Don’t Get Hustled by Technology

Cultural Norms

According to social psychologist, Devon Price, despite doing more work today than any other human beings in history, we still feel we’re not doing enough.1 In fact, productivity has grown by 61.8% since the early 1970s.2 This stems from our societal view of rest as a form of laziness instead of seeing it as a requirement to do good work.  When you pair this with technology enabling us to do more work during more hours of the day, it’s easy to see how people find themselves burning out inside hustle culture.

Hustle Culture

Originally intended to mean swindling someone or forcefully persuading them hurriedly, the hustle has been turned into an idolized way of life. It promises the more you give to this single thing (usually work), the better you’ll be.3 Hustle culture, at its core, is the belief that obsession in any one area will lead to success. More often than not in our society, that obsession is work. We take on the mentality that focusing on anything but work is something to feel guilty about because we believe that working longer and harder will help us hit our goals.4

Technology Reinforces Hustle Culture

Advancements in technology have untethered us from traditional ways and places of working, allowing us to be accessible and able to work from anywhere, at any time. While there is potential for greater flexibility in how much and when we work, the reality is the rise in always-on technology has made it more difficult to escape working all the time.5 Coupled with the work-above-all-things mindset, this makes it almost impossible for people to break free of the hustle.

Breaking Free from Hustle Culture

Hustle culture doesn’t have to be a way of life.  While the biggest shift away from hustle culture happens when we shift our mindsets together inside the workplace, there is still a lot you can do as an individual to reclaim life on your terms.  Here are some great places to start:

  • Leave the expectations of others behind and stop to think about the life you want for yourself.  Too often we feel pressured to conform to the ideals and standards of others, ignoring our own wants and desires, or beating ourselves up when we don’t meet the unrealistic expectations set by social media.
  • Try starting your week with a pause where you reflect on your life and think intentionally about what you want to get out of your time.  Just raising the awareness in yourself that you want to experience your time differently than past weeks can help you invest your time in what matters most, both inside and outside the workplace.
  • Start small.  While escaping to a remote island free from technology and social pressures might seem like a great approach, it’s probably not the most realistic for most of us.  But change doesn’t have to be big. In fact, leveraging micro-changes to make small changes each week is a proven and effective way to build better habits and help you create the life you want, one week at a time.

For more insight into the impacts of hustle culture and what you can do to overcome it, check out our research.