On Working Hard And Workaholism

By Mohammed A.
Apr 08, 2021 • 3 mins read
On Working Hard And Workaholism

Work more! Work more! You should’ve heard somebody says that before. It might look like good advice to follow. IT IS! If you’re hammering all day to make more widgets to sell them. With all due respect to all careers. However, my point is that not all works are like that. In jobs that require so much mental energy, working more is harmful rather than useful.

“Zor ciyawazî heye le nêwan îşker û kerî îş”

This is a proverb I wordsmithed in Kurdish language. It literally translates to “There’s a big difference between a hard worker and a workaholic”.

I love this quote from Rework book:

Our culture celebrates the idea of the workaholic. We hear about people burning the midnight oil. They pull all- nighters and sleep at the office. It’s considered a badge of honor to kill yourself over a project. No amount of work is too much work. Not only is this workaholism unnecessary, it’s stupid. Working more doesn’t mean you care more or get more done. It just means you work more

For a year or so in my life, I’ve been a workaholic programmer, it feels cool the first 3 days. Then everything starts to break down, work becomes an empty loop. I spent more time fixing bugs that I made because I wasn’t able to fully focus and think creatively. And in fact, it didn’t pay more! On the contrary, way worse! those months were the worst financially.

It hurts when I see people are doing that every day. People not just working overtime, they work 2 and 3 shifts. Because of the low wage of each job.

How Did We Come Here?

In my opinion, the first problem is in the “education” system. Guess what, students study for 14-18 years, just to start from scratch at age of 22-24. It doesn’t teach them any skill. Doesn’t teach them how to sell. Doesn’t teach them how to work. And also, they rarely read anything outside of the curriculum.

One should start learning life skills from their teens. Some people might have a difficult situation and are not privileged to do so. However, I am talking about people who are in school but lazy.

To be honest, I was one of the privileged ones. I was working during the summer to buy the stuff that I want without depending on my parents. Also, I was fortunate, that I knew what is programming and I started learning it. While my classmates were arguing who’s the best WWE athlete. It was boring and difficult to learn alone, so I was telling them to learn it as well. But I continued alone.

Work For Money OR Money Works For You

Do you know what happens if you work overtime or work 2 shifts at once? You will stay like that for all of your life. You will not have time to gain skills that opens better opportunities for you. The greedy employer will think that this is the norm and you will hurt other people.

It’s always better to work one shift for 1000$ than 2 shifts 500$ each. Don’t count the cash you have at the end of the month—count the time you wasted. Keep in mind no one will produce quality work while doing more work. Your work is not just half as good, it’s 100th as good as if you work without overtime. What will you be proud of? How underperforming you will be? How many bugs you will introduce to the system (if programmer)?

Additionally, you’re taking the place of another person and you’re supporting unemployment and the low wage because you accept it! Then what is the result? You will live for working instead of working for living!

Conclusion: Work Hard

I advise you to work hard. On your skills. On your health. On your life. For your family. Not only for your work. If you get sick one day, your family will be at your side, your work will not stop because of you. So, choose wisely before it’s too late. I know you might be young, but the years will pass quickly. After 20 years, you will harvest what you planted in your 20s.