Episode #112
Two Parts Work, One Part Happiness

Let’s talk a little bit about happiness.

Music and links from this episode

  1. Travelling between the Ancient Empires by Ars Sonor & Sean Derrick Cooper Marquardt
  2. Park Bench Afternoons by MindsEye
  3. Tides by MindsEye
  4. A curious thing by J Hacha de Zola

Line-by-line notes

  1. INTRO
  2. In our work focused culture
  3. And because work is all about, well working
  4. We often forget that work could be fun, if we wanted it to be
  5. Because work is driven by profits, timesheets and getting paid
  6. We sometimes forget one of the most important parts of our life
  7. Happiness
  8. Let’s talk a bit about happiness
  9. This is AADA, and I’m Craig Burgess
  11. James Deb
  12. It’s probably not a name your familiar with
  13. If you you are
  14. Congratulations, you read Wikipedia like me
  15. James Deb is often cited as one of the inventors of the 8 hour work day
  16. Or the 40 hour work movement, that its apparently known as
  17. Previous to this idea, 10-16 hour work days 6 days a week were common
  18. It was actually Robert Owen though
  19. A Welsh social reformer and one of the founders of the utopian socialism movement
  20. That really branded the 8 hour work day well
  21. He came up with the slogan
  22. 8 hours labour, 8 hours recreation, 8 hours rest
  23. This was seen as revolutionary at the time
  24. That suddenly were going to start working less hours
  25. And looking after our health
  26. And it’s funny, now, we live in a freer society than ever
  27. One that, with the help of the internet pretty much lets you do whatever you want
  28. Whenever you want
  29. And we voluntarily choose to work longer hours
  30. Do more things for our bosses
  31. And put our happiness on hold for the sake of the corporation
  32. In the design industry, we value worker heroes
  33. The people who turn up an hour before everybody else
  34. And leave an hour after everybody else
  35. It’s common in the design industry to work long hours
  36. And work weekends, and in your spare time
  37. Because we enjoy our jobs so much
  38. It’s not like this feels like work, and we might still think we feel happy
  39. Those worker heroes, the people who work the longest?
  40. They’re not heroes
  41. It’s not big or clever working ridiculous hours
  42. It grates on your happiness
  43. Slowly and methodically
  44. And it’s something you don’t even realise
  45. Trust me, I’ve been there and worn out the t-shirt
  46. I realised, years ago now, that working the longest doesn’t make you the best
  47. It just becomes habit, then you expand every task to fill the available time
  48. You become less efficient, because you’ve got more hours available to you
  49. Then that means you end up working longer hours, because things are taking you longer to do
  50. Then the cycle repeats all over again
  51. And, it just doesn’t make you happy
  52. Design makes me happy
  53. I love it
  54. But I don’t love doing it for 16 hours a day
  55. That’s not an efficient use of my design brain
  56. I can’t come up with good ideas for that long during the day
  57. And I shouldn’t try, but some people do
  58. I’m at my happiest when I’m designing things
  59. But that doesn’t mean I stay happy for very long when I’ve been doing it for too long
  60. Even the things you love make you less happy when you do them for too long
  61. And if you’re not even in a job that makes you happy
  62. Quit tomorrow
  63. It’s just not worth it
  64. There’s no point wasting your life being unhappy
  65. I know not every part of every job makes you happy, I’m not naive
  66. But you can work your damnedest to make the happiness balance tip in your favour
  67. If you’ve got a job that makes you happy, well done
  68. To make sure you keep it that way, make sure you don’t do it too much
  69. Instead of 2 parts work, 1 part happiness
  70. Flip it on its head
  71. Go for 2 parts happiness, 1 part work
  72. Or even better
  73. 3 parts happiness, no work
  74. After all, if you do something you enjoy, you’ll never work a day in your life
  75. Right?
  76. OUTRO
  77. This was AADA. I’m Craig Burgess.
  78. Music featured in this episode was
    1. Travelling between the Ancient Empires by Ars Sonor & Sean Derrick Cooper Marquardt
    2. Park Bench Afternoons by MindsEye
    3. Tides by MindsEye
    4. A curious thing by J Hacha de Zola
  79. For a line-by-line run down of this episode, go to askadesignernaything.com/ep112
  80. I’m back tomorrow for another episode of Ask a Designer Anything

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