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Avoid the “false hustle” and ask yourself these 3 questions to work smarter

(Business) Are you spinning your wheels at work or in your career? You might be engaging in the “false hustle” without even knowing it – here’s how to work smarter!

false hustle

How to tell if you’re engaging in the false hustle

How do you do your Christmas shopping? Are you a planner, starting in July or even earlier? Or are you the one who waits until Christmas Eve, then runs all over town looking for open stores to find anything? Then, when your present is opened you tell the recipient that you looked high and low for just the right gift. There’s a term for that. It’s called false hustle.

Most people know false hustle from baseball. The player runs out of the dugout to get in position, but when the ball comes his direction, he jogs over to it. He put his energy toward the wrong activity.

How do these examples translate into business? You know when you go into work early to get a lot done, then you spend two hours on the Internet only to have to really push hard to finish your project? That’s false hustle.

Ask yourself these three questions

False hustle wears you out mentally. You feel like you’re really busy, but you don’t seem to get anywhere. Busyness does not equal productivity. It’s time to get out of that rut and make the most of your time. Work smarter, not harder, as the old saying goes. To change your focus, you need to ask yourself three questions.

1. What are my goals for today?
2. How does this activity move me toward the goal?
3. What can I do differently tomorrow to get me where I’m going?

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The answers are everything

This doesn’t eliminate the need to answer email or do those little tasks that seem like busywork. However, this tells you what tasks are most important to get done. Spend your time accomplishing the high value tasks that mean more to your business.

Time is one of the most important factors in your day, but it is also limited. Ask yourself if you’re using your time wisely or you employ the false hustle to look busy and productive. Change your thinking to work smarter and move toward your goals.

Dawn Brotherton is a Sr. Staff Writer at The American Genius with an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Central Oklahoma. She is an experienced business writer with over 10 years of experience in SEO and content creation. Since 2017, she has earned $60K+ in grant writing for a local community center, which assists disadvantaged adults in the area.



  1. Pingback: When the #hustle becomes valuable (and when it's just busy work) - The American Genius

  2. Pingback: Why I'm not impressed by the ridiculous glorification of over-scheduling your life - The Real Daily

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