Let’s get one thing out of the way from the get go: This is NOT a plea for being lazy! It’s not even a plea for simplifying (even though that’s a great practice!). It’s about a different perspective on getting things done. So now that we’ve cleared this up, let’s jump in and see why the hustle is causing you trouble.
The problem with “the hustle” is how popular belief defines it:
“Just suck it up and keep going.”
It’s a very tense and rigid energy, that drives you into a tense and rigid attitude, even a tense posture. Since we know that tension is an energy-sucker, this common hustler attitude and posture is exactly why people get exhausted.
Imagine there are two people in a boxing ring.
In the red corner is Bulldozer Joe, a muscular guy, who’s building up his anger, tensing his muscles and grinding his teeth protector. He’s a giant ball of tension, ready to burst.
In the blue corner it’s Swift Bill, who’s getting ready by shaking his limbs and bouncing on his feet slightly. He closes his eyes and breathes deeply.
When the bell rings, Bulldozer Joe bursts forth, exactly like a bulldozer, his whole body tensed up. Swift Bill is fully alert, but relaxed, keeping his body movable and flexible. Who do you think will be able to win in round 5?
While tensing up might be helpful for a quick win, it for sure won’t be sustainable for the long term. Bulldozer Joe will be exhausted and have trouble keeping his focus after a couple of rounds. Master martial artists know that flexible and movable will always beat tense and rigid.
It’s the same with productivity. If you bring in a lot of tension and pushing, you don’t use your energy efficiently. I’m not saying that there’s no effort required or that you won’t need to work hard ever. Our Swift Bill will have to work very hard to beat the ass of Bulldozer Joe for sure!
Working hard is not optional, especially when you’re working on making a difference in people’s lives. But working hard efficiently, will help you do your work in a sustainable way.
How can you become more efficient? Simply by practicing. One way to see if you’re using up more energy that you need, is to check in with your body. Check in right now, as you’re reading this.
- Are you tensing your shoulders? Your butt? Your jaws?
- Is it really necessary to tense those areas while you’re sitting/standing right now?
- Can you relax them, even just a little bit, if they are tense but not necessary for what you’re doing?
When you relax areas of your body, that don’t actively work on sitting, standing, writing, doing the dishes, you’re preserving precious energy. This week, check in with your body during the day, as you’re standing in line at the grocery store, writing an email or talking to a client. If there’s an area that’s tense, try to relax it.
And if you’re used to the hustle, check in while you’re busy and see if you can become more efficient. Even just a tiny bit.
Here’s to your conscious productivity!