Monday, December 7, 2009

Overtime slaves

If you, like most people, feel you are working too long then I’d suggest you read “Slaves to the overtime habit fail to loosen shackles”. It talks about how Australians are chaining themselves to their desks and doing over 2 billion (yes billion) hours in unpaid overtime.

So what’s the major reason for this? Most said they had too much to do (i.e. too busy) but also confessed that something else had come up (i.e. allowed themselves to get interrupted). So what does this mean? Well, according to the article these people are:

- unable to eat properly
- unable to pay bills on time
- unable to see their partner
- unable to exercise
- unable to relax
- and so on

I especially like this example:

“…he calculated he was working probably twice the hours he was paid for.’ I have no time for exercise and no time to see my friends, let alone spend time with my girlfriend. On my one day off I’m so tired I lie down all day at home….life sucks when there is no time to live it. I am a slave’”.

Sound familiar? So many people’s of identities these days is totally tied to their work. What’s the first question people will ask when they meet you at an event? ‘So what do you do?’ is the typical ice breaker, not ‘have you read any good books?’, ‘seen any good movies?’, ‘been anywhere interesting lately?’. No, they want to know what work you perform so they can better understand who you are because these days your job is the best description of who you are.

Sad isn’t it? Here is someone basically saying they feel like a slave with no freedom and no ability to enjoy life. How is that living? Basically it’s not. We were all led to believe that technology would free us from this situation whereas, as I have said many, many times here, it has simply enslaved us. Why? Because we accept the defaults. We don’t customize the systems to suit ourselves, we modify our behaviour to suit the systems. Like D’oh!

The interesting thing is that it is easily within everyone’s power to achieve the lifestyle they desire, however like an alcoholic, first you need to admit you have a problem and secondly you have to want to do something about it. Why wouldn’t you want more time to do what excited you? Why wouldn’t you want more time with your partner, kids, hobbies, etc? Seems from this article that more and more people don’t want to lead an enjoyable life? More and more people want a life chained to a desk, forced to continue on the never ending treadmill. They are no longer in control and those who are not in control are destined to be controlled by others.

If you can admit you have a problem and do want to have a ‘life’ then I suggest you have a look at some of my work on SlideShare, especially Enough Time and Power of an Hour, or the Smarter Productivity training I run. If you want to go beyond this and save at least one hour a day (which adds up to more than a working month a year) I’d suggest you get in contact with me (director@ciaops.com) so we can develop something to help free you from your current enslavement. Remember life is about doing what excites you.