Friday, April 07, 2006

Are we overworked?

Are we overworked? Recently I heard the French have a 35-hour work week. Americans seem to super size their workload almost as much as we do our hamburgers.

I'm tired from Monday through Saturday, grabbing about 5 hours of sleep in a typical night and working long days. We used to talk about the 40-hour work week, but how many people work 50, 60 or 70 hours a week? I fall into the later category. I know I'm not alone. My brother John works 12-hour days, 6 days a week during the summer, gets 2 to 3 days off and then goes back on the same cycle.

What's worse is we take it home with us. A few years ago I might have said that when I left the radio station and went home for the day I was done. Now with the Internet I go home, take a break and then put another hour or more in on the computer working on a station newsletter, going through e-mail and sometimes typing up stories.

I talked with another reporter recently and found she too had a full plate and the heap just keeps getting bigger. When I started out in radio I was also holding down a job as a public safety dispatcher. Between the two jobs I was putting in more than 60 hours a week. I guess that set the tone. You see business professionals that happily put in their time, politicians, etc.

Then there's the professional pitfalls. For me it's watching TV newscasts and news shows, searching the Internet for more. That's not enough, I also have to check out the latest sports news.

What's most distressing are recent studies that found most Americans aren't getting as much sleep as they need. At least seven hours is recommended. Now teens are sleeping less too. It's no wonder coffee-flavored and energy drinks are doing so well.

It's hard to relax isn't it? It's just a matter of getting a good night's slee.........p!


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