when did busyness become a badge of honour? When did martyrdom became sexy?
As he approached the doorway of his office, coffee in hand, his eyes glanced over. It was 7pm, he had clocked me still here at work, and it felt good to be noticed for it. It reminded me of my very first job. The day I started answering emails at weekends. A strange flicker of excitement that I would be ‘seen’ to be working. Dedicated. Someone worth promoting.
It was the first time I had stayed beyond 5pm since Oscar was born and it was like being welcomed back into the club. As I sat in the breakout kitchen area with four others, heating up their evening meals I could see their approval.
In my mind, a different battle.
I missed bath time, stories and cuddles for this! There’s was an internal pull going in both directions. One as a mother and the other as an ambitious career woman.
A couple of hundred years ago we had the industrial revolution. Economic value started to be measured as an hourly rate. To be of greater economic value or to earn more you had to increase the number of hours you worked. A greater value person worked more hours. They worked harder.
Over time therefore, busyness became culturally celebrated. If you are busy, then you are obviously of the most importance.
Professionals working 12 hours a day, weekends, not taking holidays are the most valuable.
Well of course, at a heart level we know that’s not true but certainly from a cultural western world perspective, we are swimming around in a soup that celebrates this as the norm.
Economic vs Personal Value
Let us recognise where this originated from and separate out economic value from our personal value.
This week, one of my postdoctoral clients had the first weekend not working at all in over four years! She reclaimed her value as a person and in doing so has become a role model for others.
How can you take a personal stand to reclaim your work-life balance?
PS in summary, working longer and harder does not make us a more valuable. Your value must be separated from economic value. How can you be a stand for yourself and others?
PPS Need an expert to untangle you from your behaviours? Book a Breakthrough Call for £67.