The forty-hour workweek is not for me

July 18, 2014

I hate forty-hour workweeks. I despise the nine-to-five, day-in-day-out, overworked-underslept monotony that is most people’s day jobs.

Full disclosure: I’m unemployed.

David Cain wrote a thought-provoking article entitled ”Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed (The Real Reason For The Forty-Hour Workweek)” that I think is worth a read. In it, he theorizes that America’s work culture has been setup to coincide with big business, media, and entertainment marketing:

The ultimate tool for corporations to sustain a culture of this sort is to develop the 40-hour workweek as the normal lifestyle. Under these working conditions people have to build a life in the evenings and on weekends. This arrangement makes us naturally more inclined to spend heavily on entertainment and conveniences because our free time is so scarce.

I’ve only been back at work for a few days, but already I’m noticing that the more wholesome activities are quickly dropping out of my life: walking, exercising, reading, meditating, and extra writing.

This is, I think, truly a tragedy. I recently begun reading Tim Ferriss’ book The 4-Hour Workweek to attempt to cultivate some strategies for time management and getting more done in less time, affording myself more time to do things which I consider vastly more important (remember that full disclosure above, though.)

Me, I’m always trying to do for myself what’s necessary to provide a long-lived and fulfilled life. In most cases, this involves a comfortable income; however, I refuse to allow the pursuit of money and things cost me my time, stress, happiness, and fulfillment.