An Exact Formula For Balancing Work and Happiness

Two recent studies say that people who work a lot of overtime hours are at a higher risk of developing depression than people who work regular hours. This calls for a simple mathematical formula.

LET X= The number of hours that you need to work in order to earn an amount of money that you need to pay all of your bills and meet your needs and allow you live a generally comfortable but not luxurious life.

So the satisfaction and happiness formula is:

(Hourly salary x #Of hours)= X= Happiness.


The (# of hours) must not exceed 40, lest you slip into overtime, and depression. Far too easy, right? What if you are like the majority of people, whose X would work out to an obscenely large number of hours, thereby leading to depression? In the sense of:

X= (Meager hourly salary x VERY LARGE # of hours)= Depression


LET Y= a depression-mitigating activity. For some people, this might be playing with your kids. For other, more numerous people, it might be drinking. For convenience's sake, let's say one hour of Y mitigates one hour of work. Therefore, the key to finding happiness even with a strenuous work schedule is to mitigate every hour of overtime that you work with an equal, opposite, more pleasurable activity. So we calculate:

X= (Meager hourly salary x VERY LARGE # of hours)- (Y x (# of hours worked greater than 40))= Happiness.

Print this out and keep it in your empty wallet. Go in peace.

[Image via Augie Scwher/ Flickr]