Most people work a 9-to-5 job, Monday through Friday. That leaves a very specific amount of free time on the weekend and little during the week. David Cain, writing for the creative digital magazine Thought Catalog, argues that this specifically designed lifestyle funnels us into a pattern that makes us lazy, inactive consumers.
Picture: Andrey Arkusha/Shutterstock
The ultimate tool for corporations to sustain a culture of this sort is to develop the 40-hour workweek as the normal lifestyle. Under these working conditions people have to build a life in the evenings and on weekends. This arrangement makes us naturally more inclined to spend heavily on entertainment and conveniences because our free time is so scarce.
Businesses create services to help us do the things we can't find the time or desire to do on our own because we're almost or actually burnt out. Entertainment takes place on the weekend because most people have the time to indulge then. When we have time off, we're supposed to fill it with entertainment because that requires only as much time as we have and costs something. Physical activity, relaxing and other free activities often have a higher time cost, plus we're tired, and so we opt for what is advertised to us. It's just easier.
A non-standard work schedule, however, helps to solve this problem. If your "weekend" falls during the week -- at least partially -- you get to spend your free time when advertisers don't expect it. You end up with less direction in your day. But you still suffer from limits. That's why it's so important to set time boundaries at work -- so you don't burn yourself out. You can also ask your boss to let you work four days instead of five. If you can get just as much done and keep your quality of work equally high, you don't need to work for 40 hours. Instead, you can use that time to stay healthier, happier and start to avoid sinking into the standard workplace trap. It isn't a perfect solution, but it's a start.
Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed [Thought Catalog]