, HR and General Counsel will not allow that. I will get wound up if I keep writing on this,
I feel you.
My work schedule (and the way I work) changed during the pandemic and I am grateful it did. Like you, I am more productive in the morning (a morning person?) and with my new schedule I take full advantage of that. But I am also working towards that retirement.
Don’t get me wrong, fortunately, I do something I like and I am good at doing it. But I agree that our lives should not be spent in a little box, staying busy to show our value. It’s the one thing that capitalism has told the overlords we’re good for. I am more for a four-day work week. I know it’s been proved that it’s better for workers (and companies, which get better results from workers) and I wish it were a universal measure, though…
I guess I am one of the fortunate ones: I have a job that I enjoy and a work environment that I enjoy. My schedule is fairly flexible so that once my professional obligations are complete, I am free to move on. Of course, the duties do follow me home! 🙂 Naked hugs!
I retired at 53, and I have to admit sometimes I have my own version of Survivor’s Guilt. My friends are all in their late fifties to early sixties. One of them has health issues but can’t retire for two more years. Another admitted to me they’re likely working past 65 because it’s the only way they can afford to travel, their hobby. All of them wish they were me.
On the flip side, I had a choice. Keep working for an employer that didn’t value me at the expense of my mental and physical health, or quit. I felt if I had continued working, I’d be further stressed out trying to keep my job, so I cut my losses. I don’t regret my decision, even if it means I could possibly be unemployable in the future.
I know just how damn lucky I have been to be one of the few to love what I do as a living…it has taken me down several different creative avenues over the years. But I agree with you, this country is nuts. I only learned that on my trips abroad. And not just several places in Europe, but also South America, Costa Rica, and Canada. They all have it figured out. I feel much more suited to their living more so. We and China seem to be the over worked, burnt out, work, home, work, home countries. Traveling abroad has opened my eyes to this issue and MANY others. Luckily, I get a lot of time off and I USE IT!!! We are also given 5 “personal health days” which we can use just because. That is unheard of.
A huge percent of firms better wake up and offer more programs for time off and let their workers take their vacation time when they want and encourage it. You’d think they would want a happy and rested worker, who will be refreshed and happy to be there, and do good work. Luckily my current place is very good about balancing work and home life, so people can have a life.
I couldn’t agree more with you. US companies better wake up!!! Since traveling abroad not only to several European cities, but also to South America, Costa Rica and Canada….they all do home and work life so much better, and often time have longer break times and less hours working…yet they do excellent work. They can always tell us Americans when traveling because we are always stressed and impatience, as we live in a “rush everything mentality” country. Traveling certainly opened my eyes to this issue and MANY others.
I’m lucky enough to have enjoyed all my jobs I had, and my current. Each has led me down so many creative avenues. And luckily, they all have been good with hours and excellent vacation time. My current offers not only vacation for me, but all holidays off with pay and even 5 “personal health days” for whatever. Unheard of these days. They are very big on a well-balanced work and home life…and quality of life. Many other firms and companies better wake up. You’d think they would want a work force rested, and happy.