Have you heard the term “hustle culture” before? For many, it springs up memories or examples of trying to one-up yourself to never fall behind, trying to fit 24 hours of work into an 8-hour day, and striving for more at an impossible rate.
I’m exhausted even talking about it.
I don’t know about you, but I have grown to loathe that phrase and, in many ways, simply the word “hustle,” too.
According to Miriam Webster’s dictionary, the definition of hustle is “to convey forcibly or hurriedly; to urge forward precipitately; to shove or press; to hasten or hurry.”
When was the last time you did something forcibly or hurriedly and finished it well? I can’t speak for you, but I sure as hell know that if I’m rushing through something, I’m most definitely not finishing it with the mark of excellence that I’d like to.
So why in the world are we attaching that word to how we work? That word deserves no place on a pedestal. Instead, let’s replace it with something worth striving for – grit, fortitude, endurance, and temerity.
By no means do I mean to adopt a lazy attitude toward your work. Instead, I suggest that we ditch the idea that to succeed, you nearly have to kill yourself in the process. If you’ve been paying attention to any of the data that has come out recently, you’ll know that the rate at which mental health struggles are diagnosed, quitting their jobs, and hitting burnout are hitting all-time highs.
Sounds like no coincidence to me.
To show up as your best self at work, you must address what your body needs to function properly. That means lowering stress levels, allowing yourself to truly rest, and allowing yourself to play!
I could go on and on about the negative effects of the hustle culture on our bodies, but these people say it much better than I do! Here are some of my favorites:
- Remember More by Taking More Breaks
- Your Body Knows You’re Burned Out
- 7 Types of Rest That Every Person Needs
- Why Your Brain Needs Downtime
The bottom line is that in the past few years, we’ve seen that more does NOT equal better. Just ask those who have implemented a 4-day work week! We can accomplish more when we’re refreshed, focused, and intentional.
Here are a few ways to cut down on the hustle culture:
- Establish stricter work boundaries. As a business owner, it’s easy to let your business run your life, but it shouldn’t have to. Your team will follow your lead, so be sure to follow your own rules. Try turning off email or Slack notifications after work and on the weekends. You’ll be surprised how much better you’ll sleep, how much more focused you’ll be with your family, and how much clarity you’ll gain.
- Schedule breaks throughout your day. If you can’t be trusted to fit them in on the day of, schedule some non-negotiable breaks throughout your day. Go for a walk, read a fiction book, sit in silence – pick your poison. Whatever it is, give yourself a mental break.
- Create your to-do list the day before. You’ll save yourself loads of time if you can get in the habit of creating your daily to-do list before you start working. By taking a few minutes at the end of the day, you’ll save yourself the decision fatigue the next morning. It’ll act as a closing task for your day and keep you on track the next day.
- Learn to differentiate between an emergency and a non-emergency. Part of the hustle culture feeling is treating everything as urgent or as an emergency, but more often than not, it’s not actually an emergency. Learning how to structure your to-do list according to its true priority can help mitigate stress by addressing the most urgent things first (you’d be shocked how many people don’t know how to do this!). Here’s a great TedTalk on the concept!
- Get realistic with what you can accomplish. Business owners are notorious for wanting to complete their whole to-do list simultaneously. Well, you and I both know that’s not realistic. Sometimes we have to have a 1:1 with ourselves and get realistic about what we can accomplish in a given period of time. Having clear and realistic goals will keep you sane!
- Get help if you need it! Whether hiring a VA, a business coach, or an OBM, the right team members or support team will help take the load off your shoulders. Nobody said you have to walk this journey alone!
If you’ve found yourself stuck in the middle of hustle culture and need help figuring out how to keep from falling back into it, let me know! I’m happy to help sort through the chaos and create a way for you and your business to thrive without the stress.