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These days, it seems there is a widening gap in our country. No, I’m not talking about the gap between Hillary and Donald supporters, though that gap may continue to grow even as the country attempts to unite under a Trump presidency. The gap I am referring to is the gap between those who hustle and those who do not; those who work multiple jobs and those who barely work at all; those who apply some elbow grease and those who dally; those who apply themselves to the fullest and those who lead a lackadaisical life of leisure.
Let’s call them The Hustlers and The Spectators.
These two groups are what we might label diametrically opposed; one values pushing oneself to the limits in search of accomplishment, while the other seeks to avoid so at all costs.
I’ve found myself in both camps at distinct times in my life. While it’s worth noting that we all go through natural seasons in life, sometimes the life of a Hustler or Spectator is a conscious choice. We weigh the benefits of both paths and choose to reap what appears to be the most enticing rewards. Sometimes life decides for us.
For the sake of discussion, let us simply define a Hustler as one who engages in one or more of the following:
*Works more than 40 hours per week
*Holds more than one job
*Actively seeks side jobs and extra gigs to earn additional money
For the most part, I am surrounded by Hustlers. Teachers seem to be routinely bashed as glorified babysitters by those on the outside, but they are among the hardest-working and most-underpaid professionals. Most bloggers manage to squeeze out time to remain dedicated to their craft despite other full-time work, family demands, and the ever-present call to rest. And let us not forget the hardest workers of all, mothers, who are always on the clock.
This saturation of hustle all around me has provoked a great deal of thought over the past several weeks. It has led me to ask an important question:
How much hustle is too much?
The Benefits of Extreme Hustle
Last week, from Thursday morning until Sunday evening, I found myself in either work mode or sleep mode. My time was used very efficiently: work at the day job, real estate showings, phone calls, scheduling, and a charity event. Much to my disappointment, I didn’t have time to devote to the blog.
Some may consider this use of time to be a bit extreme, but I see many benefits of this brand of extreme hustle:
*Less time to blow money on stupid things
*Increased opportunities for fulfillment
*The chance to make a difference for others
*Remain mentally sharp even as you age
The Downsides of Extreme Hustle
On the other hand, to be transparent, I was running on fumes by the time Sunday evening rolled around. All of the hustle and bustle had finally caught up with me. Fortunately, I have always been able to adapt and recover quickly after burning both ends of the candle. Others may not recover so quickly, leaving them susceptible to the downsides of extreme hustle:
*Too much stress
*Decreased happiness if your hustling does not align with your gifts and interests
*Less time for family, recreation, community engagement
As with most questions related to personal finance, the answer is best decided by the person who matters most: you.
I believe everyone should have a side hustle these days, as the benefits outweigh the negatives. But exactly how much time should be devoted to that side hustle is a very personal matter.
Working too much can actually be bad. We all have our limits. It takes a sadistic person to torture himself with never-ending work. It should not be a point of pride to be too busy to do anything other than work, eat, shower, and sleep, in my opinion.
Four Signs You’re Doing Too Much
A) You forget things- a lot.
B) You have lost touch with most of your closest friends.
C) You have rearranged your personal schedule for work multiple times in the past month.
D) Your efficiency severely lags. If you find yourself frequently multi-tasking (which has been shown to be a myth), it might be time to re-evaluate your level of hustle.
Readers, how much hustle is too much? How do you evaluate your use of time?