The Workification of Life — A Game We Can’t Win

The great unbalance

Thomas Oppong
5 min readSep 21


Photo by Tangerine Newt on Unsplash

Life in the modern world has become one big to-do list. We are perpetually in a hurry to get the next thing done.

Life and work are now a blur, merging into a seamless sequence.

We hardly make time for life outside work.

And even when we do manage to spend time with our social connections, our minds can still be preoccupied with work.

We might physically be present, but mentally, we’re miles away, thinking about deadlines, emails, and projects.

It’s like we’re living two lives simultaneously — one at the office and one with our loved ones — and it can be incredibly taxing.

Immanuel Kant said the three rules for happiness are,” something to do, someone to love, something to hope for.”

“Something to do for work” has taken over our lives.

And there’s no systematic fix for it.

The demands of work squeeze out our personal time and rest time.

It’s as if we’re trapped in a cycle where our productivity measures our worth, and our job titles define our identity.

Our relentless pursuit of success often comes at the cost of our relationships and even our sense of self.

And let’s not forget the impact on our mental health.

The domino effects include conflicts, strained relationships, or even breakdowns in personal connections.

I’ve seen friends and family members drift apart because they’re all caught up in this never-ending cycle of busyness.

You fall into an identity crisis trap when you tie your identity to your productivity and achievements at work.

And you know what’s really insidious about this game?

It makes us forget who we are outside of the office. We lose sight of our hobbies, curiosities, and the things that truly light us up because we’re so busy chasing external markers of success.

Don’t define yourself solely by your job titles, promotions, or the size of your paycheck.



Thomas Oppong

Author | Habits, Philosophy & Psychology. As seen on Forbes, Inc. and Business Insider. For my popular essays, go here: