One of the things that somewhat amazes me, now that I have some time off, is how difficult it is to actually turn myself down. Largely, I blame work - or more specifically, post March 2020 (e.g., The Plague) and changed during that period.
One of the things we have discussed here before, and often is lamented out on the InterWeb, is the growth of the idea of "multi-tasking". Study after study pretty much demonstrates that this as a practice does not actually accomplish things more quickly or better, yet it remains a sort of unspoken work code in the sense that even though it is not "expected", projects and work loads are set up in such a fashion that one cannot succeed except that one multi-task.
The Plague made it worse.
Suddenly, due to the fact that all meetings were virtual, another outlet for effort was available: working during meetings. Easy enough to do of course if you work somewhere where "cameras on" is not a requirement due to company policy or bandwidth (my issue). E-mails zip out during meetings that individuals are "in". One can usually tell if people are double-working as, when they are asked a question, the response more often than not is "I am sorry - what was the question?" Meetings have now become another opportunity to "catch up" on things.
The difficulty, of course, is that this seeps over into the rest of one's life.
Focusing on one thing - or even worse, just "relaxing" - becomes a very uncomfortable feeling. After all, I should be doing more things! I should be accomplishing this rather long list of things I was supposed to be doing, because if I am not, I am not "being productive".
You may laugh. But the sensation is very real.
I am working on changing this of course, both in the work life and real life. Work life is more difficult of course, as the work is still there and explaining how only so much can really get done is a bit, well, "difficult". Personally it is a little easier (although I still seem to need a lot of convincing) that if I only do "some" things - and complete them - I am doing "enough.
When we have built a society and economic system that anticipates over-work as a minimum, it may be many things, but it is surely not a sustainable one.