To Those Who Always Work Outside Of Working Hours

We have two situations: in the first, a few people get off their chairs and they resume their lives from where they left them, when they sat down on said chair. While, in the second situation, a couple of other people choose to stay, forgetting the main, even ancient reason for which they sit down on that chair every day: to have a better life. But what time is there left to live?

There comes a moment for us, for all of us, when we look back: on what we have built – a family, a home, or maybe only a CV, and to what we still have to build. And we want it all, a family, our own house, the perfect job and holidays alike. In the beginning, we feel like we found our pair, just as, also in the beginning, we believe we found the perfect job. In both situations, there’s a life waiting to be resumed at the point where it was abandoned.

The man is no longer a man. The man became half man, half seatback. A mouth that just talks, two hands that just type and the feet that forgot how to be feet. I, like all the others, have learned what it means to be successful in school from books, by looking around to the person who accuses corruption, but is corrupt, to those who try to teach us the fundamental principles which they however do not have. And also I – I don’t know if, like all the others, suddenly get up and get away, for a while, to a world unrelated to the one I live in every day. I get away to plant trees, to jog in a mountain village where there isn’t even any communication infrastructure, I simply get away. And the rest of the time, I choose to not be the man who’s half man, half seatback.

I work a lot. All of us, perhaps, work a lot. If I weren’t doing it, I would feel useless, I would somehow feel that I was wasting time. Although, I admit, I sometimes feel the need to waste time as well, but – all in all, I reject my sometimes justified impulse to work overtime. I work as hard as I need to, sometimes harder than I need to, in the time assigned to working. And to be clear from the start: I do it, but when it does happen, I would rather do it in a setting of my choosing, with my rules, at home, in the middle of the bed, at a coffee shop, or in the middle of the forest if that’s what makes me happy.

In a corporation we must act like a corporation, just as in nature, we must act like nature itself. And I see nothing wrong here, nothing disconcerting. On the contrary: it’s all about the rules that teach us more important things than the parameters by which these same rules work. They teach us the thoroughness, the respect; they teach us how to be serious.

Therefore, I’m not saying that we shouldn’t work more or overtime; I am saying that it should not be a habit, and it should not come by default, attached to a job that we might actually like. Especially because we cannot be successful by working 12 hours a day. On the contrary, it is scientifically proven, it has to do with the ability of the human brain to keep focused, and, in general, to work within good parameters. The balance between the personal life and the professional one is even more important, as we are in a country where people legally work more than other Europeans, but have some of the lowest salaries.

In addition to science, studies also argue that we should not make a habit of working overtime, and we should spend the remaining time, the personal time, doing something else. Inspiration comes while working, but the power to implement it comes from the personal time.

The CEO you admire respects his personal time, hence his power – perhaps from hobbies, from family, from the time spent alone. The father or the mother you wish to become returns home when supposed to, and your leader – the man who marked your career for the better, may have found his strength by getting off his chair and resuming his life from the point where he left off when he sat down. If you want to paint in your personal time, do it. If you want to sing, dance, run, play tennis, plant trees, or just sit, do it. Just like the job we have, the time that is assigned to us, our family and our friends, should represent and form who we are. It is the time we have to live.

Laurențiu Ion

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