‘Go hard or go home’
More often than not the first thing we all do when we wake up is check our phones. Check emails while grabbing a coffee, or while sitting on the pot. Then respond to messages and updates on the way to work. The 9 to 5 job culture is dead and gone. A very rich man once tweeted, ‘Nobody ever changed the world in 40 hours a week’. This man is Elon Musk. According to him, you need to give 110% of yourself to your work. Not just him, but most employers believe work needs to be the driving force of one’s life and not just one aspect of it. This has led to the ‘hustle culture’ dominating the global workforce.
If you aren’t productive every minute of the day, you’re wasting your time. Hanging out with friends or family, chilling, binge watching movies and shows, shutting your mind off, or even sleeping more than the bare minimum is seen as a waste of time. Have we all not been told, “time is money?” Another common saying is, “you don’t stop when you’re tired, you stop when you’re done!”
While the sentiment is admirable, real life doesn’t allow us to push ourselves without consequences.
We need to ask ourselves if this is the most productive or enriching way of working.
Stamping out human value
Hustle culture exists because what employer would not want employees who put their work above all else? This is glorified and reinforced with promises of “making it big” and being “successful”. However, studies show that working long, indiscriminate hours lowers productivity and kills creativity.
Still, we persevere.
And with the recent trend of ‘quiet quitting’, which has become a big challenge for employees and employers alike, this hustle-culture just highlights the utmost lack of empathy.
Hustle culture has an overarching belief that the more productive you are, the more intrinsic value you have. This extreme obsession with productivity can be so overwhelming that we tie our self-worth to the amount of work we do. It glorifies overworking as a badge of honor! The question we must now ask is, is hustle culture really worth it?
Breaking free with new practices
Since hustling has become a way of life, it can be difficult to slow down and create new habits. But it is possible. Here’s how:
- Know that you’re in the throes of a toxic culture. Acknowledging that something needs to change, is the foundation of progress.
- Have a hard stop to your work day. Turn off your work apps and don’t check emails once you step out of the office. In this day and age of technology, it is important to be mindful of who and what has access to you.
- Humans are driven by cause and find satisfaction in giving back to society. Identify a purpose that engages you wholly; increasing your serotonin by being altruistic.
- If you work in a top-down organization, practice empathy until it become inherent and expands to civic empathy, applicable to society.
- If you’re a parent of someone impacted by the hustle culture, assert the need for social and emotional learning skills in institutes
In the end, life has to be a lot more than just about work. We need to rethink our priorities, find causes we are passionate about, work smarter and find joy in the little things in life.