Are you familiar with the term hustle culture? Most successful people say that working hard is one of the main reasons they got to where they are. But unfortunately, knowing this makes many people, especially millennials and Gen Zers who desire to be successful as well, want to work just as hard to attain their goals. This is how the term hustle culture was invented.

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What Is Hustle Culture?

If you are unfamiliar with this term, and thus don’t know what it means, hustle culture is where people feel the need to put work above everything else in their lives as they strive to achieve their professional goals.

People who believe in the hustle culture are obsessed with productivity, and most look down on and shame anyone else who doesn’t work as hard. You will see them bragging about how hard they work and posting captions on social media with hustle culture hashtags such as #allidoisgrind #sleepisfortheweak, #hustlehard, or #riceandgrind, among others. But overworking is not the only way to become successful.

This is not to say that it is wrong to work hard; it is a good thing to do if you want to gain wealth and improve your life. However, if you prioritize work above everything and are always busy doing some task or other, you might come to realize how toxic hustle culture is and have regrets later in life.

Sometimes, the journey and all the things you do while chasing your dreams may not be worth it. In this post, we shall discuss why hustle culture is toxic, and how you can slow down and stop the grind to live a more fulfilling life.

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Why Hustle Culture Is Toxic          

  1. You will experience burnout

Hustle culture often involves spending a lot of time working and trying to be productive no matter where you are or what the time is. While it is not bad to want to work, you should remember that your body is not a machine, and it requires some downtime to rest, relax and recharge after working.

When you overwork yourself, you will not have enough of the Rs and are most likely going to get burned out and, this is why hustle culture is toxic. No matter how focused you are on your goals, you must learn how to slow down and stop the grind when you need to.

You should start putting yourself first, reduce your workload, practice self-care, take breaks from work, and give yourself time to rest and recharge.

READ ALSO: 10 Signs You Are Headed for Burnout (and How to Prevent It)

  1. Impact on your health

The health problems, both physical and mental, that often occur when someone is overworked are other reasons why hustle culture is toxic. For instance, if you are into hustle culture, you might spend too much time sitting at your desk, and hence, experience back pain, have posture problems, and increase the risk of lifestyle diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and obesity. Additionally, staring at a computer for long periods could lead to eye problems.

You might also stress about work all the time, feel anxious or depressed when you have trouble reaching your goals, and feel guilty when doing something non-work-related.

You may never have time to eat or probably do the opposite, overeat and gain excess weight, because you are always too busy to be mindful while eating. All these mental and physical health problems are some of the reasons why hustle culture is toxic.

READ ALSO: The Health Risks of Being a Writer and How to Prevent Them

  1. You never finish working

If you are always looking for something to do, you will find some task that needs to be done. Therefore, one of the reasons why hustle culture is toxic is that you might not be able to stick to your work hours. You will always find something to do and can’t give yourself time to relax and unwind, even when you are supposed to.

When you believe in the hustle culture, you will always be checking your phone and computer for messages and emails about something work-related no matter where you are or what time and day of the week it is. And this doesn’t only happen to people with a 9-5 corporate job.

The effects of hustle culture could be worse among self-employed individuals. You always want to be doing something, otherwise, you will feel guilty about being idle. It is like you only live to work, work, and work some more, and the never-ending work is why hustle culture is toxic for anyone!

READ ALSO: 8 Productive Things You Can Do When Stuck in Traffic

  1. Hustle culture is counterproductive

Most people think that spending more time doing something work-related increases their productivity and performance at work, but this is not always the case.

Burnout, sleep deprivation, health problems, and flitting from one task to another while overworking yourself can lead to poor performance at work. You will be dragging yourself around, have focus or concentration issues, get sick often, and not be in the right headspace to be working.

No matter how many hours you spend working or how busy you appear to be, if you have too much to do, you keep nodding off, can’t concentrate, are ill, or fatigued, your productivity at work will be affected, which explains why hustle culture is toxic. Success will most likely come from the quality and not the quantity of time you spend working.

  1. Failure hits differently

Imagine spending so much time working hard to achieve something only to end up making mistakes or failing at whatever you were trying to do.

For most people who work normal hours and do not put their work above everything else, failure and mistakes might be regarded as great opportunities to learn something, and bouncing back could be easier. But, as a believer in hustle culture, failure hits you harder because of all the time, energy, and effort you invested into whatever task you were doing.

Finding it harder to bounce back after a failure is one of the reasons why hustle culture is toxic. Failing could make you feel like you wasted your time and energy on something pointless. You could also develop the fear of failure, thus never try to do anything that you aren’t 100% certain you can achieve in the future.

READ ALSO: 10 Things That Can Change Your Way of Thinking about Life

  1. It is exploitative and manipulative

Not everyone who is into hustle culture has the actual desire to work hard all the time. Some work too much just because others are doing it, their employers are forcing the hustle culture on them, or they fear being judged by those who work all the time.

Most people that praise hustle culture and say how productive one can be after working 12 hours/day are not the ones who do the actual work. They are often the bosses, and the entire burden to work extra hard is left to the employees.

However, forcing people to do something they don’t want is wrong, and this exploitation of employees is why hustle culture is toxic. Everyone should have the freedom to choose how much of their time they dedicate to work without fearing judgment or being forced to work more than they should by others.

If what you are doing is helping you achieve your goals just fine and at your own pace, there is no need to rush or work too hard that you experience the negative effects of hustle culture.

  1. No work-life balance

You are not supposed to be in this world only to work until you drop. However, hustle culture pushes the idea that you should always be working. And you know what happens with all work but no play. You will not have a work-life balance, and other aspects of your life might not matter to you much at the moment.

When you learn how to let go of hustle culture in the future, you will most likely have many regrets as you grow older. About the time you didn’t spend with family and friends. All the fun activities you didn’t do and probably can’t do now. Or about how little the payoff of all the hard work might be.

Having no work-life balance and seeing your life pass you by as you are busy working are some of the reasons why hustle culture is toxic. Learn how to slow down now by spending time with your family, appreciating the small things, keeping your good friends in your life, enjoying the small things, and having fun while you still can.

READ ALSO: 5 Best Ways to Invest in Yourself for a Better Future

How to Slow Down and Stop the Grind

  1. Identify why you work so hard; Most times, hustle culture is driven by fear and uncertainties about the future or comparison with others.
  2. Redefine success and find more sustainable ways to achieve your goals.
  3. Take breaks from work for me time, your health, and to spend more time with your loved ones.
  4. Change careers, or at least your job, if your current employer forces you to overwork.
  5. Unfollow the accounts and influencers that make you feel bad that you aren’t working as hard as they are.
  6. Put yourself and your health first by practicing self-care.
  7. Be present in whatever you do and learn to live in the moment.
  8. Stop competing with others, focus on your growth, and go at your own pace.
  9. To be more productive ensure you get all the 7 types of rest.
  10. Start a sustainable routine to create more structure in your life.

READ ALSO: 8 Easy Things You Can Do to Become a Morning Person (and Love it)

The Bottom Line

Wanting to become successful and working hard towards achieving your goals is a good thing. But if that is all you live for and you neglect other important aspects of your life, then that is why hustle culture is toxic. Don’t get trapped in this ideology because you will come to regret it later when you realize how much you lost in your pursuit of success.

As you strive to achieve your goals in the shortest time possible, you could be risking your health and well-being, thus, shortening the time for enjoying the fruits of your labor. For your happiness and better quality of life, try to maintain a work-life balance and never lose sight of why you are chasing your dreams.


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17 thoughts on “7 Reasons Why Hustle Culture Is Toxic (and How to Slow Down)

  1. Thank you, Sheri!! It’s very good to hustle and work hard, but definitely not at the expense of your health, relationships and emotional stability. We shouldn’t shut off all other parts of our lives in the pursuit of money.

    1. Exactly! and money is fleeting. You might chase it and get it but then lose it all before you even get to enjoy it. Thank you so much for reading, Joanne!❤

  2. Happen to run into this article and I’ve been thinking about this for a few months now. I hope everyone wakes up before its too late to enjoy life. Why wait for retirement when you may not be able to do what you want then. Our society just down right sucks with too much expectations

    1. Exactly! You may not be able to do the things you can do now or you might probably die before enjoying the fruits of your labor! The best thing we can do is live our lives to the fullest now. Thank you so much for reading, Toby❤

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