I have always been a hustler.
As a kid, I used to hustle in video games and now I hustle as a lifestyle entrepreneur.
If you’re reading this post most likely you’re kind of a person who is driven to hustle. If you have any kind of project, activity, blog or business that you dedicate a portion of your life to, then you may have the badge of a hustler.
While most people look for easy methods to chill for time pass, we, on the other hand, learn, create or work on our passion project. The downside of being a hustler is that it’s easy to burn out and become a workaholic. Here are few ways you can avoid the trap.
1. Break your work activities into different categories
Entrepreneurs have a lot to learn, manage and do. We may have to take up different roles like content creation, designing, programming, copywriting, marketing, selling, networking and many other small tasks that depend on the type of business and size of the team.
Find out the activities that you truly enjoy. Some activities must recharge you while others may drain your energy. It’s going to be different for everyone. For example, in my business, I love the part of planning, researching, learning, and writing. These activities charge me up. On the other hand, recording, editing, copy-writing, marketing, selling are some of the tasks that I have to learn and do but they suck the energy out of me.
Find what activities charge you and what activities drain you. Once you’ve identified these activities, you can either delegate them to someone else or you can keep learning and practice to become better at it. You’ll find out that once you get better at something, you’ll start enjoying it more and those activities will start to take up lesser energy from you.
The reason behind this phenomenon is related to Mihály Csíkszentmihályi’s flow model. If you’re not familiarized with the concept, let me explain in short. Flow is the state of mind when a person is fully immersed in an activity that he/she forgets the notion of time and space.
When you do something that you forget to eat, rest or sleep then you can experience flow. Heck, I’m experiencing flow as I’m writing this post.
Find out which activities bring flow, control, relaxation, boredom, apathy, worry, anxiety, and arousal for you. Become aware of how these activities are affecting your energy. The low skill, high challenge activities will drain your energy the most. If you increase your skills, however, you’ll spend lesser energy on such tasks.
2. Let go of extra commitments
Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years. — Bill Gates
We all take up extra commitments that are not important to us. These activities might be important for other people but you need to learn to say no to extra commitments that are imposed on us by others.
If you have a job that you need to do to pay off your bills then sure, do the work. But sometimes, we give extra commitments to ourselves. We take up more projects that we can handle with a sane mind. We want to be superheroes and do so many things in life.
What we need to realize is that we don’t need to pursue all the projects and commitments today. We can keep some projects that we can do later in life. (As Derek Sivers points out in this article)
You might have some urgent commitments that you can’t let go of. In that case, be okay with the slow progress towards your dreams. Enjoy the journey because the journey is the reward in itself.
Having all that said, be aware of not making the excuse of over-commitment to procrastinate something. If you’re not overly committed, you can definitely sneak in some time to pursue your passion project.
3. Schedule downtime and stick to it
If you have a dedicated time or day when you schedule to wind down and relax, then it will be easier for you to push hard during the work time. You’ll know that the downtime is waiting for you as a reward. Also, you’ll not feel guilty for your downtime.
Another reason why it works is that when you’ll experience deep relaxation and forget about work, you’ll crave to go back to work with full energy and enthusiasm.
Go. Put the downtime on your calendar. Don’t skip it. Don’t feel like you’re wasting your time. See it as recovery time which will only increase the quality of your work once you get back to it.
4. Spend time on your health, fitness, and relationships
Your emotional and mental well-being is the source of your energy. If you want optimal performance at work, you need to keep your mind and body in shape.
There’s a ton of evidence pointing out the benefit of proper nutrition and physical movement on cognitive function, memory, critical thinking, etc. You can easily boost your intelligence with nutrition and exercise.
Similarly, relationships in your life play a huge role on your emotional state. If you have toxic people around you, their negative energy will poison you. On the other hand, if you have people in your life who inspire, motivate and bring energy to you, then it will translate into your work.
If you can’t avoid some toxic people then try to minimize interaction with them or give them less power to influence you by their words or actions.
5. Diversify your inspiration source
Words and music have immense power to influence our mood and motivation. When you need the inspiration to hustle hard, then you can tune into to some of Gary Vaynerchuk videos, read productivity articles, listen to motivational music and so on.
When you switch to your downtime, close all hustle and bustle. Take inspiration from anyone in your life who can relax with no worries of past or future.
Relaxation is an art. Find activities that you absolutely love doing and do them often. Keep in mind that some work related activities can be relaxing too. But make sure to have some activities that are not related to work or money. It will make your life more diverse.
If you can’t enjoy life without work, then what’s the point of working to gain freedom in your life?
Even when you’re at work, you should enjoy most part of your hustle.
Lifestyle design is now. It’s not on the other side of ‘success’.