There is no shame in working hard for what you want. The key to unlocking the mystery that lies within the rat race is to strike a balance. We are the generation that bridges the gap between our parents and our kids and are the initial generation of black people to pay taxes, the first generation to graduate high school, and the first generation to settle down in the city to make a living. We put in our absolute maximum effort, but does this strategy produce results?
Until you find yourself in need of sleeping pills to get some rest and gallons of coffee to keep yourself awake. In some types of work environments, excessive hours on the job are not only tolerated but also celebrated and, on occasion, rewarded with bonuses or pay increases. When I was a mom entering the workforce at the age of 24, I honestly hoped that I will not be discriminated against because I was a single mom who was responsible for taking care of her children.
When I was younger, I worked long hours at my job, both during the week and on the weekends, and frequently volunteered for extra hours. It was praised, and I was able to persuade myself that this was the appropriate action to take. Those people who decided to go home and spend time with their families despite their demanding workloads were denied rewards and stigmatized among their colleagues. This is something that we do as a society, and we applaud those people with “employee of the month” comments. These are the people who work harder and later than anyone else.
Even though hustle culture celebrates overworking as a symbol of pride, it frequently creates an atmosphere of dread, remorse, and shame. This is especially true in situations in which an individual does not feel the desire to keep up with the speed at which everyone else is moving. According to the findings of several studies, higher levels of stress are directly correlated with lower levels of professional productivity.
Instead of simply taking on more work, employees need to focus on improving their personal lives and becoming more considerate to produce high-quality output. It has also been demonstrated through the analysis of data that there is a positive correlation between happiness and productivity. Productivity increases for individuals, both individually and collectively, when there is less stress and calmer. In this way, the hustle culture has the contradictory effect of lowering workers’ efficiency by subjecting them to a persistent state of anxiety.
It is also essential to have an understanding that this workaholic mentality is not unique to the workplace; as a business coach, I frequently observe it in the women business owners I work with. This component of hustle culture can be amplified by social media because we continue to engage in and subliminally compare our lifestyles to the daily life of others that appear to be “flawless.”
How Does the Hustle Culture Influence Our Physical Well-being?
Burnout is among the most significant negative effects that come along with participating in hustle culture. You find that it takes you longer to complete tasks, that you put things off because you are overwhelmed, that you end up doing the same work several times because of errors you’ve made, that you end up losing interest in things, that you may experience anxiety or depression, and that you become so physically tired that you are unable to engage in activities that you once enjoyed.
How to Separate Oneself From the Culture of Hustling
It can be extremely difficult to slow down and establish good habits for yourself because the culture of hustle is so deeply ingrained in professional life, entrepreneur spaces, and even some family environments. Fortunately, it is attainable to establish a fresh groove for yourself, even if it’s just slight improvements from time to time.
Maintain a Log of Your Current Energy Levels
Because the culture of hustling has become so commonplace, there are times when we don’t even realize that our lives are out of balance. It motivates us to evaluate the quality of our days premised on the amount we’ve accomplished rather than on how we feel. Journaling for at least 3 minutes towards the end of each day is something I would recommend doing if you want to break out of that mental space and get more in harmony with your internal compass.
Consider how you felt in all aspects of your being—mentally, physically, and psychologically. Write down the things that went well, the things that didn’t go well, and what you learned from those experiences. You are free to redistribute your time and effort if, after some time has passed, you become aware of any patterns.
Plan Days for You to Take Care of Yourself
Your to-do list will continue to eat up your time if you don’t make a conscious effort to carve out some time for reflection, and as a result, you’ll either procrastinate or feel like you can’t keep up with the demands of your job. If you’re used to feeling incredibly busy and you don’t make this effort, you’ll become accustomed to being incredibly busy. Spending some time alone in silence can also help you connect with your intuition and gain a better understanding of what is most crucial to you, rather than simply catering to the requirements or anticipations of others.
Establish Priorities for the Tasks and the Impact
This can assist you in focusing your attention on the aspects of your job or company that truly make a difference in the long run. I can’t stress enough how important it is to perform an 80/20 analysis. Spend some time reflecting on this question: “Which 20% of my actions produce the 80% of my results?” Once you are aware of this, you will be able to direct your attention solely toward giving those things that are significant 110% of your effort, while devoting less effort to the other activities.
Discuss your limits in terms of the work with the other members of your team if you feel comfortable enough to do so. For instance, you should make it abundantly clear when you will be able to respond to e-mails or inform them that it is essential for you to take a rest at various points during the day. By establishing the tonality early on, you could let your coworkers and team members know what they can expect from you, which can help reduce the likelihood of disagreement.
Define What It Means to You to Have “Success” in Your Life
How do you define success in your professional life, in your relationships, and in the other facets of your life? Rather than focusing your extravagant lifestyle on what you read on social media, you might find it helpful to base it on what is genuinely connected to you. This can help relieve some of the pressure.
Amidst what the culture of the hustle would have you believe, there is more to life beyond the things you accomplish at work. Although putting in a lot of effort can certainly pay off, we should still make time to appreciate the less significant aspects of our lives that contribute to our sense of satisfaction.