THE WORKWEEK TRAP: PUPPET MASTERS AND THE ILLUSION OF TIME
As I stared at piles of organized clutter and moving boxes I began to contemplate life, business, and the hamster wheel we call success. I began to ask questions like “Why do people hardly have time to live?”, and “Why is it that despite material abundance, people are unhappier than ever before?” “Why do most people need to be Xanaxed into a coma to survive one of the most abundant times in history?”
You see behind the scenes, corporations have strategically woven a web that keeps us trapped in the endless cycle of work and consumption. By normalizing the forty-hour workweek as the societal standard for employees and entrepreneurs alike, these same corporations ensure that our free time remains scarce. Things like family, rest, play, learning, and creation are banished to the periphery of our lives while work takes center stage while the media promotes the idea that it is a noble cause to prioritize feeding the machine more than our health, our happiness, and our relationships.
This approach fosters a culture where we feel compelled to spend heavily on entertainment and conveniences due to the limited time available outside of work. Our evenings and weekends become the battlegrounds for constructing a life while juggling commitments and desires. Since we don’t have time to prepare meals from scratch – we have become more and more reliant on fast foods and pre-prepared microwave meals. Things that were seen as luxuries only a few decades ago have become ‘essentials’ in the minds of everyday consumers – and health and happiness are on a rapid decline.
People are more obese than ever before.
The mental health crisis is at an all-time high.
Concern for the environment takes a back seat so long as money continues to change hands.
And despite being hyper-connected thanks to digital technologies people have never felt more loneliness and isolation.
And somewhere along the lines, we stopped questioning whether or not what we were doing was actually taking us down a path that would support our highest good.
With the average first-world living human being spending more than 90 000 hours at work over their lifetime (which is a significant chunk of this one precious life of ours), it’s worth unpacking whether or not the way we relate to work is ultimately serving us. After all, you have only one precious life, and it’s up to you how you choose to live it.