On Workaholism

late nights, long days

We’ve all been there. It’s 4am, you haven’t slept yet, you’re doing a freelance gig on top of your full-time job, and your friends and family haven’t seen you in days. Hygiene has become a distant memory rather than any sort of daily practice. Proper nutrition is going well, if “proper nutrition” means an IV drip of coffee and three-day-old takeout.

There’s a kind of glory in workaholism that we celebrate as a culture, and it’s easy to fall into its clutches. We want to say yes, to do more, to prove ourselves, and to make a living. Before long, the aforementioned workstyle lifestyle can become the norm. That norm took a bit of a reality check this month when internet startup Fiverr launched a marketing campaign that glorified the millennial gig economy. The ads occasionally hit close to home: “You eat a coffee for lunch. You follow through on your follow through. Sleep deprivation is your drug of choice. You might be a doer.” Sound familiar?

the other side

The backlash was swift and immediate. Commenters noted that this glorification of the workaholic lifestyle was in flagrant disregard for the health of workers, and ignored the harsh economic realities that made that lifestyle necessary.

We’re guilty of workaholism here at Redd, and we have a feeling you are too. If those Fiverr ads remind you of yourself, it might be time to take it easy. It’s a challenge: the urge to get more done is strong, and the e-mails keep rolling in. But maybe if we glorify the mundane acts of self-care that get lost in the workaholic lifestyle, we can feel that same rush without having to stay up all night. So get in that shower! Make yourself a nice healthy lunch (or at least eat regular snacks)! Get those eight hours of shut-eye! It might not make a sexy ad campaign, but it will make you happier.