Hustle is for amateurs (do these 8 things instead)

Perhaps you have a list of things to get done that strikes you as out and out daunting. So, you start to move and jerk and flap, more or less like a frenzied chicken, in short you hustle. While it’s an option, it isn’t particularly efficient. You’re just as likely to finish your list by proceeding calmly from one item to the next. It may take a while. But, in the end you will have observable finished tasks, done correctly, to your specifications. In short, you will have achieved your needed results. So, why hustle? It may be that something about expending maximum effort makes us believe the effort is more valid. It isn’t. Like a tantrum, a hustle draws attention to the effort as if to brag “look at me.” But though a hustle may seem impressive, it is not output, merely copious input, ultimately showy, but not useful. Besides being inefficient, hustle leads to burnout. Hustle is based on childlike, magical thinking, as in if I run around and put everything into my effort I can not help but succeed, or at least not be blamed if I do not. Workers that refuse to rely on hustle are trusting their own abilities to do the job and refusing to lean on magical thinking. Hustle also refuses to back up and see where this is all going. Big picture thinking is antithetical to an excess of chicken-flapping hustle activity. Nor does it aid in proficiency, which is achieved by meticulously doing and redoing a thing until it becomes second nature, a thing not doable under hustle-mode. In short, forgo the hustle. Breathe. Get busy, slowly and constructively. Just do.

Reflect on these key points:

  • 1Hustling is antithetical to calmly backing up and seeing the larger and more intricate picture, where everything effects everything else.
  • 2Hustling screams, “look at me, how much I am doing,” but the doing is all input, not output.
  • 3Not only does hustling fail to build useful habits, it also promotes quick burnout.

“Hustle might move you forward, but it doesn’t set you up for sustainable success. Good habits are formed through consistency and repetition, not mindless effort.”

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