I spent most of my twenties working 18 to 20 hour days. Some nights (well most) I got no more than 3 hours of sleep before I was up and ready to hustle again.
This went on for some time before I was burnt out, and I suffered a heart attack as a result.
Now, I’m here to tell you exactly why hustling is less likely to lead to you being an effective entrepreneur and more likely to turn you into a busy over-worked fool.
Why you don’t have to be constantly hustling.
I hear successful business owners, and motivational speakers say, “If you’re not hustling, you’re losing” all the time.
This idea of working all the time to truly be successful hurts small businesses, startups, and workers far more then it helps them!
Constant hustle leads to:
- Health issues.
- A lack of friends or family time.
I probably should have added stress twice…
Hustle is like an addiction. You always need more, and you don’t know when enough is enough.
Most of the time the people who hustle the most have the least to show for how often they are working; because of course, how do you know if you are really working effectively or just all the time?
Here is what I am not telling you:
I am not telling you to stop working long hours.
Many careers and businesses require a lot of hours to reach a certain level of success. So, I am certainly not telling you that you have to stop working overtime to reach your milestones.
However, know your limits. You need to balance how much time you spend overworking with how much leisure time you allow yourself to have. Or else you risk the possibility of a burnout.
I am not telling you that you can’t skip the weekend.
Trust me, I do this ALL the time. I always joke that I don’t even know what weekends are because I work every day in my business.
That doesn’t mean I don’t find time to go out and enjoy an afternoon with my family, though. If you are going to skip the weekend, then you should at least still be finding times to blow off some steam.
Here is what I am telling you:
I am telling you that you need to leverage your time correctly.
If you can learn to leverage your time properly, then you will actually be able to get more done effectively in less amount of time.
You could spend 20 hours hustling and find out that someone was able to get more done (constructively) in 10 hours by merely knowing how to manage their time.
Learn to manage your time by:
- Setting distinct goals every day.
- Schedule everything.
- Review your schedule or to-do list every day.
- Use deadlines.
- Don’t mistake movement (hustle) for achievement.
I am telling you to take breaks.
If you don’t allow yourself any distractions, it is hard to think creatively.
You may spend all day trying to solve a problem…that could have possibly been solved by taking a few minutes away from your desk and allowing your self to breath.
If you are addicted to hustling, you may see breaks as being lazy. However, be warned. Humans are not meant to spend 18+ hours completely focused on a task; it will lead to a lack of focus and decision fatigue.
By taking breaks, you will boosts productivity, job performance and, of course, your health.
I am telling you that hustling constantly doesn’t make you successful or wealthy.
Your bills aren’t going to be paid with excessively hard work. You aren’t going to be truly happy or fulfilled by it either.
Hustling will provide you with experience, lessons, and ideas that may help you improve your business or career goals. However, that doesn’t guarantee fulfillment or a thriving bank.
Anytime you feel like you are overextending yourself, are exhausted or are overflowing with stress, you are in an unhealthy place. It’s okay to get outside your comfort zone, but it’s not okay to run yourself ragged.
Hustling is not the same as working hard.
Hustling is not the same as creative thinking.
Hustling is just the state of nonstop moving.
Learn to take breaks so that you can reach a state of clarity and allow yourself space for new ideas.
Some of my best ideas have come from sitting comfortably in my bed rather than when I have been staring at my computer screen for 10 hours straight.
Steve Goodall is a full-time digital nomad and an Iron Maiden fan who has spent the last 30 years working with business owners in driving company growth, restructuring internal operations and providing full consultancy on all platforms including branding, outreach, and marketing. Talking business is his THING…