The Toxicity and Ineffectiveness of Hustle Culture
Credit to Vlada Karpovich

Ah, hustle culture – my biggest cause of burnout. Hustle culture is the idea that one should work constantly and never take a break. It perpetuates the notion that maximum productivity should be prioritised above all else – even if you never have a chance to unwind. Why? It all stems back to money. If you’re not constantly working harder, faster, or stronger in order to make money, what is it that you’re doing with your time?

Even when you’re not working, you should be continually learning new things, building new habits/skills, or going to the gym. This constant state of weariness has resulted in a culture of competitiveness, materialism, and unfulfillment. The reality of the matter, however, is that the notion that the longer you work, the more successful you will be is just impractical and appears to apply exclusively to the working class.

It’s time to take a step back and learn to enjoy life as it comes.

What are the dangers of hustle culture?

The dangers of hustle culture include burnout, poor mental and physical health, and a lack of work-life balance.

Let’s start off with burnout. The World Health Organization defines burnout as “a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.” According to studies, higher stress levels are associated with lower professional output.

Employees must find personal pleasure rather than simply increase their workload in order to do exceptional work. When people are relaxed and less worried, they are more productive. As a result, when employees are continuously stressed out as a result of the hustling culture, they are, unfortunately, reducing their productivity. And be honest, if you’re not doing well mentally, can you really expect to be doing well mentally?

People require a work-life balance, which hustling culture does not provide. Despite the fact that statistics reveal that working crazy hours and multitasking reduce productivity and destroy innovation, hustle culture thrives because it validates the hustle in exchange for the future payout of exceptional success. But when precisely is the payoff?

Hustle culture generates persistent toxicity by making you feel bad if you spend too much time on anything other than work.

Work cannot take precedence over your relaxation and homelife in order to maintain a balanced work-life schedule. There should be a distinction between when you work and when you rest — just don’t forget to relax.

How has hustle culture impacted society?

Hustle culture has impacted society in a negative way by causing people to feel like they have to work all the time in order to be successful.

I was infatuated with the hustle culture and compared my success to others’. It was challenging for me to balance being a full-time student, working three different jobs, and maintaining my side “hustles.” I felt that the only way to be successful was to labour nonstop for an extended period of time.

When I began to feel bad about taking a break, I realised I had ingested deadly productivity. Toxic productivity occurs when you feel guilty for not having done more, regardless of how productive you are. This appears to be the onset of risky behaviours such as skipping meals, consuming inadequate water, and sleeping insufficiently. Anxiety episodes and breakdowns were common occurrences in my life.

What are some alternatives to hustle culture?

Some alternatives to hustle culture are taking breaks, working fewer hours, and valuing leisure time. How you ask?

Make the switch to Intentional Self-Care.

Intentional self-care is a healthy alternative to hustle. Instead of working longer hours, eating on the go, and skipping breaks, self-care requires a change in attention to how we feel and what we need. We gradually come to see our needs as an essential component of a routine workday.

Set fair expectations and prioritise our tasks.

I’m frequently guilty of establishing unrealistic goals – and then changing the goalposts if I meet them. When I’ve just added another project or goal to my list, there’s no time to celebrate a victory. If we want to practise mindful self-care, we must be careful not to set ourselves up for failure by having unreasonable expectations.

Make healthy breaks a habit.

I’ve been accustomed to working all hours of the day and missing meals. No more! It is critical that we embrace a better work ethic – one that considers our personal welfare as well as the burden. Intentional self-care may even entail leveraging our own procrastination as an internal alarm system. When we are distracted or hesitant to continue with a task, it is important to take a break and engage in a self-care practise.

To be as frank as they get, hustle culture is harmful and should be avoided. Hustle culture is harmful to both the individual and society as a whole and should be avoided in order to promote an overall better quality of life.

It will take time and effort to break free from the hustle culture. We won’t be able to make the necessary adjustments overnight. Still, we may think about how to establish a self-care habit that will allow us to function at our best. We can recall that hustling all the time isn’t why most of us opted to be freelancers in the first place. Schedule flexibility, creative autonomy, and balance were most frequently viewed as significant advantages. Instead of the never-ending bustle, it’s time to mainstream a more balanced living.