As a small business owner, full-time freelancer, part-time teacher, and bonus mom, I preach the hustle mindset because it’s truly made me who I am. I’m someone who’s always running full-speed towards my dreams and full-steam into my weekly to-do list. I love having a thousand things on my plate, and pushing myself to achieve them all. But if you’ve been following me or my blog for any amount of time, you’ll see that I often share about the importance of balance and lessening your load. You can’t hustle forever.
You’ve probably seen this quote many times before: “Work smarter, not harder.” Well, it’s true, to an extent. You need to rest in order to be the best version of yourself; you need to know your limits to keep yourself from breaking down. Maybe it’s not about stopping right when you’re in the middle of your best progress, but it is about learning to give yourself a break sometimes.
So if any of this is resonating with you, or you’re like me in the constant go-go-go mentality, here are a few ways to lessen the pressure and focus on what really matters.
1. Define what you’re really about and focus on that.
Sit down and have a hard conversation with yourself. What do I care about? What matters to me? What do I want to define my personal and professional life upon? What’s my legacy? These might be challenging questions because you’ve never asked them before, but they’re essential to really get down to the core of your personal why.
Your ‘why’ is the reason behind the hustle. It’s the passion, the energy, and the drive you have to keep showing up. And the sooner you define what that ‘why’ is, the sooner you can move the less important things out of focus.
2. ‘Trim the fat’ in your professional and personal relationships.
There are people in your life who don’t support you, don’t stand beside you, and frankly, don’t care. There are also hobbies, obligations, and events that you keep showing up for, but don’t really resonate with. Trim those.
‘Trimming the fat’ means removing the things and people that don’t really add value or purpose to your life. It’s about being critical about who and what you invest in, and where your time and energy goes in order to focus on the right things.
3. Learn to delegate unnecessary or little things.
This is perhaps the hardest lesson to learn, especially if you’re a perfectionist, but it’s something that will save you so much time and energy. Go through your day and think about how much you’re putting on your own plate. From the dinner dishes to the routine emails, chances are, you’re doing things because it’s simply easier to carry them on your shoulders than rely on someone else.
But learning to rely on other people is good for your mental health. It also helps to deepen the connections you have with others because they recognize you’re trusting them with things that matter to you.
4. Be comfortable with accepting less-than-perfection (in yourself and others).
With delegating comes accepting that things aren’t always going to be perfect. And that’s okay. As you learn to let go of some things (especially the little things), you’ll also learn to be a little less hard on yourself and the people around you.
Things might not work out exactly as you planned, but perhaps that’s a good thing. Perhaps everything is a learning experience and perfection really isn’t the goal.
5. Stop creating unconscious timelines for success.
Lessening your load is a process, but it starts by ridding yourself of unconscious pressure and timelines for success. Perhaps you had a goal to finish a project by a certain date. Not meeting that goal doesn’t mean automatic failure; it means you have more time to do things differently (and perhaps even better than you originally planned).
Stop putting unnecessary pressure on yourself and instead, let things come as they may (with hard work, of course).
Featured Image Credit: Eugene Chystiakov