petej + overwork   133

The Cost of Convenience – BLARB
Life becomes so convenient there is scarcely time for anything else. We become managers of our own convenience, constantly vigilant lest we miss out on a new gadget or lifehack. Life is increasingly put on autopilot for us, but instead of being freed from drudgery, we find ourselves stuck in the cockpit — only now with less control over the plane and with innumerable new functions and features to consider, buy, and oversee. We become so preoccupied with tweaking our virtual dashboards that we forget to look out the window.

Instead of bringing things together the new convenience separates us from them. It pulls us out of the world and makes us spectators of our own practical activity. In the same way Facebook monetizes our social lives by turning them into a form of entertainment — and can thereby distort and alienate where it purports to foster and connect — Amazon and company place screens between us and our practical lives. We stand by and monitor things, manning the controls, but with little idea of where we’re heading.
Amazon  convenience  automation  overwork  Juicero  complexity  anxiety  technology 
december 2019 by petej
Meritocracy Harms Everyone - The Atlantic
Meritocracy has created a competition that, even when everyone plays by the rules, only the rich can win.
meritocracy  exclusion  elitism  inequality  socialMobility  competition  wealth  power  privilege  education  childrem  ambition  anxiety  overwork  stress  class  politics 
august 2019 by petej
The Religion of Workism Is Making Americans Miserable - The Atlantic
The economists of the early 20th century did not foresee that work might evolve from a means of material production to a means of identity production. They failed to anticipate that, for the poor and middle class, work would remain a necessity; but for the college-educated elite, it would morph into a kind of religion, promising identity, transcendence, and community. Call it workism.
USA  work  labour  hours  overwork  Keynes  DWYL  identity  passion  religion  healthcare  employment  millennials  debt  students  socialMedia  pay  wages  competition  welfare  freeTime  economics 
february 2019 by petej
A 4.30am start and three-minute toilet breaks: are you ready for microscheduling? | Life and style | The Guardian
Another example of the limitations of microscheduling comes from Hussein Kesvani, a London-based editor and writer. Last year, faced with a seemingly insurmountable workload, he tried to follow the YouTuber Casey Neistat’s brand of extreme hyperactivity. Neistat has “Work harder” written in big neon letters on the wall in his studio and tattooed on his left wrist, “just in case I forget”; his left arm also displays another tattoo, saying “Do more”. In 2015, he detailed his daily routine in a video that has since racked up 2.6m views. From a 5am start, Neistat’s schedule goes: one hour of email; three hours of exercise (which he says makes up for the little sleep he gets); 10 hours of work; three hours for family (to, say, “put the baby to bed”); another three hours for work; and, from 1am, four hours of sleep. Free time, he says, is the enemy of progress, which is why he has eliminated it entirely from his life.

Judging from this, Neistat seems to have also eliminated commuting, shopping, cooking, cleaning, school runs and all the other tasks that interrupt most people’s working lives. And that, in part, is where Kesvani’s attempt to live like Neistat ran aground. Although he could make the rigid schedule work in theory – “I could plan out everything out; I knew when everything was coming,” he says – the events he couldn’t control (such as a late train, or not getting a seat when he was supposed to be working) would derail his entire day. Having to reschedule, even as the work piled up, nearly destroyed him. He ended up in therapy, where he finally asked himself why he had taken on so much work in the first place.
work  labour  overwork  control  scheduling  time  productivity  planning  postFordism  lateCapitalism 
february 2019 by petej
How Millennials Became The Burnout Generation
Those expectations encapsulate the millennial rearing project, in which students internalize the need to find employment that reflects well on their parents (steady, decently paying, recognizable as a “good job”) that’s also impressive to their peers (at a “cool” company) and fulfills what they’ve been told has been the end goal of all of this childhood optimization: doing work that you’re passionate about.
millennials  mentalHealth  stress  burnout  work  overwork  insecurity  instability  money  debt  precarity  education  parenting  DWYL  passion  jobs  employment  socialMedia  Instagram  identity  performance  branding  exploitation  acquiescence  women  culture  politics  lateCapitalism 
january 2019 by petej
Will Elon Musk's 120-hour week stop us worshipping workaholism? | Technology | The Guardian
But while you can take the engineer out of the workplace, you can’t stop them being an engineer, and there is a risk that work/life balance becomes just another thing to optimise for peak performance.

“If you look in the Silicon Valley culture – and this also extends to many corporations,” says Spicer, “executives there are not just obsessed with making their work more productive, but with making their whole life more productive. So they spend a huge amount of time thinking and talking and engaging with these questions about how do you eat in the most efficient way, how do you exercise in the most efficient way, how do you take all these little parts of your life and make them more efficient?”
work  labour  MuskElon  SiliconValley  capitalism  workEthic  overwork  Tesla  SpaceX  health  performance  productivity 
august 2018 by petej
Do you work more than 39 hours a week? Your job could be killing you | Life and style | The Guardian
there is a danger that merely reducing working hours will not change much, when it comes to health, if jobs are intrinsically disenfranchising. In order to make jobs more conducive to our mental and physiological welfare, much less work is definitely essential. So too are jobs of a better kind, where hierarchies are less authoritarian and tasks are more varied and meaningful.

Capitalism doesn’t have a great track record for creating jobs such as these, unfortunately. More than a third of British workers think their jobs are meaningless, according to a survey by YouGov. And if morale is that low, it doesn’t matter how many gym vouchers, mindfulness programmes and baskets of organic fruit employers throw at them. Even the most committed employee will feel that something is fundamentally missing. A life.
capitalism  neoliberalism  work  labour  overwork  stress  anxiety  health  dctagged  dc:creator=FlemingPeter 
january 2018 by petej
how to do nothing – Jenny Odell – Medium
"That’s a strategic function of nothing, and in that sense, you simply could file my talk simply under the heading of self care. But if you do, make it “self care” in the activist sense that Audre Lorde meant it in the 1980s — self preservation as an act of political warfare – and not what it means when it’s been appropriated for commercial ends."

"I’m suggesting that we protect our spaces and our time for non-instrumental, non-commercial activity and thought, for maintenance, for care, for conviviality. And I’m suggesting that we fiercely protect our human animality against all technologies that actively ignore and disdain the body, the bodies of others, and the body of the landscape that we inhabit."
art  architecture  space  time  lateCapitalism  work  labour  leisure  technology  overwork  productivity  coercion  surveillance  culture  BerardiFranco  dctagged  dc:creator=OdellJenny 
july 2017 by petej
The new status symbol: it’s not what you spend – it’s how hard you work | Technology | The Guardian
Technology has made it possible for everyone to see everything as an opportunity for productivity. You can measure your sleep, sex and steps with a Fitbit, your attractiveness with Tinder, your wittiness with Twitter, your popularity with Facebook. You can transform your personality into a dashboard of data streams that can be monitored, analyzed and optimized with the precision of an industrial process. You can turn your life into a factory – and not just metaphorically. In producing yourself, you produce economic value for others. The hours you spend on these platforms may be unwaged, but they generate real revenue for the companies that own them.

This is the genius of conspicuous production. It not only promotes a culture of overwork, it makes our dwindling amount of leisure time economically productive. There is no escape: either we’re working for the company or we’re working on ourselves, but we’re always working. “Eight hours for work, eight hours for rest, eight hours of what we will” was the anthem of the workers who first demanded the eight-hour-day more than a century ago. Those distinctions don’t make sense any more. Even our sleep is factored into our productivity score – the entrepreneur of the self never gets to clock out.

Today, the old slogan of the labor movement sounds like utopian science fiction. Imagine a society that claimed so little of our labor. Imagine a world where the poor didn’t have to work so hard to exist, and the rich didn’t have to work so hard to appear worthy of their wealth, because rich and poor didn’t exist.
work  overwork  labour  image  privilege  elites  performance  status  identity  culture  SiliconValley  productivity  power  inequality  fitness  health  quantifiedSelf 
april 2017 by petej
The Gig Economy Celebrates Working Yourself to Death - The New Yorker
At the root of this is the American obsession with self-reliance, which makes it more acceptable to applaud an individual for working himself to death than to argue that an individual working himself to death is evidence of a flawed economic system. The contrast between the gig economy’s rhetoric (everyone is always connecting, having fun, and killing it!) and the conditions that allow it to exist (a lack of dependable employment that pays a living wage) makes this kink in our thinking especially clear. Human-interest stories about the beauty of some person standing up to the punishments of late capitalism are regular features in the news, too. I’ve come to detest the local-news set piece about the man who walks ten or eleven or twelve miles to work—a story that’s been filed from Oxford, Alabama; from Detroit, Michigan; from Plano, Texas. The story is always written as a tearjerker, with praise for the person’s uncomplaining attitude; a car is usually donated to the subject in the end. Never mentioned or even implied is the shamefulness of a job that doesn’t permit a worker to afford his own commute.
gigEconomy  work  labour  precarity  overwork  health  pregnancy  Lyft  Fiverr  lateCapitalism  employment  USA  culture 
march 2017 by petej
The way to a better work-life balance? Unions, not self-help | Guardian Careers | The Guardian
"The trick is to see the ritual of overwork as a societal pressure, not an individual fault. And much of this pressure stems from the disempowerment of the workforce that has occurred over the last 20 years. Insecurity – real or imagined – naturally makes it more likely that people will sacrifice everything for their job. That’s why confronting work-mania as an individual is pointless. We need to come together as a group to voice these concerns if progressive policy and legislation are to be forged. Otherwise little will change."
work  labour  overwork  postFordism  self-employment  flexbility  ideology  culture  self-help  individualism  work-life-balance 
october 2016 by petej
Why revolution is no longer possible | openDemocracy
"Today, no collaborative, networked multitude exists that might rise up in a global mass of protest and revolution. Instead, the prevailing mode of production is based on lonesome and isolated self-entrepreneurs, who are also estranged from themselves. Companies used to compete with each other. Within each enterprise, however, solidarity could occur. Today, everyone is competing against everyone else — and within the same enterprise, too. Even though such competition heightens productivity by leaps and bounds, it destroys solidarity and communal spirit. No revolutionary mass can arise from exhausted, depressive, and isolated individuals.

Neoliberalism cannot be explained in Marxist terms. The famous “alienation” of labor does not even occur. Today, we dive eagerly into work — until we burn out. The first stage of burnout syndrome, after all, is euphoria. Burnout and revolution are mutually exclusive. Accordingly, it is mistaken to believe that the Multitude will cast off the parasitic Empire to inaugurate a communist society."
neoliberalism  Negri  multitude  individualism  entrepreneurialism  overwork  competition  capitalism  sharingEconomy  commodification  communism  revolution  gigEconomy  community  RifkinJeremy  exploitation  surveillance  disclosure  burnout  mentalHealth 
september 2016 by petej
ROAR Magazine: Spent? Capitalism’s growing problem with anxiety
"Yet it is in these last few years more than most that anxiety, precarity, crisis and burnout have become regular keywords, and where continuous productivity, connectivity and alertness are demanded at all hours. To anyone who values the lives of other human beings over the growth of stocks, shares and tax-free profits, this situation should be appalling. It will also worsen. To continue insisting that the mass breakdown of workers into malfunctioning anxiety machines is down to some failure of the individual is either callous or blind."
neoliberalism  work  labour  overwork  precarity  anxiety  stress  mentalHealth  individualism  competition  politics 
september 2016 by petej
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