Let’s talk hustle culture. Is it helping you or hurting you? The irony is that the much strived for hustle, when overdone, will only serve to hinder you and your productivity. When you think about it, the much glorified hustle is also a form of performative workaholism. Do you feel compelled to perform, to complete, to check things off a list? Do you enjoy what you do and finish tasks in good time?
It’s all good and well to write yet another post, welcoming the upcoming week and announcing that you’re back on the grind after a relaxing weekend.. if that works for you. For many of us, striking that perfect work/life balance is something we’ll be working on for the next while.
One thing I’ve realised is that how productive we are, how much we get done, is very individual. Each person has different preferences, limits and ideal time frames for completing things.
For example, many people have recommended to me that I start waking up earlier, much earlier, in order to make the most of the day.. or, well, get the most done. I am not a morning person and never have been, so the very thought of this is akin to torture. I’d much rather have a sleep in and get to things in my own time. I’m a night owl, so my most productive hours are from about 11pm to early morning. It’s not incredibly convenient but for me personally, it works just fine.
Hustling for some women may look like building a business from the ground or being a CEO. For others, it could be balancing mothering tasks and setting aside time for personal passions. All of this is valid and important, despite looking so different.
In all of this, what about the girl boss movement?
girlboss. A confident, capable woman who pursues her own ambitions instead of working for others or otherwise settling in life.
It seems to me that the girl boss movement has taken on a completely new meaning and now feeds into hustle culture. In some of its forms, there’s a feminist aspect. There’s a celebration of women who aspire and achieve. Somewhere along the way though, the true meaning has changed, morphed into something else. Working harder, faster, better- feeding into perfectionism- that’s the feminine ideal of progress. We have linked our empowerment as women to our productivity, our success, our performance, when none of these really indicate we’re doing something right.
Are we balanced, functioning people who have the time and energy to enjoy life? Are we able to sit down a cup of coffee, do absolutely nothing and be okay with it? Not every single moment of the day needs to be optimised and the sooner you realise that, the better. Anything that isn’t in moderation, ultimately, is harmful for you. Even good things. Less is more.
We cannot slog our way to true success, especially when we neglect so many important facets of lifestyle that contribute to our wellbeing. I’m at a place in my life where I prioritise happiness and health over all else. If I can’t make a post or miss a day of school, so be it. If I’m not doing well, everything else will inevitably suffer too.
We all want to live full lives we are proud of and want to share, but at what cost? Perhaps we need to focus more on individual fulfillment and less on what only takes a toll on us. At this point, we have better relationships with our work than we do with ourselves and the people around us. We’re making the same mistakes, misidentifying our value with numbers in our bank accounts, promotions and things that hold little meaning.
The women’s liberation movement in times past brought new found freedom- opportunities to have a say, obtain various rights such as to jobs and education. It was also ambitious, encouraging fresh, out of the box thinking about women and the people they could, or should be. What kind of world did we want and what role would we play in creating that and then being a part of it?
Hustle culture, particularly for females, is idealistic, not realistic. It is in some ways a combatting of ingrained stereotypes, a slight rebellion. Dare I say though, it is energy misdirected.