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Hustle Culture: Have You Got It Right?



  • Hustle culture refers to a work-focused lifestyle that values constant productivity and success. 
  • To avoid the negative effects of hustle culture, it’s important to avoid comparisons, find an outside interest, and establish clear boundaries. 
  • Doing your best, rather than striving for someone else’s definition of success, is key for a healthy and fulfilling life. 
  • Pursue your passions and take time for rest and relaxation to maintain balance.

Wake up. Update yourself on the current news. Begin your elaborate morning routine, which includes fitting in an exercise session. Dress to win. Study for six hours. Work for eight hours. Moonlight for another six hours. Be prepared to post all of this on your LinkedIn page and your Instagram profile. That’s a day of ‘hustle culture’ for you.

Being a part of this culture means being constantly preoccupied with work and lacking time for relaxation and recuperation. It is to always feel bad when we are relaxing, taking time off, or even sleeping, and feeling dissatisfied with our employment.

Of course, we are each reasonably expected to put in the effort to make a life for ourselves, but there must be a limit to giving our ‘all’. Everything works perfectly with a little bit of balance.

Understanding Hustle Culture

Hustle culture can mean different things to different people. For example, there may be fifteen-year-olds who can juggle a small business, a part time job and maintain good grades at school, but this may not be considered achievable or desirable to other fifteen-years-old’s. Ordinarily, these differences are not significant; problems occur when one fifteen-year-old compares themselves to the other.

Hustle culture is not necessarily a bad thing. We all must stay at the top of our game by doing the best we can, when we can. But when we work to the standards of someone else, which may not be attainable for us, we’re building a bridge towards burnout.

Image Credits: Girl Power Talk

Risks of Over-Participating in Hustle Culture

We all have been conditioned to believe that hustle culture is about giving all of our attention to work, and leaving zero time for play. Yani did that for the majority of her school days. She was the one juggling a small business, a part time job and staying at the top of her class at the young age of fifteen. Assuming this is what hustle culture is about, she said, “I didn’t have to work, but ultimately, I shouldn’t have to work. Especially at this age, when I should have been focusing solely on my studies. After a while of doing a lot of things, I realized early on that hustle culture is definitely overrated.” Hustle culture, for her, was being able to afford what her classmates could afford by earning it for herself. It was therefore what someone else deemed important that made her believe she needed to work towards something that wasn’t inherently necessary.

Hustle culture must be about doing our best, the emphasis being on the word ‘our’ because it is very different from someone else’s best. I also struggled with learning this, saying, “It was all about, if someone else can do it, so can I, only if I go beyond.” But, even though it could be achieved, what would be the cost?

If we, as young adults, can harness the power of multiple media, we can change the narrative of hustle culture. Let’s make it about doing ‘our’ best, as opposed to the ‘best’ according to our neighbor, sister, or uncle.

Image Credits: Pexels

Breaking Away from the Comparisons

Here are a few ways we can work to achieve our best without participating in or succumbing to hustle culture:

1. Avoid Making Comparisons to Others

Social media can put pressure on us to participate in an unrelenting work culture in which everyone wants to appear accomplished and established. It encourages us to display evidence that we work late at night or on the weekends. Try to avoid comparing yourself to individuals who brag about their accomplishments on social media. They aren’t showing you the complete picture of their life and they may not be as happy and fulfilled as they portray themselves on social media.

2. Find an Outside Interest

Find time to pursue your passions and hobbies to create a more balanced life. This is what is known as work-life balance, and there’s a reason this has become a well-used term in the last decade. People who don’t achieve balance in their lives risk developing physical and mental illness. Try to avoid letting your time become dominated by work responsibilities.

3. Know Your Boundaries

The third way you can avoid participating in hustle culture is to establish clear limits and boundaries. Understand when to say no and have the courage to do so. Also, recognize when your body needs rest.

Image Credits: Pexels

Achieving a Balance: Setting Limits and Pursuing Passions

Hustle culture is a lifestyle where people are constantly preoccupied with work and do not have time for relaxation. While it is important to make an effort to better oneself, there needs to be a limit. Hustle culture can be harmful when one compares themselves to others and works to someone else’s standards, leading to burnout. To avoid succumbing to hustle culture, it is important to avoid comparisons, find an outside interest, and establish clear limits and boundaries.


Pursuing one’s passions and hobbies and finding a work-life balance can lead to a more fulfilling life. Hustling can be beneficial when done on one’s own terms.

Reann D'souza

Associate, Marketing & PR Reann D'souza is a passionate reader and writer who finds joy in sharing her thoughts and ideas through articles. Her writings often reflect her feminist beliefs and advocates gender equality. In her pursuit for inspiration, Reann turns to everyday things from nature and art to people and culture.


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