Journal logo

The Toxic Cycle of Hustle Culture

Being Busy Isn’t Always the Most Productive Thing You Can Do

By Kim Joseph Published about a year ago 3 min read
The Toxic Cycle of Hustle Culture
Photo by Garrhet Sampson on Unsplash

Long gone are the days when you can master a trade or a skill right out of high school or college and work one job for 20+ years making enough income to live in a sizeable home while supporting your entire family — feed, clothe, shelter them and afford the luxury of the occasional family vacation — and retire at the age of 65. Those were the days of my parents’ and grandparents’ generation. Not to say that it’s impossible in today’s economy, but it damn near seems impossible.

Back in my day, kids of my generation were told to go to college, get a degree in something substantial and when we graduate we’ll get a good, high-paying job. I’m what they call a millennial and boy were we in for a rude awakening.

The majority of my college friends don’t even work in the field that they majored in in college, and if they do, the path was not straight to get there but filled with other jobs to make ends meet along the way or more schooling. Add on high costs of living rising higher thanks to inflation, lack of job security which intensified thanks to Covid, and student loan debt that many of my generation will pass on to future generations. It’s no wonder why hustle culture is so prevalent.

Hustle culture isn’t a new phenomenon but it seems to take on a stronger hold on our society today. Almost everyone I know (regardless if they went to college or not) has a side hustle or are working more than one job to secure not only their present livelihood but their future security. With the constant force of economical changes applying pressure to their lives, people are burnt out and tired from running the race on their invisible hamster wheels.

Hustling and having options to do so is beneficial except when it costs you your peace of mind and ability to rest. When it gets to that point it is no longer useful but abusive to your well-being. The toxic side effects of hustle culture creates burnout, lowers your creativity, and keeps you in a perpetual cycle of being busy but not productive. When you’re in the spiral of toxic hustle culture you have no time for friends, family, or experiences that money can’t buy because you’re too busy getting to the bag. There’s a difference between making sacrifices and being too busy making a living that you don’t have time to make a life.

If you feel guilty when relaxing, taking time off, or resting you are a workaholic and it’s time to check your productivity at the door.

With the use of social media, comparing journeys has become instinctual. “Person X only started six months ago and already makes six figures and was able to quit their nine-to-five, while I’m still working two jobs to pay rent.” We get allured by the fallacy of a few moments in time captured in a 1080 x 1080 pixels square. It gives us nothing but a glimpse, but from there we are convinced that person X has made it and we are not doing enough.

The impossible standard of hustle culture is based on how much productivity we can produce, not who we are as a person — that we are already enough because we share our talents and skills with the world. But, person X is successful despite the fact that we don’t know what part of their soul they had to sell to achieve what we deem as successful. Don’t get me wrong, hustling is the ability to do what others won’t to get what others can’t and we all need that drive in life. Just like rapper Ace Hood said,

Same old sh**, just a different day

Out here tryna get it, each and every way

Mama need a house, baby need some shoes

Times are getting hard, guess what I’ma do?

Hustle, hustle, hustle, hard

But it’s essential to hustle with intention, allowing yourself to shift into cruise control and let your work and integrity speak for itself sometimes. It’s time to hop off the hamster wheel and start climbing the ladder to success: You might actually enjoy the view on your way up.

This article is originally published by me here. If you lile what you've read, buy me a coffee here to support my creativity and content. Thank you for reading and all of your support.


About the Creator

Kim Joseph

Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights


There are no comments for this story

Be the first to respond and start the conversation.

Sign in to comment

    Find us on social media

    Miscellaneous links

    • Explore
    • Contact
    • Privacy Policy
    • Terms of Use
    • Support

    © 2024 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.