4 Secrets to a Smarter Hustle

4 Secrets to a Smarter Hustle: how to find clarity, avoid burnout & keep the hustle alive

When you're busy building the life and brand of your dreams, it's easy to get caught up in the hustle and lose sight of what's really important. Before you know it, you're burnt out. You'd love to just crawl in a hole and hide from the world for a while.  I know how you feel.

Lucky for you, I've got your back! These 4 secrets will revolutionize your work-life balance, and keep you moving closer to your dreams. Find clarity, avoid burnout, and keep that hustle going strong.

1. Planning

You know the days when you've made about a million decisions and you just can't do it anymore? It's time to email a client about next steps or post something on Instagram, but you're completely blanking on what to say. What's next?! You just want to set your brain on autopilot, and you're going to burst if you have to decide on one more thing.

It's easy to get caught up in decision-making fatigue or get so lost in the details that you lose sight of the bigger picture. I know you want to stay on track, get it all done, and bring yourself even closer to those dreamy goals of yours. In order to get there, you need to make the time. This requires planning.

Sure, it takes some extra effort up front, but you'll be amazed how much time and sanity you'll save. I like to think of it as batch processing decisions. When you grocery shop, plan out your meals for the whole week. Schedule your whole day out in the calendar. Then you won't have to decide what's next. Write your blog and social media posts ahead of time, and schedule them too.

Take time away from the grind to think bigger. Set goals and resolutions. Look at where you are today and where you want to be, and build yourself a pathway to get there. Figure out what steps are needed and make a plan.

2. Discipline

Don't hustle blindly, just working on whatever you feel like doing at the time. Organize. Prioritize. Look at your calendar. Figure out what needs to be done and start there. Don't put things off.

Remember those goals you set and plans you made? Don't lose sight of them. Do what it takes to make them your reality.

I've been known to procrastinate too—especially knowing I work well under pressure. I can always get things done closer to the deadline. Sure, I can do it, but that doesn't mean it's pleasant and that I should. Scrambling before a deadline is awful—frantic, stressful, and nearly has me ripping my hair out.

Get done what needs to get done. Stick to your timeline and your creative process. Hold yourself accountable.

This is not a drill. This is your life. Quit wasting time and make your dreams come true already.

3. Reflection

Keep up the hard work. Own that hustle, but also take the time to step back. Self reflection is the key to evaluating your progress, goals, and your mindset.

Some consider it meditation. Others call it prayer. Whatever it looks like for you, we all need time to reflect.

It could be the calm quiet of yoga. Maybe it's a hot shower or bath—I know that steam really gets my brain going. It could even be the steady solitude of a long run or quiet time spent in prayer. The key is taking some space from the grind so you can zoom out, see the big picture and identify what's really important.

I start every branding project off with reflection that's baked right into the discovery stage. I've found this brand strategy to be absolutely essential to achieving truly amazing results. Clarifying where you're at versus where you want your brand (and your life) to be is vital.

As I mentioned before, reflection looks different for everyone. Figure out what it is for you, and practice it regularly. Accept your own imperfection and embrace the journey. You'll know when you're overcommitting, and when it's time to ask for help. There's nothing wrong with changing course.

What's all of that hustle really worth if you burn out?

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4. Self-care

I'm sure you've seen all kinds of unhealthy hustle propaganda. The “you're never working hard enough, sleep when you're dead” kind of stuff. Sure, the hustle is necessary. You have to be willing to make sacrifices to get where you want to go, but how much is too much? It's so important to draw that line.

I know the days when taking care of yourself seems like a waste of time. You imagine what you could get done if you just sleep less and work more. Why not skip the gym? Save time with some take-out for dinner. Every once and a while these sacrifices need to be made, but be careful. It's easy to form nasty habits, especially under the guise of “the hustle.”

After all, what's all of that hustle really worth if you burn out?

Without you, all of that progress comes screeching to a halt. You've got to keep your head right and stay healthy if you're going to build the brand of your dreams. The key is to take care of yourself every day—one day at a time—so you can keep up that hustle.

Sleep well. Eat right. Take breaks. Exercise. Make self-care non-negotiable. You should never feel guilty for taking care of yourself. Taking time for yourself each day will keep that hustle alive and make for much happier days.