Nowadays, it seems the more you work, the more you are respected and that your status symbol these days is reflected by how many hours you work. Are you overworking every week or even every day? People will tell you: Wow, you’re working so hard, you’re so ambitious and you will definitely get promoted! Or they might say: You worked again until 9PM last night? Wow, you must be very focused and hard-working!
Especially in the digital industry, this is often seen, as the workforce is made out of young workers who all want to prove themselves and are highly motivated. And companies are keen to harvest this energy and thrive on it. Though that’s not really a good strategy for the long-run.
But I would say to this person: do you have a life? What about your hobbies and social life? What about personal projects? Wouldn’t you like to have more time to develop these interests, and still have time to relax once in a while? Because working 24/7 is definitely not sustainable in the long run.
I am young, I need to prove myself!
You might say: but we are young and we need to prove ourselves and work hard and earn money for later! I would reply: Yes you are young, which means you still have loads of energy, no responsibilities whatsoever and now is absolutely the time to develop and explore your interests and passions. Because if you work work work now, and you will slowly get older, suddenly there are kids and more responsibilities, and you won’t ever have time for yourself and suddenly you are much older and you don’t have the energy anymore to explore the world and your passions. Do you really want to look back to your twenties and realize all you have done is work, work, work?
Didn’t think so.
Take it easy
I am not saying that you have to quit your job and become a lifestyle vlogger all of a sudden. I am just asking you to not take work and business so seriously. You don’t need to prove yourself to anyone. And what would be the point of overworking yourself until you don’t have any more energy and are on the brink of a nervous breakdown? That is both counterproductive and unhealthy.
Also, giving yourself a break once a while will also increase your creativity, and will also increase your productivity. This has actually been scientifically proven: The brain gains new perspectives when it rests, so let it rest and you will have more ideas and work more efficiently.
To be completely honest with you, taking it easy is not as easy as I make it sound. Even I can become frustrated and tell myself to work more and that I am lazy, that I am not efficient enough and that I have to aim higher. But I also tell myself in those situations that there is really no rush and that stressing myself out is not my goal in life.
Digital Nomad Lifestyle
In a way, I became a digital nomad because I reject this kind of working lifestyle. If you think about it, the whole digital nomad movement partly started because these people reject the 9 to 5 working mentality. And this is one of the main reasons why I became a digital nomad: because I was working the whole week, too tired to do anything after work, and in the weekend I just wanted to chill out and relax. So, when do I have time to work on my true passions or any other personal side projects I aspired to begin? I don’t want to look back on life regretting that I never started that band or never started a Youtube vlog.
As a digital nomad I do work during the week, but as I am freelancing, I can choose myself when to work on my paid projects or when I can work on my personal projects. That gives me a lot of freedom and honestly, it’s really great!
Think about whether you feel happy about your current work situation. Do you feel content? Does the work you do give you satisfaction? Do you feel energized when you work, even if you make long hours? If yes, then congratulations! You’ve probably scored a dream job!
On the other hand: do you feel sometimes unhappy with your work situation? Does it often times make you feel unmotivated and discontent? And do you feel too tired to pursue any hobbies or personal interests after work? If this is the case, then maybe you should take a step back and think about what you value in life and what you want to achieve. And just don’t be so hard on yourself, take some more coffee breaks and don’t take anything too seriously. YOU are in charge of your life, not your employer. And don’t you think life is too short to spend all day working?