For most of people’ life, “Nothing is impossible if you work hard enough…” is a saying that was tattooed into their psyche. This is Hustle Culture (aka “Burnout Culture,” “Workaholism,” or “Toxic Productivity”) is all about constantly working. Those who hustle attempt to devote as many hours as possible to work.
Outwardly, hustle culture seems like a high-energy-motivational movement that comes with expected rewards. For most people, working long hours is typically associated with moving up the corporate ladder faster, making six-figures in the shortest amount of time possible, or earning passive income due to around-the-clock hard work. It is the belief that you can succeed and achieve anything you want in life if you work hard enough. But this can only happen if you devote 1000% of yourself to work, lose sleep, and self-motivate yourself to push through the pains despite all forces that work against you.
Sure, working hard is highly celebrated in almost every workplace. But hustle culture practices are on another level. It is self-sacrificial but also delusion. It is motivating yet toxic. It is easy to believe that working a lot equates to high productivity, but it is not productive at all.
The average hustler believes that work is the center of their identity. Their job makes them who they are, and they are always able to encourage themselves to work more than that average person. They believe that hard work guarantees rewards, and the more work one puts in, the faster the reward will come.
Overall, this culture is characterized by an obsessive work ethic and constant productivity. “There are way easier places to work, but nobody ever changed the world on 40 hours a week.”— Elon Musk
But, Did you know that according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, working too much decreases productivity by 68% in employees who feel they don’t have enough hours in the day to complete their tasks? Hustling is an addiction to work, and it can affect a person’s quality of life. One study suggested that workaholics have obsessive-compulsive tendencies and can experience symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
We hope you recognize the effects of hustle culture on one’s overall well-being. The overall lesson is that we need to listen to ourselves and our bodies. You don’t need to burnout to convince yourself that you are working hard. If you can work hard within your boundaries and practice moderation, you will be more productive that way than by overworking yourself.