I truly thought we were past the point of hustle harder, girl bosses, and endless working.
I think the pandemic made it harder.
Hear me out: I think the pivoting, working from home, figuring out how to either do the jobs we were all doing or find new employment, coupled with remote work and a focus on reopening, getting back to normal and go go go…we have fully dug our heels in the hustle culture and it’s not good.
You might be reading this and thinking, but Jen! Strike while the iron is hot, get in there, and make it happy; let’s do it! And I hate to tell you that the constant work, lack of clocking in and out, and no time for yourself is harming you more than helping you. Here are a few ways we can ditch the hustle culture and still focus on our dreams.
First thing first: several studies show that longer hours working can result in increased depression and anxiety. Humans need to socialize! We need sleep! The toxic effects of hustle culture far outweigh the gains from working extra.
Work smarter, not more
Easier said than done, right? Seriously though: make a to-do list of the things you are working on for the month, the week, and the day. Looking at things collectively can help you work in a way that allows you to focus on what needs to be done, as well as the things that you can combine or work on at the same time. If you just keep working without looking at everything holistically, you’ll probably end up doing unnecessary work.
Have a life in your work-life balance
Want to be more creative, successful, and grow in a way that helps how you work? Get a hobby. It doesn’t matter what the hobby is – volunteering, reading thrillers, being a plant mom – no matter what that “extra” is in your “extracurricular,” it is going to help you in the long run. While your hobby doesn’t need to help how you work, the feeling of guilt might be real when you aren’t working. If you need an extra nudge to get you on that hobby train, allowing your brain to rest and recharge helps with creativity and organization!
Align your actual goals
Quick question: what are you working for? What is success?
If you are drawing a bit of a blank, I have some news for you: if you are just working and have no clear goal with actionable objectives that are in your control, you’re going to keep chasing the finish line that doesn’t exist. It’s not just you – lots of people don’t have their goals laid out in a way that the control lives with them. For example, if you’re working to that promotion, but you don’t know how you’ll get it or the tangible things that you might need to be doing to achieve it, you’ll never be satisfied. If you’re never satisfied, you’ll keep working, creating a nasty cycle. Outline those goals and objectives, so you know what you’re working towards, and aiming at, versus throwing everything at the wall to see what sticks.
Boundaries with a capital B
Yes, boundaries are incredibly helpful when you’re working on relationships: how about the boundaries you have with yourself? It’s just one email on a Sunday night – that turns into three, or five, and suddenly you have no time off.
Set some boundaries with yourself: I understand how nice it is to have a clean inbox Monday morning, but at what cost? If you’re taking time for yourself, do it: take time for yourself!
And when you push your boundary? Push back and prioritize rest.