The frequency in which I hear people talk about their ‘hustle’, or their ‘side hustle’ (a side project from which they get fulfillment that they cannot get from their 9-5 gig), has been on a steady increase for the past few years.
The fact that we glorify hustling like we glorify being busy is unfortunate, and ultimately should be put to a halt.
Instead of hustling the best thing we can do is to have a great work ethic and a keen focus on a task at hand.
While the prevalence of attempting to multitask is increasing among my peers, we are ultimately often struck by the realization that we are not as good at multitasking as we say we are.
The reality is we cannot be on two phone calls at once, and the quality of an email that we might compose while on a conference call is undoubtedly going to be sub-par at best.
The idea of hustling entails frantically doing as much as we can to get shit done within a limited time frame.
However, the truth is the ‘hustle’ just doesn’t work, it is reckless and can often be irresponsible.
Ask any entrepreneur who is doing well, watching their company grow, about their feelings towards focus and work ethic; they will tell you that they will make lists, check things off, and always be moving the needle forward. Sure, they might have a few projects on the go, but to suggest that they are frantically working on numerous projects at a time and slapping things together in the interest of ‘hustle’ just isn’t smart.
When looking to optimize productivity and chip away at the massive pile of ‘to-do’s’ on your plate, consider making a list and adding everything you can think of to it regardless of their degree of importance. For instance, below is a list I made for today:
With all these things going on in an average day, it is clear that I’m going to have to hustle to get all these things done, right? Well, I shouldn’t. This is because I’m only going to get these tasks done in a meaningful way if I tackle them one at a time.
So instead of hustling, if I focus and devote my attention to one thing that needs to be done at a time, I can then be present for each phone call, email, or task, and get the most out of each experience.
On the other hand, if I’m frantically hustling to get this huge list of things done before it is time for my head to hit the pillow, I’m never going to be able to enjoy what the day has to offer and maximize the opportunity of each experience.
A good friend of mine once told me that we can hear smiles through the phone. Ever since she said this, I have been able to hear it too. And ever since I stopped ‘hustling,’ I have become more present for each call, been able to listen to the smiles on the other end of the phone, and have had my smile heard back.
Now, as someone who is selling and trying to close business, I can honestly say that stopping the hustle and enjoying the moment has been one of the most successful changes I’ve made in recent memory.
Be present. Be focused. Be authentic. Work hard.
That’s all we can really do.