Throughout the world, particularly in the developed world and in advanced economies, people are being sold a lie about work-life balance, and truthfully there is no such thing as a work-life balance, only your priorities and what we are willing to sacrifice.
The author, writer, and journalist Douglas Murray stated that ‘in life, we get choose our regret’ What this means is that throughout our lives will have many choices, and if we don’t make those choices will have regret which we have not chosen due to fear or inaction.
Every human being alive today who has been alive or yet to be born has a finite amount of time on this earth, and it’s best to spend time wisely.
With lives particularly in the modern world, we live in a career-focused, particularly in the United States, with an entrepreneurial mindset and the view of pursuing wealth or a successful and lucrative career.
But this choice comes at a price, and the United Kingdom average person works 36 hours and 40 minutes per week.
In the United States is 40 hours per week in South Korea working hours of employees from 2010–2021, by gender.
In 2021, the average monthly working hours for male employees were 170.4 hours and 155.4 hours for female employees. In 2020, a new policy was introduced in South Korea that limited weekly working hours to a maximum of 52 hours.
In 2022, however, the average annual working hours increased compared to 2020 but were still lower compared to 1980.
Workers in Japan, for example, spent 1,598 hours per year working in 2020, whereas, in 2022, they spent 1,892 hours at work.
The Impact of Work on Our Lives
With people in the global North working an average between 35 and 52 hours per week, there can be no actual work-life balance work from home could save an individual’s commute to work, with the average travel time to work in the UK being 59 minutes, for the USA is 27 minutes and six seconds, career is less than one hour for the Japanese in 2021 it was 31 minutes.
How we spend our time is essential because we all have different wishes to live our lives, which are subjective, not objective. Each individual needs to select their priorities.
Working full-time will drastically limit your social options, the ability to date and form new relationships, and time spent on other hobbies or interests.
A great demonstration of this is that, on average, a person outside of a committed romantic relationship can maintain a friendship of five people. In contrast, an individual in a romantic relationship can only support a friendship with three people.
The reason is that romantic interest requires the same amount of time an individual spends on two people going into one person in a romantic relationship.
Different countries also have vastly different attitudes to work, with the average Japanese worker working 52 hours per week because the Japanese workforce is encouraged to have loyalty to the company.
The culture and the willingness to stay longer at work for the company to succeed, which they also see as a means of personal success.
The co-founder of Apple, Steve Jobs, spent some time in the 1980s in Japan and wished to bring this work ethic to Apple, but the work culture within the USA and Japan is compatible. The argument I’m trying to highlight is that companies work for their interests, not yours.
If you are an employee or highly skilled worker, you are replaceable, particularly with the international job market available for companies to recruit from.
Artists, Workers, Careerists, and Entrepreneurship
To make any decision, we require knowledge and willingness to understand our limitations, abilities and true desires when we are young, in our late teens and early 20s, we don’t know much about the world and are, at worst, being taken advantage of or manipulated or at best being uninformed.
That’s why it’s so important to understand the options you can choose from. The first is the artist, who makes their income and life by pursuing their craft.
The worker is the person who works for a company for a wage for the time that they are paid for this kind of work offers little opportunity for advancement.
In contrast, a careerist is a person who works within a field that is highly paid, for example, engineering, financial services or writing, within a Company doing mentally challenging work which offers higher income and much greater unity opportunity for advancement within their existing organisation or has the skills to move to a new company.
Finally, we have entrepreneurship the average age of entrepreneurs is 47 years old. However, this number is slightly misleading due to the advent of social media influences.
Still, the norm is for entrepreneurs who are usually in their 40s because they have built a career and skill set that is very financially valuable, for instance, in construction and finance.
After all, entrepreneurs have leveraged their skill sets to create their businesses
.These four opportunities and paths of work and happiness are significant because only some individuals are suited to be artists, workers, careerists or entrepreneurs due to their strengths and weaknesses.
Relationship and Sex
According to recent data, the average person spends 3 hours and 15 minutes on their phone daily.
And 1 in 5 smartphone users spends upwards of 4.5 hours on average on their phones every day.
Perhaps surprisingly, weekdays average more smartphone use than weekends.
Factor into the time spent on phones of around 3 to 5 hours and the average time person spends at work, which for the sake of this analogy, will be 40 hours.
That means average people spend over 45 hours not engaging with their partners, friends, children and other human connections.
How we use our time is highly significant because it can be used to spend time with children to expand our skill sets and improve our career and lifestyle by earning more money.
Or time can be devoted to enhancing personal relationships between men and women.
There is an orgasm gap between men and women. For a woman to reach orgasm, it requires, on average, 20-to-40-minute of stimulation.
By the time it gets to 9 o’clock, if couples are engaged doing work on social media, no atmosphere of romance and attraction can be built, which leads to couples, on average, only having sex 54 times per year, which is just slightly over once a week.
This is not me telling people to have more sex but be more intentional with how we live our lives so that we don’t sleepwalk through alive and have regrets.
Just cast your mind to the times you have seen grandparents trying to speak and connect with their grandchildren, but they are on their phones.
This applies to relationships with our children, partners, and everything that makes life worth living.
There is no work-life balance because there needs to be some sacrifice and awareness of the practicalities.
For instance, if you have a child, particularly a young baby and are working a 35-hour job, it is statistically impossible to get the recommended hours of sleep which, according to the NHS, is 7 to 9 hours until they are older.
This will impact your physical health, emotional health, and sexual health. This is why it is essential to be aware of this information to make the correct choices.
Options are available: going into a financially lucrative career and going part-time once you have a lot of money saved to spend time with your children and life partner.
The second option is to be a stay-at-home mum or husband, and your partner is in a financially successful career, and finally, both couples could decide to work part-time to spend more time with their family and each other.
Only so much time is available to all of us, and it must be your personal preferences tailored to your lifestyle. Some people don’t want careers, some wish for families, and others want everything. The question is, what do you want?
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