Americans feel stressed, overworked, anxious, frustrated — and even angry. There is an overwhelming body of evidence to support the idea that this culture is taking a toll on our mental and physical health.
And yet we continue to glorify hustle culture. We uphold the concept of overworking ourselves, despite the harm it’s doing to us.
Hustle culture upholds the idea that hard work is not enough — we must tax ourselves to the point of exhaustion and burnout.
It also puts many marginalized groups at a disadvantage, preventing them from advancing in their careers. For example, they may not be able to afford childcare, preventing them from working the long hours for which their counterparts are rewarded with promotions.
It’s time to stop perpetuating hustle culture and start promoting healthier work habits. The answer? Coasting culture.
Why Should We Ditch Hustle Culture and Opt For Coasting Culture?
Coasting culture doesn’t actually mean you’re “coasting” on the job — it just means you’re being more resourceful and equipping yourself to utilize the time you are working better. Here’s why it’s time to embrace this model and ditch hustle culture for good.
1. We’ll Stop Glorifying Overwork.
By upholding hustle culture as an ideal, we are suggesting that working the hours we’ve been hired to work is not good enough. How often have you heard a friend or colleague humble-brag that they were working until 11 p.m.? That’s not something to glorify or aspire to!
2. We’ll value work-life balance more.
Work-life balance is critical, and factors like the pandemic have challenged the concept for so many of us. When we manage to embrace coast culture, we will grow to embrace work-life balance as well.
3. We’ll respect our own mental health.
Working long hours adversely impacts our health, mental and physical. It leaves us little time to take care of ourselves, from cutting into our sleep time to seeking out outlets that help us cope with day-to-day and longer-term challenges. Anxiety, depression, burnout and exhaustion are common results of overwork. It’s time to take charge of our mental health and respect ourselves.
4. We’ll Get More Enjoyment From Non-work Activities.
In one study, Fast Company found that participants who view leisure as wasteful get less enjoyment out of activities like exercising, watching TV, spending time with friends and even meditating. They are also more likely to report feeling anxious, depressed and stressed.
Work should not be the only activity in which we invest. It’s great if you love your job, but it’s not all there is in life — and people who make work their whole lives don’t tend to be very happy overall, according to research. We need to start embracing other activities outside of work.
5. We’ll Be More Productive.
Here’s an idea that may sound counterintuitive: Working fewer hours leads to lower productivity. But research supports this. A study from Stanford University finds that productivity per hour declines substantially when people work more than 50 hours per week. Meanwhile, those who work up to 70 hours per week produce the same amount of work as those who work 55 hours.
It’s not the number of hours you work — it’s the quality of the work you produce in that time. If you’re not being productive by overworking, then why do it at all, especially when you consider all the enormous disadvantages?
It’s time to ditch hustle culture for good and start looking for a healthier and all-around superior alternative.
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