Working Harder Isn’t Always the Answer

I as soon as nearly obtained a tattoo that stated “hustle.”

At the time, I used to be nonetheless newly out of faculty and attempting to determine what to do with my life. I used to be residing in San Francisco, surrounded by techies and startup founders — the kind of people that glorify lengthy hours and stay off of copious quantities of caffeine and little or no sleep.

Growing up, I by no means needed to work very arduous to get straight A’s. School got here pretty simply to me, so I skated by, typically doing the naked minimal to maintain my grades up. But the actual world doesn’t work that manner. In the actual world, you may’t get by with out placing in effort.

So I discovered to hustle.

I labored more durable. I put in lengthy hours. I figured I might relaxation later — after I had lastly reached my targets.

I put this similar more-is-better considering into my exercises.

In my thoughts, if one strenuous exercise a day was good, two should be higher. If working sprints twice every week resulted in positive factors, sprinting three or 4 occasions every week should lead to much more.

Working arduous grew to become a staple of my identification.

But as each profitable athlete, entrepreneur, or businessperson finally should study, arduous work alone isn’t sufficient that will help you attain your targets. High achievers prefer to really feel like they’re doing one thing – something – to proceed making progress. Action feels significantly better than inaction. But motion, or extra arduous work, isn’t at all times the reply.

Without stability, arduous work finished for too lengthy finally ends in burnout, illness, harm, despair, and worst of all, dream abandonment.

This is what occurs to me each time I fall into the hard-work-is-better entice. The hustling works for a short while, however finally, it catches as much as me. I find yourself getting injured, depressed, or burnt out to the level the place I need to hand over altogether. Rather than making quicker progress towards my targets as I’d hoped to, I find yourself stalling and even going backward.

If you need to make steady progress towards your targets, don’t simply blindly put in additional work.

Figure out the best solution to get the place you need to go and study to work extra successfully. This requires constructing an understanding that relaxation and restoration are half of the means of long-term development.

This is a tough lesson for top achievers to study. As Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness write in Peak Performance: Elevate Your Game, Avoid Burnout, and Thrive with the New Science of Success:

“In a society that glorifies grinding, short-term gains and pushing to extremes, it takes guts to rest.” 

Of course, there’ll undoubtedly be occasions in your life the place working more durable is critical. Sprinting, for instance, ends in the most positive factors once you run as quick as you probably can. Similarly, there is likely to be occasions in your profession the place you must hustle arduous and work lengthy hours to make your goals occur.

The key to profiting from these intervals of arduous work is to study to relaxation and recuperate alongside the manner. Follow your dash day with a straightforward lively restoration day. Take a few days and even simply a night off to spend time with family and friends, do some self-care, and recuperate after a high-stress time at work.

Understanding when to step again and relaxation quite than pointlessly push by will allow you to steadily make progress towards your long-term targets. Learn to hearken to your physique and thoughts and acknowledge once you’re on the brink of burnout.

While others round you go too arduous too rapidly and find yourself quitting, you’ll nonetheless be chipping away at your goals.

Play the lengthy recreation. Part of the hustle is studying that onerous work and relaxation go hand in hand.

Sign up for Krista’s Movement + Mindset Mastery e-newsletter to get your FREE eBook, 5 Keys to Building Mental and Physical Fitness. You’ll additionally obtain weekly bodily and psychological fitness-related content material to assist get you fired up for the week forward.

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