Have you ever found that no matter how many hours you put in, it never seems to be enough? For most of us, as we feel stress or pressure at work, we put in more hours. This hustle fallacy is a widespread belief in our culture—if we just work harder, put in more hours, and grind a little harder, we can get ahead.
And yet, it seems that the demands outpace our hustle. This cycle is one that comes at a high cost. Overwork can hurt our relationships, our health, and the quality of our work. According to a Gallup study, nearly two-thirds of full-time employees experience burnout in their job.
If we know that overwork doesn’t actually get us the results we want, why do we continue to do it? Sometimes high achievers don’t know how to stop. There is a joke among the team at Michael Hyatt & Co. that we are all recovering workaholics. We all help hold each other accountable to resisting the hustle fallacy. So, how do we do it?
In order to break the cycle of the hustle fallacy, we must first address the why behind our actions. It starts with freeing ourselves from the misconceptions that lead to overwork in the first place.
5 Reasons We Overwork and How to Free Yourself from Them
Here are five of the primary reasons people fall into the trap of the hustle fallacy. These mindsets are often ideas that we don’t even realize are actively driving us. I want to challenge you to replace these thoughts with a new way of viewing life.
- Work-life balance is a myth. This idea is one that I hear frequently. In our culture, people view it as unachievable. And yet, I’m here to tell you it is possible. In fact, it’s the foundation Michael Hyatt & Co. is built on. I call it the Double Win. In order to experience it for yourself, you have to let yourself believe it can be done.
- Work provides the primary orientation for life. It’s easy to see why this viewpoint is so prevalent. Work is necessary to provide for yourself and your family when it comes to financial security. It can also become a measuring stick by which we determine how successful we are. If you truly want work-life balance, you have to equally prioritize both. Consider your goals in all of the domains of your life.
- Constraints stifle productivity. Research actually shows us that constraints enhance productivity and creativity. Rather than resisting the natural boundaries of time, energy, and so on. Lean into them. Having a vision script for your life is key to determining which opportunities to pursue and which are not actually a priority.
- You should always be busy. We almost wear busyness as a badge of honor. How many times have you been asked how you are doing and find yourself proudly responding with the details of how busy you are? Instead, intentionally create margin in your day and your week to allow for activities that bring your life more fulfillment. This is why I use the Ideal Week to help plan out my schedule.
- Rest wastes time that could otherwise go to work. Except it’s been proven that sleep is key to performing at your best. Sleep often suffers first when we find ourselves overworked. When you are rested, that is when you find you are able to do your most creative, productive work.
If you find yourself overworked, reflect on what thoughts are driving you. You can escape from the hustle fallacy and free yourself to live a more balanced and fulfilling life. It all begins with changing your mindset.