Futurologists predicted that in the XXI century people will work less: the development of technology and reducing the need for low-skilled labour will make people freer and happier.
However, everything turned out differently: for some reason, the number of workaholics increased. A paradox happened: labour ceased to be hard, and overwork suddenly became one of the main problems.
Work for many people has lost the flavour of something forced, monotonous and boring. It became a new dream, which must be achieved step by step: to get an education, undergo training, improve qualifications, to find a decent place in the team, which fully meets the high ambitions ... And to become her addict, a workaholic, someone who works for the sake of work and is in a state of constant overwork.
When doctors talk about chronic fatigue syndrome, they mention various illnesses that masquerade behind a sense of constant lack of vitality. They mention stress, which has become a constant companion of our lives. But the simple problem of "you don't get enough rest" is left out. Because being a workaholic today is kind of the norm. Because, anyway, an adult goal-oriented person can't afford to sleep more than six hours a night.
Because work is not only a means but also the purpose of life. And if it is, then rest is something secondary, right? In 2003, British journalist Madeleine Bunting conducted a study that helped us figure out why we so easily become workaholics. Two hundred years ago, it would have been hard to imagine a person voluntarily taking overtime in the field or in the factory because "it fit corporate values" or because "it would make me a better person." The journalist's answer was simple: people's motivation has changed. Where once work was a means to make money, today tireless work has become the meaning of life.
The nature of work has changed. Most people are not loading coal or harvesting wheat by hand. But labour has not become easier. Sometimes a person needs to sit in an office all day to solve the tasks assigned to him - to please clients and bosses, to fulfill sometimes contradictory requirements. The policy of most companies to create a "corporate spirit", a variety of personal growth training and competitions between colleagues does not add optimism. In fact, these are simple but very effective manipulations: make a person feel special, and he will work overtime for the idea.
If you feel tired all the time, you should first ask yourself, "How much rest am I getting?" Sometimes the reasons for feeling unwell lie in things so simple that they are simply not taken into account. Rest has come to be seen as something optional in a world where work replaces family, friends, and children and becomes the only way to fulfill oneself. In Japan, there is a special term for people who have died at work from overwork, "karoshi.
Such a death is considered sad, but has a certain tinge of heroism and nobility. Apparently, the idea of karoshi does not seem like something wild to big corporations in Russia either, because fostering "corporate spirit" in employees has about the same goal: "Work until you run out. Then we'll replace you with another hero.
Here are a few signs that indicate a clear lack of rest in your life:
- you find it difficult to switch to some other activity after work: the parent-teacher meeting at your child's school seems like a branch of hell on earth, where people are endlessly dealing with unsolvable issues, and cooking dinner seems like something like working at an open-hearth furnace in a workshop;
- rest becomes unproductive, bringing no joy or satisfaction;
- confidence in own forces is present only during work, and any other activity causes the whole spectrum of negative emotions - from disgust to despondency;
- if for some reason you are not loaded with work, you start to feel guilt;
- any other activity, except work, whether it is sports or visiting a fashion exhibition, seems a senseless waste of time;
- a display of disorganization and laziness deterioration of relations with relatives, communication and sexual problems, which are often accompanied by psychological defences such as "sex is a useless fuss" or "what I did not see at the child's matinee, and I do not have time anyway";
- the perception of work problems as personal, the inability to distinguish between normal work situations and personal insult;
- constant "self-sabotage", when one deadline is immediately replaced by another when there is always more work to do than is possible during a certain period of time, and if you analyze this sad situation, it turns out that you organized it all yourself.