Why are we all such workaholics?

"What's happened to 'me' time?"

Charlotte Bevan

Charlotte Bevan, 20, is doing an English and Creative Writing degree. She hopes to travel the world and write a few books along the way.

All work and no play is a phrase that should not exist. What happened to all play and no work? All people ever do these days is work ten hours solidly before falling into bed asleep! Where’s the fun bit gone? What happened to socialising and going out with your mates? Instead you get a phone call saying they’re “on a late tonight” then don’t see them again for a week. We need to bring back ‘me time’ and make it socially acceptable to chill out again.

It wasn’t always like this though. Youth has changed in the last few decades and there is less time to enjoy being young now. My parent’s generation always tell me they used to be able to clock in and out as they pleased – with everyone talking about when the next party is, and who got the most pissed and slept on the curb. There was less pressure to decide what you wanted to be as they had more time to figure it out in a relaxing way. Now, if you don’t have a job by eighteen, then you’re a ‘bum’. And we’ve also got tuition fees and deposits to worry about. What happened to planning your life as it goes along and wanting to do something you’re interested in? Now it’s a competition of who will work the most the quickest. It’s ridiculous and I don’t see the point in working your whole life with no fun in-between.

The whole country’s becoming workaholics who boast about how much we slave away, like it’s a competition to see who breaks down and collapses first. Well, I’m raising my hand and telling the U.K to stop. Just stop. We are culturally so work-orientated but why? Is it because of money? We are living in a world where materialistic stuff means more than having a spare day out to spend with your family. It’s all wrong! How long will it take us to wake up? There is no point in being the richest person in the graveyard.

Working constantly must affect your mental and physical health – as well as just being bloody boring. I know people who work so hard that every day of their life is always the same, nothing ever changes. What’s the point in working constantly if your health fails because of it? Anyway, being stressed and tired at work because of long hours is surely counterproductive. You’re less likely to do your best if you’re stressed and knackered. I’m not slating having a job, just that we all do our job too much. Employment is a brilliant way to build an independent life, but you’re not living if you’re ALWAYS working! We need to live in the present more.

The answer is to readjust our priorities and learn to balance out our work and leisure lifestyles. We should start boasting about how much we’re relaxing and how many siestas we’ve had, rather than competing over whose had the least sleep. I think a little bit of ‘Me- time’ should return. Stop overloading yourself at work and take time out for yourself. Open your eyes to the world, to music, go see your family, go to the beach on your own with your iPod and take a walk to relax and unwind. Time to yourself will bring your mind back to reality and reel in what your life is about! As Dr. Seuss says in his book ‘Oh the places you’ll go’ … ‘Life’s a great balancing act’. Let’s stop working and start balancing.

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Updated on 29-Sep-2015