Sunday, November 16, 2008

Scenario #16: Work

I've had several conversations lately about overworking. Today, I start with my questions:

- What is the difference between working too much and working too hard?
- What is the bare minimum of rest a person should have?
- When we choose to work more than we should, what is really going on? Why would we do that?

Please do give me your answers. Personally, I'm kind of passionate about this topic, but I'm willing to be persuaded otherwise.

To me, working too much is a huge problem while working too hard is actually a difficult feat to achieve. Working too much entails spending more hours than we should working, but if we do that we start to shut down mentally or physically, so we actually end up not working hard enough.

I think each person is different, but I also think the Bible was onto something when it mandated one day a week. It seems reasonable that once every handful plus of days, we take a day to catch ourselves up emotionally, mentally and physically. But there are people who will work a month then rest a week. Or two months then rest two weeks. Personally, I'm kind of like that, but two months is really pushing it. This whole conversation has come up in my life because I know people who have gone a month without a day off and that seems terribly dangerous to me. As a bare minimum, bare minimum, I'm suggesting one day every two weeks... plus proper vacations from time to time!

Do we overwork to escape something else? To prove ourselves? To avoid being bored? Because we feel people are depending on us? I've heard them all. The worst is when one leads to another, I think: for example, we work too hard to avoid being bored... but then we feel all eyes are on us to really do something amazing, so we start trying to prove ourselves... but then we fall behind on the cleaning and on contact with our closest friends and it just seems like too much work to catch up on those things, so we work to escape the dirty house and our unreplied text messages. Oh no!

Sorry, today's is not a very literary post. Maybe later I'll make this into a story about a person who worked too hard!

Ironically, I'm writing this on my last day of work... and I have too much work to do.

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