I used to fall asleep wishing for snow so I wouldn’t have to go to school.
I lived in Alabama so hoping it would snow is like throwing a hail mary downfield. Some people wake up hoping they get into a car accident just so they don’t have to clock in at work. Some even go as far as to wish for death.
Long shifts combined with low pay make millions feel like their wasting their life clocking in and clocking out.
Why do people work 40 hours or more week after week and still struggle to make ends meet? Why do some have to pick between the light bill or the gas bill and pick which bill is going to either be partially paid or paid late? Why do they have to borrow from Peter just to pay Paul?
We all know the short answer. Capitalism. In our society, we’re taught to measure our self-worth based on how “successful” we are and the amount of materialistic purchases we can afford. What we’re really doing is constantly comparing our salary and benefits with everyone else's. This drives people into what many call the “rat race.” Due to this endless cycle, a number of people never experience authentic happiness with themselves.
Social media has people in their 20s having complete mental breakdowns because they aren’t rich yet as if they’ve already wasted their whole lives. Then they turn around and juggle full-time schedules of work and school, chasing unrealistic expectations and hopes.
“I hate how obsessed with working everyone is. I DON’T want to grind. I DON’T want to put in over 40 hours a week. Like I really don’t lmao that shit sounds miserable. I don’t even want to do 40 hours and you want me to put 60 hour work weeks up to the “grind”?? Goodbye.” — @LayaBuurd on Twitter
There is a whole sub-Reddit dedicated to being “anti-work”, but honestly most of these people are just burnt out. They don’t really believe nobody should work. They think people shouldn’t have to break their backs working 12+ hour shifts day in and day out just to have their lights and water shut off.
They wish for more free time. They want more time with their friends and family. They want to have time and energy for their hobbies and interests. If the workday was shortened to four to six hours, people would have more time and energy to actually enjoy their lives.
Why should we adopt 4-hour workdays?
Four hours each weekday adds up to twenty hours a week. That’s approximately 80 to 100 hours a month. Why shouldn’t that be enough work to live off of?
Let’s break it down:
- 4 hours of work
- 6–8 hours of sleep
- 1–2 hours morning and night hygiene routines
That’s 14 hours of the day, leaving 10. Imagine what you could do with ten hours each day. People could create more. Hobbies could be picked back up. People would have more time to prepare food, so they’d potentially eat better. They’d have more time to rest and recover. Overall people would be in a better mood.
There would be fewer sick days. There are benefits for the companies as well. Cost savings and higher morale are just a couple of them.
For generations, it’s been acceptable to work our whole life away.
We shrug and say, “That’s the way things are.” It’s not that the later generations are lazy or don’t want to work. Look at their interests. Writing, drawing, painting, content creation, and music are just to name a few.
How many amazing stories are we missing out on because that talented writer, filmmaker, musician, or content creator can’t afford to work on their passions? How many innovations and solutions have we missed out on because people have to work most of the time they spend awake just to afford basic food?
If you work at an office, how much time do you actually spend working? I think the pandemic has shown a lot of us that we spend more time in meetings or believing that we’re working than actually getting stuff done.
If you work outside the office, maybe at a construction site, think about how much more would get done if workers had more energy. What if workers did their jobs for four to six hours and then handed the reigns to someone with fresh legs and a refreshed brain?
What if we had nurses and doctors that didn’t feel the need to work 12+ hours? Shorter shifts would help prevent mistakes from being made due to exhaustion. More shift changes might be difficult to adjust to at first, but have you seen an extremely exhausted nurse try to give their patients the best care? It’s heartbreaking and extremely frustrating.
Should we really be praising and encouraging people to consistently work themselves to the brink of total exhaustion?