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Every entrepreneur has experienced the hustle culture — the idea that every waking moment must be focused on building and bettering your business. When riding solo, it’s easy to blur the boundaries between work and life, a habit that can quickly lead to burnout. However, post-pandemic people are reprioritizing their work and finding ways to feel and be productive.
Reevaluating the grind
The rise of Silicon Valley tech companies in the last part of the 1990s and into the early 2000s have been named as largely responsible for romanticizing “the grind.” Pulling all-nighters and being constantly connected was a way to show how into the work you were.
Though entrepreneurs are known for being passionate about their work and dedicated to maximizing their time, the pandemic slowed everything down. The forced halt gave everyone time to reevaluate how they wanted to approach their work going forward.
Many surveys highlight employees’ willingness to cut pay in exchange for a better work-life balance. Flexible schedules, remote working and other customized perks and benefits all have become part of the mainstream. This type of freedom is a world entrepreneurs know all too well but may have forgotten during their company’s growth phases.
It’s nice to remember that a schedule doesn’t have to be filled up to achieve goals. And growth doesn’t necessarily mean a slowdown. It’s an intentional look at what does and doesn’t work to optimize time. As entrepreneurs and the workforce as a whole continue to evolve past the hustle culture and appreciate what it feels like to have more balance, here are some ways to transition into this growth phase and still feel you are making strides.
Related: 5 Goal-Setting Strategies That Drive Success
1. Budget your time
Like a monetary budget, look at your overall work time and evaluate where you spend most of it. How much is assigned toward administrative work? How much is reserved for meetings? And more importantly, where are areas that can be freed up?
By closely examining where your time goes, it makes it easier to pinpoint places that need improvement. For instance, an entrepreneur in growth mode may be ready for a virtual assistant or professional services to ease their load. Hiring someone who can take care of emails, keep track of projects, and help with content management and social media can take your business to the next level.
Start small by outsourcing a few assigned weekly hours and add to it as needed. Relinquishing control is a big step as an entrepreneur, but to grow, it’s best to get help where you can. Delegating specific responsibilities gives you more time to focus on strategy and the next steps so you don’t remain stagnant in the same work patterns.
Related: How to Achieve All Your Financial and Career Goals
2. Prioritize your health
As an entrepreneur, taking a sick day is practically unheard of since there’s no one else to fill in when you’re out. That’s why it’s crucial to take care of your everyday health.
The hustle culture made us believe that work came before sleep, eating and exercise. Using caffeine and adrenaline to fuel the system is not a method that will work long-term. Practicing the basics of self-care, like daily exercise, quality sleep, and good nutrition and hydration, like drinking water, doesn’t seem as exciting, but they are the difference makers.
These healthy habits will help you think more clearly and function more effectively. So often, these are the first things to go in place of work. When, in reality, they are the things most needed to get the work done.
In growth mode, you have to move beyond a scarcity mindset that requires around-the-clock working. Instead, focus on long-term goals, in addition to short-term wins, which involve taking care of your health first and foremost. Put it on the schedule and consider it an investment in your work life.
Related: 3 Daily Habits Tp Protect Your Mental Health
3. Find new ways to expand
Even in today’s instant gratification world, faster isn’t always better. However, in some ways, the grind can be necessary… but not a forever approach. It can help you focus and build a good foundation, but the next step is to create processes that allow things to flow more easily.
As you grow and scale your business, some tasks should become automated. Look into virtual and in-person assistance, digital tools, and resources to make your life easier. Email, social media, and e-commerce platforms are all part of what creates better workflows.
The hustle is not as popular as it once was because we have the technology to do things differently — which works best for you and allows you to expand creatively and make more authentic audience connections.
Entrepreneurial life is about adapting. But now, the focus is more on adapting to what works more favorably for you. Not subscribing to hustle culture doesn’t mean you’re behind the competition; the approach is simply different. As a whole, society is entering a phase where quality, personalization, and intention matter – so it’s important to recognize where you need and want to grow.