I’ve always resisted joining Linkedin – not sure I like their strapline (It’s who you know rather than what you know) however true it probably is…
But I am able to see some of their content, and this blog post struck me as eminent sense, perhaps one of the most to-the-point writings on the topics that I have seen. It is all the more interesting as it comes from that Heartland of Hustle, the United States.
I’m not entirely sure how much of the article in the link is openly available, but it is certainly worth a read if you are able.
I think the word Hustling sums the issue up: the general mindset that says if your life is not whizzing past at 900 m.p.h. then you are a loser. Even since I stopped teaching, I have encountered many people who seem to be trying to cram so much in that they never have time for anything. And while one might naively have hoped that a sector like education, which supposedly majors on its insight and superior world-view would know better, there is little to suggest that it does.
In fact it seems to glory in hustle: the sense that to be someone ‘who matters’ you have to be rushed off your feet. And it goes even further: if you disagree, then you need to be hustled out of the system because you’re clearly not up to it.
I spent a good bit of my latter years in education urging both my pupils and colleagues (though CPD sessions) to try not to hustle. The self-harm that it causes is simply too great to be justifiable, and I would argue that organisations that deliberately propagate hustle are neglecting their duty of care to their staff. There is plenty of evidence that it is not productive either – and one might have hoped that enlightened school leaders would have appreciated this.
But in my own experience, even while the words “work-life balance” were being reluctantly and unconvincingly murmured by those in charge, their actions were still promoting precisely the opposite.
I realise that am writing this with the luxury of not having to get up and work every day – not that I would recommend the reason why to anyone. I am however fully involved in productive activity of several other sorts – but the impact on my own well-being of easing up has been visible enough for me to conclude that the advice is correct: human beings are simply not meant to spend their lives at the pace now being expected.
And the really concerning this is that schools are possibly the single greatest place where expectations concerning this can be transmitted to upcoming generations. What more evidence does one need to conclude that much of today’s education sector is working directly contrary to its own supposed aims?
Here to finish are a few choice quotes from Bernard Marr’s article for those who may not have access to it. I hope he wouldn’t mind.
A hustle mentality isn’t new to Americans; hard work has been heralded as the silver bullet to achieving the American dream since the founding fathers penned the Declaration of Independence. Today’s version that edgy entrepreneurs… preach as gospel includes 12- to 15-hour work days to achieve your professional goals—even if that means sacrificing your life. But are you truly successful if a singular focus to achieving the pinnacle of your career or success as an entrepreneur leaves little room for things that make you happy?
The hustle mentality is an unwritten expectation that’s pervasive in many company cultures that it seems impossible to avoid if you have any hope of getting ahead...
Yet, our organizations suffer from extraordinarily low employee engagement, high turnover and disgruntled employees. Our people are stressed out and unhealthy.
In the frenzy to get results, are we losing the meaning and joy in life? What’s being lost in the hustle is room and the precious time needed for creativity, the fun, pleasure and restorative nature of enjoying activities we love outside of work and nurturing our families.
Being creative requires space, silence and slow time. When you give yourself that, you will likely be more innovative and more on your game.
It might be time to trade in those hustle-themed T-shirts and coffee mugs for another mantra showing you don’t buy into the hustle movement any more. Embrace the 9 to 5. Go on those vacations. It’s time to start living life, because it’s the only one you get.
“You can’t truly be considered successful in your business life if your home life is in shambles.”