It sounds great in a TED talk, especially when it’s coming from a billionaire or a hugely successful entrepreneur, but is it really healthy to only sleep 4 hours a night and be glued to your phone?
Tony Robbins and other motivational speakers talk about being “hungry.” No, not for a Snickers bar, but for your dreams. As if toiling away on your computer for 16 hours straight will automatically make you the next Steve Jobs.
I’m a Hustler Baby
While hard work and striving for your goals with ambition and action is to be admired, developing unhealthy work habits is not. Working 60-70 hour weeks will lead to physical problems and even illness, as your body gets to a point where it will say, “Hey, I’m feeling overworked and I need a break. If you don’t sit yourself in a bubble bath or take at least 5 minutes to meditate, I’m not helping you anymore.” Your body is the ship that carries your soul and if you don’t patch up the holes when you need it, that ship will sink to the bottom of the ocean faster than the Titanic.
When was the last time you heard someone #humblebrag about getting 8 hours of sleep last night? Well, let this be your first time! I refuse to function on less than 8 hours sleep. Think this is impossible? Maybe try giving up watching Netflix for an hour before bed, use that time to sleep, and see how much better you feel in the morning.
I recently asked a friend about her new job; I had just seen her post an Instagram story about how great it was going. However, she responded with, “I’m so tired and I have no time to myself. I’m working too much and I’m so stressed out.” (As if you needed any more evidence that Instagram can be fake as hell.) What really struck me was the fact that she was bragging about how busy she is with her new job on Instagram, acting as if she loved it, when she was actually really unhappy.
Being Busy Is The New Black
The Harvard Business Review based a study on the idea that we see people as having a higher status when they are busy, socially and with work. It said, “In a series of experiments, we varied whether a person was described as conducting a leisurely lifestyle or working long hours. For example, in one of the experiments, participants read a short description of a 35-year-old man named Jeff. Specifically, participants in one condition read, ‘Jeff works long hours and his calendar is always full.’ In contrast, participants in the other condition read, ‘Jeff does not work and has a leisurely lifestyle.’ After reading these scenarios, participants rated the perceived social status of the person described.”
It concluded, “In general, we found that the busy person is perceived as high status, and interestingly, these status attributions are heavily influenced by our own beliefs about social mobility. In other words, the more we believe that one has the opportunity for success based on hard work, the more we tend to think that people who skip leisure and work all the time are of higher standing.”
Complexity bias is the belief that more complicated solutions are better than easier, simpler ones. Have you ever found yourself doing “busy work” or tasks that aren’t completely necessary just to say you’re “really busy?”
For me, my biggest form of procrastination is list making. If I have a major goal or task to undertake, the first thing I do is make a general to-do list with every single thing I need to do. After completing one of the tasks, I decide the to-do list needs to be changed or needs more detail, and I make another to-do list. This sometimes happens all throughout the week, and by Friday I realize the only thing I’ve gotten done is making a list of things that need to be done! But, making these lists makes me feel like I’m busy and making progress. It’s important that we monitor how much we’re actually achieving in moving towards our goals rather than just doing things to attain a feeling of being “busy.”
Are You Hustling Too Hard?
If you look up the word “hustle” it has 2 definitions:
Verb: Push roughly, jostle
Noun: A state of great activity
Not once in either of those definitions is the word “balance” mentioned. Why do we glorify being busy to the point of stress rather than self-care and being a well-rounded human being? There are many aspects of our lives that need to be in harmony: work, spirituality, relationships (friends, family, partners), health (physical and emotional), financial, hobbies, etc. and when one of those is not getting proper attention from you, you’re whole life can fall out of balance.
Imagine these things on a big wheel; when you are not successful with any of them, you no longer have a perfect circle but some weird, wobbly blob. Do you really want your life to be a blob?!
For the coming week, list all the areas of your life that are important to you (you can use the examples above to start.) Give yourself a score out of 100 and for anything that is below that number, think of some goals for next week to get that area back on track. For example, if your relationships are not doing well, can you plan a date night with your spouse? Reserve an hour to call your parents on Skype? Plan a girls/boys night out with your friends?
While big dreams and goals are absolutely something you should have and work toward, don’t forget to have a life as well (and maybe #humblebrag about the gorgeous bath bomb you bought for your spa day.)