A blog by unhustle®

Unhustle for Leadership

The “Success Trap” of Hustle Culture

Milena Regos

In a world obsessed with busyness and chasing success at all costs, we end up burnt out, stressed out, and lonely. At Unhustle, my vision is to shift this paradigm. It’s about finding the sweet spot between doing and real living, embracing a lifestyle that balances life enjoyment with purposeful achievement. This is the future I’m creating with Unhustle—a sustainable, prosperous future for ourselves, our families, communities, teams, companies, and the planet.

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Reading Time: 6 minutes

Hustle Culture is Not my Thing.

“We are busy. So busy.  Business is good, and we are onboarding waitlists through March and beyond. We have leads coming through every single day (quality leads!) and our team is expanding and therefore training and systems and processes need to be nailed.  And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.  We are seeing the success we pictured at our dining table 5+ years ago when we dreamed up this “little” business of ours.  But it has taken sacrifice. MUCH more than we speak about publicly.  A small example is that I’m often tied up and miss out on time with my nieces and nephews. I took this photo of my nephew with my SLR camera almost 2 years ago.  Fully rejecting #HustleCulture, I still find myself giving 90% of my time to my business and I consciously make that choice. I’m proud of what we’ve built and still have big goals to push and new glass ceilings to shatter. Even so, stumbling across this photo reminded me I need a little balance shift.  Got any balance hacks? Asking for a friend ;-)”

The nephew. Photo from Instagram: @enichesbusiness

Just reading this Instagram post from @enrichesbusiness made my heart skip a beat. It’s the same struggle I went through years back and a typical example of what happens when you fall for the “success” trap of Hustle Culture. Whether you think you are part of Hustle Culture or not, the strain and busy remains the same. The end result remains the same. When you are so focused on work, you put your life on hold. Until one day you realize that living to work is not what you were born to do. You start feeling anxious and overwhelmed. You may even start resenting your business. You have lost the freedom you crave and the very reason for becoming an entrepreneur in the first place.  This is Hustle Culture all over again.  The good news is that adding more balance (and boundaries) in your daily life is easier than you think to get you out of the busy and out of the hustle. You don’t have to close down your business or ignore your clients. Here are some Unhustle “balance hacks” for the busy entrepreneur based on the amount of time you decide to invest in you. And the counterintuitive part here is that the less you work, the more you make. You are welcome. I see this over and over again and I’m here to tell you, it’s up to us to stand up to this crazy Hustle Culture and design a life we are proud to live.

Get out of the Hustle Culture mentality – It’s a perspective shift that starts with you.

Taking care of yourself is the best way to beat your competitors. It’s the only way to avoid burnout. It’s the easiest way to make sure you and your business thrive in the long run.  You may think you don’t have time, but the reality is that it you can’t afford not to make time for you. I know it sounds a little counterintuitive. The thing is, you do have time for the things you decide to do, you said it yourself. It’s a matter of priorities. It’s not that you don’t have time, it’s that your priorities are somewhere else. Currently, you are consciously focused on work. Being aware of this is part of the solution. You can choose to build in some more time for other things besides work. As strange as it seems, taking care of you is good for your business – you’ll make better decision, you’ll think clearer, you’ll have more energy. Being healthy and happy is good for you, your family and your business.  The opposite is that you don’t take care of yourself. And this is when it starts to get ugly. We see it, read about it and hear about it over and over again. Burnout is real and it ends in poor quality of work, decrease in productivity and creativity, relationship issues, health issues and even hospital visits. Even if you don’t burnout, you end up dealing with chronic stress. Stress is the health epidemic of the 21st century and one that results in 60-90% of all doctor’s visits. It can affect your health, relationships, family and work.  Here are 5 things you incorporate in your life to stop being busy and bring more balance in your life. Get out of the busy and out of the Hustle and into a calmer, more intentional way of living and working.

Stress Less with Breathing

Time commitment – 1 min. When you start feeling overwhelmed, practice the box breathing technique. You can watch my box breathing video from Lake Tahoe here. Even the peaceful scenery will help you calm down. According to the Mayo Clinic, using our breath is an effective way to control stress. Combine it with lavender essential oil for even better results. Put some oil in your hands, cup them and breathe in to the count of 4, hold for 4, exhale to the count of 4, and hold for 4. Do this breathing for a minute and you will experience an immediate feeling of calm.

Beat Busy with Mindfulness

Time commitment: 10 min Practice meditation or mindfulness even if it’s only a few minutes each day. Sit somewhere comfortably, close your eyes and focus on your breathing. If you need an app to guide you, Insight Timer is a good free app you can use. You can practice mindfulness at work too. Set your intention for the day and focus on 3 things you have to do that day. Do each one mindfully and when you complete it, take a short break before the next one. Having a regular mindfulness practice has completely transformed my life and it can do the same for you.

Find More Time by Unplugging

Time commitment: 20 min in the morning / 1 hour in the evening Start your day without your phone and take a few minutes in the morning for you – meditate, journal, sit in silence with your cup of tea / coffee, do some yoga, go outside for a walk, spend time in nature. We spend most of our days on outward activities, we need to balance that with some inward activities. At the end of the day, disconnect from your phone an hour or two before bedtime. This will allow your brain to take a break, allow you to be more present with your family, even help you improve your sleep. Go on an “information diet” for a week and minimize use of social media, news, industry newsletters, videos and TV. I use Inbox When Ready app on my Gmail to keep me out of my email and allow me to check it at certain times during the day. You can still send out emails but it doesn’t destroy your attention every time you open your inbox. Plus, it’s free.

Take Care of Your Wellbeing with Food

Time commitment: 1 hour When we get too busy, we tend to pay less attention to what we eat and start drinking more coffee, eating more sugar and ending with a glass of wine or two. Eating healthy is key to having a good foundation to become more stress resilient. Make sure you are taking good care of your body through proper nutrition with lots of good fats, lean protein and green leafy vegetables and minimize sugar, coffee and alcohol. Designate an evening when you cook a wholesome meal and enjoy eating it slowly, knowing you are properly nourishing your body. Try this quick salmon recipe from Bulletproof with asparagus and fennel.

Find Joy in Play

Time commitment: half a day Make time for things that bring you joy – spending time with your family, exercising, going out in nature. Doing these things will improve your productivity and creativivity when you return back to work. Take a day off work and do something you’ve been wanting to do for a really long time. Or take half a day and focus on you – get a massage, do a DYI spa, go for a hike, hit the beach, read a book, get your camera back and go spend time with your nephew.  These 5 easy things will help you achieve a more balance in your life without spending hours in the gym, thousands of dollars at the therapist’s office or hundreds of dollars hospital bills. Hustle Culture is a mindset. Unhustle is a new way of living where we change our mindset as to what’s really important in life.  Give these “balance hacks” a try for a week or two and let us know how you feel.  Remember, that you are as busy as you want to be. Got any other ideas? Let us know in the comments.  Thanks @enrichesbusiness for letting us share this post with the Unhustle Community and your nephew is precious and wants to spend more time with you! Photo: La Ventana Hostel

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