We’ve become really familiar with the hashtags #hustle, #werk, #slay, among others. It’s the idea that we have to work at max capacity every day to be considered successful and taken seriously. But does it really benefit us — or is it actually hurting us?
Thrive Global, a company that aims to end the epidemic of stress and burnout, states that hustle culture is where people do away with a healthy work-life balance and instead define their self-worth by their work achievements. Racheal Kwacz, Child and Family Development Specialist, says that hustle culture means people are constantly on the go, and can lead to exhaustion. “Sure, you hit your targets, but at what cost?” she says.
WORK-LIFE BALANCE IS NOT PASSE
Racheal teaches the BRA method in her workshops: Build, Review and Adapt, that is. The Build part is just that — build, hustle and go at a hundred percent. Review is taking time to pause and reflect. Get feedback, think about the things that went wrong or right, and how you can do things differently. Ask yourself, “Is this still working for me?”. Adapt is figuring out what to do next, after you took time to pause. Are there any changes you need to make so that you’re still on the right track for the vision you’re building? Racheal emphasises that this is the process of staying in tune with yourself.
“Hustle culture is where people do away with a healthy work-life balance and define their self-worth by their work.”
DO YOUR BEST FOR TODAY
Sarah Chen, Co-Founder of The Billion Dollar Fund for Women and Lean In Malaysia, points out that if you work yourself to the ground, you’re actually working “against optimal performance”, and this will lead to exhaustion. It’s about “maximising your potential and giving it your best every day,” she says. She also advises that we need to give ourselves the space to be present. “Often we ‘do’ a lot, but what is really needed is to ‘be’.”
A DEEPER SELF-WORTH
If we adopt hustle culture in our everyday life, it can make us lose sight of things outside just work, according to Racheal. There’s nothing wrong with prioritising your career, but it’s also important to have non-work related interests. At the workplace, things can go wrong or something unexpected may happen. So, having outside interests brings balance to your life and can help take your mind off things.
What would we do without technology? It’s made everything so much easier and efficient, and we can pretty much work from anywhere! But it’s also contributed to hustle culture in a negative way because we don’t know when to stop. Well, Racheal advises us to set boundaries and it can be totally up to you. Some ways to approach it? “Slow down, ask yourself what you need, what goals you are trying to achieve, what is realistic and doable.” She says the most important question is, “how can we set you up for success?”
Sarah adds that we need to remember that technology is meant to be a helpful tool. “Every now and then, we can and we must shut off,” she says.