• Simply GenZ

Hustle Culture, Toxic Productivity and Workaholisim

Hustle culture can be defined as the state of overworking to the point where it becomes a lifestyle. overworking has been modernized into what we know today as hustle culture. A workaholic is a person who works compulsively.

Workaholism is an addiction and obsessive-compulsive disorder, and it's not the same as working hard. Workaholics’ obsession with work is all-occupying, which prevents workaholics from maintaining healthy relationships, outside interests, or even taking measures to protect their health.

Toxic productivity is seen as an obsession, or addiction, to being productive; results in one's self-worth being measured by levels of productivity. All these terms are interrelated.

How is Hustle culture harmful?

  1. 1. Hard Work ≠ Success

Hard work doesn't necessarily equate to your success. There are many factors that contribute to a person’s success — not only how hard you work on a daily basis.

2. Leads to Breakdowns

Whether it be mentally or physically, the hustle culture is going to take a toll on your body. With the pressure of abiding by the hustling laws, we often create or set unhealthy habits to sustain our working environment. You start consuming caffeine at midnight in order to complete your assignment, joining late-night study sessions on Discord to focus better, losing out on sleep on a daily basis, skipping meals, and anything else that your body requires to function at 100%. You lose interest in the hobbies you found comfort in, have no time for self-care and lack the time for socialization.

Working too hard over extended periods of time will drain your energy. And it puts a great deal of stress on your body, leading to both mental and physical burnout. Chronic stress is associated with higher rates of depression and anxiety and an increased risk of heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, and other “lifestyle” illnesses. Focusing on productivity over all else leaves little to no time for self-care. being successful is the whole point of being productive, but people dealing with toxic productivity end up getting caught in a cycle of being produced just for the sake of productivity.

This may mean that when you finally accomplish your goal, it feels hollow, empty, or not good enough. If productivity is something you value, it makes sense that you would want your family and friends to also be productive. However, that can become toxic when you’re constantly pushing those around you to work harder and accomplish more.

How to overcome the cultures?

  • Scheduling & Slowing Down

  • Focusing On Personal Goals

  • Stop Glorifying the Hustle Culture — It’s Easier Than It Seems!

Oftentimes our hustling and overworking hard work may be wired to the short-term praises that we gain from our friends, lecturers, colleagues — who may not exactly know what’s going on behind closed doors. That’s why it’s important to step back, evaluate, and not over-glorify the hustle culture. Instead, look inwards and reevaluate what you’re doing.

  • Prioritize Intentionality in Relationships

One of the first things to happen when your productivity levels become your top priority is one of the most heartbreaking: the loss of relationships. Maybe your relationships will just fade as opposed to completely coming to an end, but this results in you having no one to turn to in times when you may need someone the most. To make sure this doesn’t happen, you have to prioritize being intentional with those in your life.

  • Set a Social Media Time Limit

  • If you now find yourself spending an hour on social media a day, try limiting that to thirty minutes.

  • Meditate on it.

  • Set healthy boundaries.

Many people who are prone to chronic overwork also have trouble setting and maintaining boundaries. As a starting point, make a work schedule and commit to it. Being a workaholic doesn't benefit anyone--not you, not your team, not your organization, not the world. Lastly, You'll be much more effective and also happier--with adequate rest, sleep, breaks, and time to cultivate relationships and interests outside of work. Self-care keeps you on top of your game and in the game.


  1. https://www.inc.com/lolly-daskal/how-to-cure-your-workaholic-addiction.html

  2. https://greyjournal.net/hustle/grow/how-you-can-avoid-toxic-productivity-culture-before-it-takes-over-your-life/

  3. https://university.taylors.edu.my/en/campus-life/news-and-events/news/the-truth-about-the-hustle-culture.html

Research Coordinator - Umme Affa Ibnat Masud

Editor - Vaishnavi Bhojane

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