Have you ever heard the phrase “rise and grind?” If so, then you’ve encountered hustle culture. Hustle culture has risen in popularity throughout the past few years and is becoming more ingrained within our society — especially amongst millennials and Gen Z. But is this adaptation a good thing?

While there are undeniable benefits to the fundamental ideas of hustle culture, there are definitely some downsides that need to be addressed and understood. Read on to learn more about hustle culture, why people love it and some of the pros and cons that go with the mindset!

What is Hustle Culture?

Hustle culture is described as the mentality of putting your work over everything else in life. In hustle culture, overworking is the expectation, and many that subscribe to the mindset put pressure on themselves to constantly be productive and successful. Personal sacrifice is the norm, and many make work the main thing that they focus on in their life.

The basic idea of hustle culture can be attractive to many due to the psychological rewards that it evokes. Within psychology, hustle culture can be rooted from a reward system put in place to achieve. Our brains are designed to act in a way that it understands as “good” — the more good things you do, the better you will feel and the more you will receive. Therefore, the more you’re accomplishing, the better you’ll feel.

However, the psychology of hustle culture is a double-edged sword. If you go through a spell where you lack productivity, you may start to feel worse about yourself. Nobody wants to be outcasted for doing something that is perceived as “bad,” and if you aren’t working hard, that can be considered a negative thing. 

Hustle culture is very prevalent within subsets of social media. If you check social media, you’re always going to find someone who is working when you’re not — regardless of the day and time. Whether someone is posting about a new job, a new side hustle or any other win in their professional life, it can make you feel like you’re missing out on work. People want to be perceived as successful, and if you’re seeing other people succeeding when you aren’t, it can be a hit to your sense of self worth.

Why People Love the Hustle

There are plenty of reasons why people gravitate towards hustling. Participating in hustle culture can be a great way to boost your productivity while also feeling a sense of community, and there are plenty of benefits that come with putting yourself through bursts of hard work on a regular basis.

First of all, hustling is a great way to guarantee that you’ll be successful. One of the important aspects of grind culture is reaching failure and overcoming it through more hard work. If you’re continuously working hard and fighting through the setbacks that are thrown at you, then eventually you will reach your goals and find the success you want — it’s just how the world works. 

There are plenty of things that hustling will teach you, but perhaps the most important lessons you’ll receive will be in persistence, resilience and mental toughness. The ability to push yourself and reach your goals regardless of setbacks is perhaps one of the most important life skills available, and it’s one that hustling will definitely teach you. 

You’ll also learn a lot about how much time and work it actually does take to become successful and achieve hard goals. In today’s age of convenience, there isn’t too much adversity within most people’s lives. Hustle culture requires you to be mentally tough and persistent, and it will help you to achieve more and learn what it takes to succeed.

Learning about yourself isn’t the only type of learning you’ll be doing — you’ll also be learning a ton about your industry and the world around you. If you’re hoping to be successful at a high rate, it’s crucial that you’re constantly educating yourself on new ways to improve. Whether you’re learning about work related topics, organization, networking skills, or time management, any hustler is going to be learning at a rapid pace by default.

But at the end of the day, nobody really dreams of working hard forever. But, that’s another enticing aspect to hustling — if you’re working hard in your youth, you could be setting yourself up for early retirement. The aim of hustle culture is to grind early on in life and prioritize generating income in hopes of being able to enjoy your life later on with all the fruits of your labor.

Toxic Attributes of Grind Culture

Unfortunately, there are plenty of downsides to a life filled with hustle and grind. Hustle culture calls for long hours and a good amount of stress, and if left unchecked, it can lead to some negative psychological and physiological effects.

Damage to Mental Health

If you’re spending 60+ hours a week strictly working, you could be putting yourself at risk for poor mental health, including depression, anxiety and worsened quality of life. It’s always good to push your limits and work harder, but if it’s coming at the expense of your happiness and mental wellbeing, then it isn’t worth the new results. Plus, this won’t be a sustainable method for you to live your life by.

Damage to Physical Health

Long periods of working can also have negative effects on your physical wellbeing. Stress is infamous for raising heart rates and increasing blood pressure — neither of which are components to a long, healthy life. It can also lead you to pick up some unhealthy habits such as lessened motivation to exercise, unhealthy eating and even alcohol and drug use. 

Negative Feeling of Self

Workaholic culture can also lead to negative feelings of self. If you’re constantly comparing yourself to others and their success, then your work will start to feel like a toxic grind. Since constant working is a speaking point of those involved with hustle culture, it can lead to you starting to equate your self worth to your work performance. You may start to feel guilty when you take a vacation or time off, which continues to keep the negative cycle going.

How to Beat the Hustle

So what’s the best way to move forward? It’s been established that increased productivity and a push in work ethic can go a long way towards the betterment of your life, but where do you draw the line between “rise and shine” and “rise and grind?” It’s possible to take the best parts of workaholic culture while still finding a balance — here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Focus on how you feel. Being successful in work is all good and fun, but it’s important that you’re feeling successful in other aspects of your life — especially your mental health. Read and register your emotions and use them as a compass to guide your life. 
  • Create a daily schedule and set some reasonable goals for yourself each day. These tactics can also help you fight off attention residue and stay more focused each day — read this blog post to learn more about it!
  • Self reflect. Are you working this hard so that you can reach your goals, or are you working this hard so that you are labeled as a “hard worker” or “grinder?” It’s easy to fall into the trap of wanting to be more productive than the next person, but if it’s coming to a detriment to the rest of your life, then it isn’t worth it. 
  • Set priorities that don’t have to do with work. If you find it difficult to relax, start by making small decisions to step away from the computer. You could call a friend, go for a walk or make dinner plans with somebody. Stepping away from the computer can do so much for your mental health, so find some way to get out into the real world.
  • Speak up. If you feel like your work hours and workload are forcing you into the arms of hustle culture, be sure to say something! You have the voice to talk about it and voice your concerns to your peers or employer. If you don’t set boundaries for yourself, then someone else will set them for you, so be sure to keep your own wellbeing in mind in order to keep yourself happy and productive in the long term.

Find Help Where You Can

Finding the balance between grind culture and relaxation is a never-ending process — just stay mindful of how you’re feeling and make adjustments when and where you see fit. It’s also important to utilize any resources you can that will help make your life easier.

Charli can be one of those resources — it’s designed to help you streamline your life by organizing and managing all of your content to make it easier than ever to find and share specific files and information. Learn more about how Charli can help you out and then learn more about how you can stay motivated at work by reading this blog post!