Don’t Prioritize Hustle Culture
by Abigale Compton
The perception of hustle culture is best summed up with the phrase “the grind don’t stop”. This practice is unaccepting of satisfaction and blackmails people into overworking. But high expectations like these, make it impractical to get anything done. Your frustration and fatigue are deriving from this mental exhaustion, and your resulting product becomes one of quantity over quality. Don’t dig that hole for yourself. Those who adopt this routine find it hard to break once they agree to the terms and conditions of “working extra hard” and “staying ahead of everyone else”. So, we need to find the balance of working hard without driving ourselves insane.
In order to have the highest rate of productivity there needs to be a resting period in between working. Something to take your mind off the current task so it’s not too overwhelming. This can be calling a friend, watching a movie, or doing a hobby. These are great ways to separate our work lives from our personal lives, and the choices are endless. But don’t leave out the possibility for a longer break too. More than half of working Americans don’t use their full paid time off every year, and if you are someone who tends to skip out on vacation, I would recommend you reconsider. The reasons for not allowing time off is different for everyone, but again, you cannot expect to have constant working productivity if you do not step away from the task. It’s unrealistic. Remind yourself to stop being compared to others and focus on your well-being.
We must also remember that everyone is different, and you need to experiment on how to fulfill your personal needs. This may take some time, but the investment is worth it. Try putting aside some time in the morning for yourself if you don’t have any during the day. Yes, this means you have to wake up earlier, but there is some sacrifice that comes with self-improvement. During the day, set a goal to remain focused for at least 30 minutes (or however long you can manage), and when you feel yourself slipping away take a break. It doesn’t need to be long, but even a quick 5 minutes is all you need to recover. Then repeat this process until you have completed your task. Some people also work better during the evening, so when you get home plan the same 30-minute work/5-minute break schedule. This is also a great time to relax and catch up on a show if you want. Be responsible for your time management though. Don’t over reward yourself when working, this will lead to the same result as hustle culture. But instead of being mentally exhausted you will be rushing to finish, and your final product won’t be your best work.
Priorities are important to have, and they change all the time. But how we care for ourselves should always be at the top of the list. Simple changes to your routine such as taking breaks, good time management, and even taking the time to eat a good meal will keep you in a positive mindset for longer. So don’t allow the pressure of hustle culture to keep you from spending time away from work. Go watch your favorite movie, put together a new train model, or bake some cookies! Taking a break to improve on yourself is the best way to keep longevity of your mental and physical health.
(Read all the pieces in This I Believe; featured image from Flickr user Marco Verch, used under CC license)