Why the "Constant Grind" Culture is So Damaging
I’m not a robot. I’m a human
You see it so often on the internet. Those quotes in your explore feed that are supposed to be inspirational that feed you something along the lines of ‘if you sleep you’re a failure. In order to be successful you have to work all the time. Your blood should be coffee. Grind like your Starbucks coffee beans.’ Or something like that.
I even see some YouTubers, saying that rest is for the weak, pushing the idea that you shouldn’t be allowed a break. They probably chat some quote about a lion, but the truth of the matter is that lions even need sleep. In fact I could go as far to say that in the grand scheme of things, lions don’t really do all that much. Our lives are a little bit more hectic than those of a lion.
I used to let this culture of constantly grinding get to me. I used to feel bad if I wasn’t doing work, if I thought I needed another hour in bed because my insomnia wouldn’t let me sleep. I used to feel bad if I’d had a super busy week and felt like I needed some time off. I felt like I wasn’t doing enough because some stranger on the internet was telling me I was lazy because I wasn’t getting up at 5am every morning and going to bed way past midnight.
Anyone who works for themselves will know that they never get a day off, not really. Even when I’m on holiday, I’m still creating content. (You took a holiday? How dare you!) But the problem that comes with not giving yourself time off, I’ve found, is that you’re going to burn out a lot quicker and more often.
I’m not the sort of person who can wake up every day before the sun comes up and sit typing away at my laptop until the early hours of the morning the next day solely running off coffee. I need to try (when my body allows) to get eight hours of sleep to feel like a functioning human being. I need to take time to make real food. I need a break away from my laptop. I need time away from my freaking phone. I need time to just live without having to think “oh, I need to document this!” The ‘constant grind’ truly is a lonely existence and is not something I want to be a part of.
I like to work at my own pace, and I can almost feel my mum rolling her eyes as she reads this because I know this is one of the things that annoys her most about me and my working style. I’m a slow writer, I like to take my time with it, to not force anything I’m saying, to go back and rewrite parts I’m not sure of. And if there’s one thing I’ve learnt about getting a degree in creative writing is that you can always tell when someone’s heart isn’t in what they’re saying. Basically, I’m a massie overthinker when it comes to my work. But it’s not something I can change and not something I’m going to change. I go through spikes of being super motivated and can whack out blog posts in a matter of minutes, and there are some days where I only manage to write half a page. And that’s okay because I’m not a robot. I’m a human who works every single day and I deserve a break, thank you very much.