It’s Saturday morning, which means I’m at my favorite coffee shop sipping my very predictable order of a honey latte. My to-do list for the day is endlessly growing as I remember more and more responsibilities, and I’m feeling pressured to get everything accomplished in one sitting.
In today’s society, it’s easy to make being “busy” part of our personality. We pride ourselves on how busy we are, how good we are at multitasking, how long our to-do lists are and how many things we can cram into one weekend. Hustle culture is becoming the norm for people in the workforce, for students and for everyone.
Hustle culture perpetuates a kind of workaholism which can be especially attractive to new graduates who are trying to show their dedication and devotion. The busier you are, the more you are celebrated. The fact that you’re missing meals, losing sleep and neglecting yourself in general is irrelevant because success equals hustle.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to go above and beyond – the problem arises when you give so much of yourself to your job or your schoolwork that you have nothing left. You’re overworked, tired and drained. You rarely have a few minutes to yourself and when you do, you’re stressed because you feel like you should be working. Your mental health takes a blow and the repercussions are endless.
I learned the dangers of hustle culture the hard way. Ever since I can remember, I’ve believed that my grades define my self worth. I set my academic goals so unrealistically high and then I get upset with myself when I can’t reach them.
Work does not determine your worth, whether it’s the grade you got on a test or the amount of tasks you’re able to accomplish in one hour.
Here are a few tips you can implement if you want to combat hustle culture and redefine your self worth:
01) Work smart
Working smart means working efficiently. Imagine accomplishing a task in three hours instead of six. That way, you have time to double-check it before moving onto the next task. Aim to be productive, not just busy!
02) Embrace a work-life balance
A fresh mind is a creative mind. Constantly working, on the other hand, creates dullness and monotony. Keeping your work separate from the rest of your life will allow you to relax when it’s time to relax and work when it’s time to work.
03) Let go of perfectionism
A lot of us developed perfectionist tendencies at an early age when our responsibilities were more limited and it was easy to perform superior work. But as we get older, perfectionism gets further and further out of reach – and expecting yourself to achieve perfectionism only sets you up for disappointment. The healthier option is to strive for excellence in replace of perfectionism.
To combat hustle culture, share your defeats as regularly as you share your successes. Share the good, the bad and the ugly of your work. Share the goals and the accomplishments you have set out to achieve. Be real. These are the things that hustle culture has taken away from hard-working individuals, but something we need to bring back.