Hustle- what does it mean to you?
Does it mean speed up?
Does it queue a song from the 1970’s to begin playing in your head?
Or does it mean work your ass off with little to no rest if you want any chance of being successful and not living as a slave to the system?
If you’re reading this in the year of 2018, then it’s most likely the last one.
Hustle is the new black.
Forget, ‘Work hard, play hard.”
Yes, the idea is still there, but in reality, it’s more like…
Work hard, and then keep working and then work even harder because what you thought was hard work was really just child’s play and how can you expect to get anywhere in life if you’re not staying up until 2 am and waking up at 5 am? What are you doing reading this, lazy bones! Get back to work!
That was exhausting just to read, right?
In a time where the value of the college degree is decreasing and more people are choosing to become entrepreneurs, the idea of hustling is becoming less of a motivating concept and more of a way of life. People all over the world are waking up early, booking every moment of their free time and then burning the midnight oil in an attempt to make it in this fast-paced, relevant-one-second-obsolete-the-next version of society.
While hard work is certainly not something to be discouraged, it can have negative effects if it’s taken to the extreme and allowed to overshadow other important parts of life.
It’s all about balance, my friends.
There’s nothing sexy about a six-figure influencer with bags under her eyes, through-the-roof cortisol levels, no memory of her last shower and little to no energy left for the people who support her through it all.
Having been caught in this trap myself, I’ve learned the hard way that hustling doesn’t have to replace living. It doesn’t have to mean giving up the parts you love about your life in order to change the things that you don’t.
Creating the life you love and following your dreams is about expanding who you already are, not erasing yourself and starting anew.
How can you expect to build yourself up while you’re burning yourself into the ground?
You want to have the energy to live the life you’re creating, don’t you?
Hard work and self-care don’t have to be mutually exclusive. In fact, taking care of yourself and learning how to rest will only allow you to show up more fully in all of your endeavors.
If you feel that your life has fallen a little- or a lot- out of balance, then this post is for you.
Here are ten ways to help you take the Hell out of your Hustle, so that you can continue to slay in a healthy way.
1. Have a morning routine
This one has been a life saver for me. In fact, I’ve become so attached to my little morning ritual that I actually get excited about waking up early.
Yes, even on the weekend.
Now, I know that the thought of this can be anxiety-provoking in itself. With the countless number of YouTube videos and celebrities sharing their morning routines, it can be hard to imagine one for yourself that looks different…but it’s important to make one that works for YOU.
Waking up early, doing yoga, journaling and meditating may not be your thing. If you know you HATE waking up before 8 am and that the warm buzz of coffee awakens your soul, then, by all means, don’t wake up at 5 am and force yourself to drink warm water with ACV. If the idea of going on a run first thing in the morning actually makes you want to throw up, then don’t do it.
It’s YOUR morning. Do what works best for you.
A good morning routine should leave you feeling energized and prepared for the day, not like you just completed a list of chores.
2. Get to know yourself
Are you more creative in the morning, or at night?
When do you have the most energy?
What inspires you?
When are you able to work with the least amount of interruption?
Are you a big step or a baby step taker?
What makes work feel like a drag, and what makes it fun?
What is it that leaves you feeling exhausted?
Pay attention to your energy, attention and engagement levels throughout the day. If a certain environment puts you in a working mood, find a way to put yourself there. If you know your e-mail blows up around 9 am, but you’re not fully awake until 10 am, then schedule time after you’re fully conscious to dive in and start reading.
Plan your work schedule to work with your natural flow. You’ll have more fun and get more done with less effort.
3. Learn how to say, "No"
As much as it may seem like it, you can’t and shouldn’t do everything.
As Marie Forleo says, “Hop on the No-Train!”
Turn your FOMO (fear of missing out) into FOBO (fear of burning out) and pick only the things that are truly worth your precious time.
Get the most magic for your minute by choosing a few things to fully engage in, rather than packing your schedule full of things that you’ll forget about in a week.
You’ll survive if you decide not to go out drinking with your friends tonight.
You don’t need to attend every workshop and every seminar and every talk.
You don’t have to sign up for every course or go on every retreat. Not only would that be expensive, it may distract you from using all of the knowledge and skills that you’ve already acquired.
This is also an important skill to practice with people.
Are people constantly making requests of you?
Is there that one person in your life who always half-finishes things and then expects you to tie up all the loose ends?
Does your boyfriend deem himself incapable of making his own food?
Is your mom always asking you to host all the family get-togethers?
If so, it’s time to put your foot down. At the rate you’re hustlin’, you can’t afford to be doing everything for everyone. What would these people do without you? It may be best for the both of you if they were put in a position to figure it out.
Also, some people make the assumption that we just LOOOVE doing things for them. Don’t be afraid to speak your truth and let them know how their requests and expectations really affect you.
4. Schedule time for yourself
When you’re a hustlin’ mama it can be tempting to schedule out every minute of your free time. However, one of the most significant ways to improve yourself and show up fully for others is to use your free time to take care of yourself.
Just like you schedule meetings, client calls, webinars, etc. you need to schedule time for YOU. When we don’t schedule these things as we would our work, they tend to fall by the wayside and never get done. It’s silly, but we tend to procrastinate when it comes to making time for peace and pleasure!
Disconnect. Be present. Take a bubble bath. Do NOTHING for a little bit. Express yourself through dancing, painting, drawing, singing, playing the piano, performing improv, scrapbooking, jewelry making, cooking…doing anything that allows you to express your most authentic un-work-related self.
PUT IT ON YOUR CALENDAR! NOW!
5. Celebrate often
Okay, before you read this, locate your “To-Do” list.
Got it? Alright.
Now, find your “Things I Have Accomplished” list.
What do you mean you don’t have one?!
When’s the last time you actually celebrated something that you did?
Please, do not tell me it was when you graduated high school…or got married, or turned another year older.
One of the biggest ways we add hell to our hustle is by making our to-do list bottomless, and our list of accomplishments non-existent. We focus on the things we haven’t done and disregard the things we have.
This makes us feel exhausted, while simultaneously making us believe that we aren’t doing enough.
When’s the last time you made a list of all the things you have accomplished?
Where are you now as compared to a year ago?
What new things have you learned?
How have you developed as a person?
What promises have you consistently kept to yourself and others, despite everything else?
Answer these questions, and then pick a way that you’re going to celebrate all that you’ve done! (ex: have a glass of wine, take a hot bath, have a mini-dance party, cuddle your pet, etc.)
6. Find healthy sources of energy
It’s important to take the time every now and again to audit our energy sources.
While the adrenaline rush of multi-tasking and that bottomless cup of coffee may temporarily be giving you the energy to push forward... in the long run, they will deplete you of your natural energy.
You know, the kind you have to depend on when Starbucks isn’t open.
One of the biggest energy hogs is stress, whether it be on our bodies or our minds, and we all know that hustle comes with a hefty side of the stuff.
Taking the time out of your grind to do a quick meditation, drink a glass of water, or go on a brisk walk can leave you feeling more naturally energized and allow you to work more efficiently for longer periods of time.
Seriously, if you haven’t tried meditating consistently, then give it a try.
Meditation is a great way to bring stillness to your mind and to welcome new ideas that you would’ve been too distracted to think of otherwise. Having even a few minutes of calm amidst your chaos can work wonders in decreasing anxiety and regulating emotions.
It’s important to make sure that your meditation technique works for you. YouTube has loads of meditation tracks, and there are apps like Head Space that can be helpful when you’re first starting out.
Try not to get too caught up in trying to be the “perfect meditator”. There is no such thing.
It wasn’t until I committed to meditating for eleven minutes, twice a day for forty days that the habit actually stuck and I began to see major improvements in my overall mood and mindset.
If you’re interested in trying the challenge that got me hooked, you can check that out here.
8. Make your health a priority
Let’s face it; we can’t be our best if we don’t feel our best.
The high-stress, hustle lifestyle can have quite the impact on our health. There are lots of serious internal conditions that can easily go unnoticed.
To avoid keeling over from a heart attack, or becoming bedridden from adrenal fatigue, you may want to consider caring for yourself in the following ways:
Get enough sleep.
Drink enough water.
If you consume substances, do so mindfully and in moderation.
Eat nourishing foods.
Move your body. Sweat!
Get out in nature.
Take deep breaths.
Brush! Floss! Wash your face!
Pay attention to the inside as well as the outside and make your health a priority!
9. Ask for help
You know that great feeling you get when you help other people?
Other people feel great when they have the chance to help you, too. There’s no need to feel weak, or like a burden when asking for a hand.
It’s okay to delegate small, time-consuming tasks and to get help from a pro on big jobs that extend beyond your area of expertise. There’s a world full of people out there who make their living off of doing certain things better than you.
Your time and energy are precious resources. Use them wisely!
10. Tap into inspiration, rather than motivation
What is your WHY?
What would it mean for you to have your dreams come true?
What would that feel like?
What creates that little glimmer of hope inside of you when you imagine what could be?
What inspires you to keep working as hard as you do?
Inspiration is an energy that comes from the inside, while motivation comes from the outside.
Motivation feels like we are being pushed towards our goal and inspiration feels like a pull that we cannot resist.
Motivation often stems from fear of an alternative outcome, while inspiration flourishes from the idea of new possibility.
Find what inspires you and use that energy to fuel your hustle.
The journey to where you want to be is never ending.
You’re not going to hit a certain number of followers, or see a figure in your bank account or accomplish any one big feat that is going to make you happy or successful.
You’re not going to wake up one day and think, “Okay, I made it. Now I can relax and enjoy myself.”
It sounds nice, but it’s not realistic… and even if it were, how much of your life would you have spent up until that point, believing that you couldn’t be at peace?
All the magic and all the beauty are in the journey.
If you cannot find joy in the journey, you will not find joy in the outcome.
It’s like chasing the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. There is no “then” or “one day”.
Happiness comes from choosing to be happy in the moment.
All there is is NOW.
Are you happy now?
Are you healthy now?
Are you making time for the things that are important to you right now?
If not, then you may want to rethink your approach.
If you dream of a future of work-life balance, create that balance now. The scales aren’t going to tip unless you adjust the weight on either side.
With that being said, I hope that these tips help you in doing just that.
Happy healthy hustling, my dear