You may have heard the phrase “the grind never stops.” People like to say this most popularly when it comes to working out or their careers. And while it’s good to have powerful motivation to get things done, the grind sometimes has to stop for you to function properly.
Hustle culture forces intense work with few breaks. But, what hustle culture doesn’t shine a light on is this: rest is actually extremely vital when it comes to you and your productivity.
Before I dive into why hustle culture is toxic, let’s first define it.
Hustle culture, going off the phrase “the grind never stops”, is the pressure from society to be constantly working faster, harder, and more than the average person, to make money or to get ahead in your career field. It is the pure idolization of overworking yourself, to gain the feeling that you’re ahead of everybody else, to feel accomplished, to feel superior. What hustle culture doesn’t outline is the mental and physical effects overworking yourself can actually do to you and your productivity. Hint: it’s not always good.
Hustle culture promotes a lifestyle that is generally unpractical for a human being. It promotes prioritizing work over everything else, to where it infiltrates almost every single aspect of your life. When you come home, you’re supposed to relax from your day at work—not to do more work. It is essential for you, your health, and your mental health to have a balance of work-life and at-home life. Without it, there are no boundaries, there are no lines, and you have the extreme potential to experience burnout and heighten your levels of stress, which could have mental and physical effects on you and your body.
Let’s talk again about balance. Even though it may seem not as so, rest is crucial to your mind and your productivity. Without rest, then you are more likely to reach burnout. Constantly working yourself and keeping your mind in a working state will heighten your levels of stress. And increased stress levels lead to reduced professional productivity.
When you’re stressed, your brain doesn’t work as clearly, feeling run down. When people are calm and not as stressed, we experience heightened levels of productivity. We feel motivated, with a positive attitude, when stress is diminished. So, when you take the time to rest, you’re actually helping your hustle instead of what hustle culture is telling you to do, which is to not rest.
Don’t listen to hustle culture. Listen to yourself and your body.
To prevent this from happening, it’s essential to take those breaks and make time for yourself and your family when you’re at home. This means the moment you walk through the front door at home, work should be the last thing on your mind. Don’t make it a priority in the household, because then your house will become a place of stress when it should be a place of rest. Put the phone away, or just don’t check your emails. When you make your rest and your self-care a priority, you will perform better at work, simultaneously preventing burnout.
Make sure to designate a time and a place to focus on your work and to focus on yourself and other aspects of your life. Making rest a priority is only helping your productivity instead of stunting it when you need it most.
When I say to balance, I mean to not bring work into your home. Your home should be where you recharge. Work shouldn’t overrule your home life.
Hustle culture makes you feel guilty for prioritizing yourself. It makes you feel like you should be constantly working towards a goal all of the time, and if you use your free time to do otherwise, then you are just wasting time.
This is a myth. In fact, it’s extremely unhealthy to think this way.
Your body needs rest just as much as it needs to be working. You need to take moments for yourself. You need to have a clear mind for work. Both go hand in hand.
Finding that balance is the step you need to take to create a stress-free life at home and at work.
And, sure. Stress can be inevitable. Everybody experiences different amounts of stress per day. But, doing what you can to prevent adding to that stress is what is essential to taking care of yourself.
Once you find that balance, you will see how much better you feel at work and at home. You won’t feel as stressed and you won’t feel bad about relaxing, because you will still feel productive at work.
While hustle culture isn’t trying to be a toxic way of thinking, it, unfortunately, can be seen as such. It’s important to be productive but in the healthiest way possible. By resting, you are also being productive, and that’s what hustle culture doesn’t advocate for.
To avoid falling under the pressures of hustle culture, take advice from the tips above.
Make time for yourself. Make time for your family. Make time for the things you enjoy.
But, most importantly: make time for rest.
When you make time for rest, you are making room for heightened productivity. You will feel better, work better, and relax better—knowing that everything is getting done just as it’s supposed to and you don't have to overwork yourself to get there.
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