Back in the day, staying alive was a full-time job. Then, the industrial revolution happened. Suddenly, there was such a thing as leisure time. And now, with all kinds of commercial automation and time-saving devices, human beings have the potential to enjoy more free time than ever. Fortunately/unfortunately, we are by and large instead deciding to commit ourselves to redundant and obsessive work, which neither translates into increased productivity nor increased happiness. So go ahead and finish watching this video, then put down your laptop, because here are 5 reasons you don’t have to work so hard.
1. . Working Too Many Hours At A Low Paying Job Will Just Lead To Working Too Many Hours At A Slightly Higher Paying Job
It used to be that the poor worked a lot, and the rich mostly hung out. Now, even those at the top of the corporate ladder are reporting decreased happiness and increased hours spent on the job. Sure, you want that promotion, but next time you’re answering a work email after midnight on a Sunday, remind yourself:
2. . After A Certain Point, Money Ceases To Buy Happiness
Once you have your basic needs of food, shelter, and an occasional girls night out with margaritas, the ability of money to translate into happiness pretty much dead ends. Studies vary, but according to Princeton University, after about $75k/mo, money doesn’t necessarily make the good times roll. So the next time you stress about not being further along in your career, relax. Literally. Go out to brunch and be thankful for all the time you have to do you.
3. . “A’s” Are For Suckers. Just “B” You
Grade inflation, as of late, is off the goddamned charts and any college drop-out turned millionaire can tell you that being good at school doesn’t mean sh*t when it comes to living real life. Our school system has become a self contained feedback loop wherein students learn how to get good grades so that they can get good grades. Critical thinking and practical applications of that education fall to the wayside because they are more difficult to measure than getting answers right on a test. Students who kill themselves for straight A’s are more likely to be more stressed out and retain less knowledge overall than students who give themselves the freedom to make mistakes, even if it means missing a couple of questions on the midterm.
4. . The Brain Works Better When It Gets Rest
If you really want to claw your way to the top, the best way to do it is by lowering your stress and taking frequent breaks. Telling yourself you “don’t have time to take a lunch break” robs you of much needed mental downtime and much delicious sandwiches. The human brain taps out around 90 minutes. So every hour and a half, go on a 10 minute walk. Getting up and stretching or grabbing a snack - aka not checking your email or social media or watching a video like this one - means coming back to your work stronger and more focused than before. Stopping to take a full blown nap is more productive than trying to power through the day falling asleep at your desk. Real heroes nap.
5. . Vacation Makes You Strong
If you thought a midday nap was cool, how about a full six weeks of vacation? Not taking time off is a weird trend that has taken off in America in the last 50 years, and it makes absolutely no sense at all. Being a workaholic is an addiction like any other. You aren’t better or stronger for abusing yourself and denying yourself of fun times with your friends and family. You’re actually hurting yourself as much as you’re hurting your job. Six weeks a year when you are totally unattached to your office, is recommended. It’s also the bare minimum in Europe, and they are every bit as productive as we are. And with that, I bid you carpe dieum. See you at the beach!