secondAck at work (whic.for me, as for many, means moving rejected Quality Street off the kitchen table), I was stopped by a Twitter post I saw while flipping from tab to tab. “Productivity culture is a scam“, He said. It’s a message that has gained momentum over the past year of forced inactivity, leave, short-term job (if you are in Germany) and other expedients, the effects of whic.have been to shift work from the front to the center, giving some of us room to wonder if it is all that it seems.
We are a world away the 15-hour week that Keynes predictedBut employers are struggling to come up wit.new work models, people are evaluating their commitment to uncertain and unreasonably demanding career paths, and the campaign for a safer and healthier four-day week is gaining traction. When we are forced to question existence, the value of work is put under the microscope: the old chestnut on the deathbed feels less abstract.
Recently, Elle Hunt’s charming article describing the revelation that she used work as a self-control mechanism to cope wit.the situation set off a strange bell of recognition. I would never say I work hard to begin with, all my work is done sitting down, but I work long hours for no particularly good reason. My last vacation was in the spring of 2019: “And it was four days,” I found myself saying to people wit.an unedifying mix of pride and self-pity, using tired eyes as a badge of honor, rubbing the ardent martyr scent behind me. of the ears. .
It is time to break free. During Christmas, I vowed that I would rest, read fat books, and have proper conversations wit.my children. This is the way it went.
Day 1: I wrote a moralistic message from outside the office and closed my laptop. After an invigorating walk, I lay down on the couc.under the electric blanket, ignoring Hilary Mantel’s The Mirror and Light in favor of a weirdly compelling Australian cooking show. “Holidays are amazing!” I told my husband happily. “I’ve been telling you that for years,” he said. He took two last year in whic.I refused to join him. “Another episode?” “Absolutely.”
Day 2: Tethered from routine, I went into the basement, where my youngest son was playing something. “Hi,” I said. “How are you?” “Good,” he said, his eyes on the screen. “Would you like something good for lunch? Could you cook? “No”. Frustrated, I went back to the couc.and to Twitter, whic.I check a million times a day to monitor the superior accomplishments of my professional nemesis and the dire state of everything. Without my illusory sense of professional purpose, bot.are clearly evident.
Day 3: Driven by the absence of self-imposeKrisIs, I devised a “family geography challenge,” printing out lots of maps. Everyone, including me, ignores them. I had read three pages of Mantel and watched about 67 hours of Australians making gnocchi. My mood was in free fall: we went walk, andlk and I was enraged by my husband’s habit of walking half a step ahead of me.
Day 4: I couldn’t be bothered to get up and move reluctantly for hours. There were so many things to be angry and desperate about when not distracted by color-coded spreadsheets that by noon I was thrown throug.the washing machine (the only place I’m sure I wouldn’t start a fight), almost catatonic wit.rage . -gloom, whispering: “I hate everything.”
At this point, I allowed myself to work a bit. The effect was instantaneous: sitting at my desk, editing something absolutely unnecessary, I felt a quiet sense of purpose for the first time in days.
I’m sure this was a hit job, a phase that I could and should have knuckled throug.before being reborn as a person wit.an interior, the self-esteem derived from more than just a to-do list, and the ability not to. enrage me. from someone else’s sneezing style. However, you may never be able to confirm this, because there is no way you can ever go throug.that again. I am beginning to fear that I am the person who, on his deathbed, wishes he had spent more time in the office. Hmm, the office.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism