Your "to do" list is so long that it doesn't fit on a single sheet of paper. Throwing back your fourth cup of coffee, you head to Facebook. You make a joke about how sleep deprived you are, how hectic your life is. All your internet friends laugh and agree.
Does this sound familiar?
Whether you're a college student or a member of the working world, you're likely busier than you can realistically handle. And you've probably come across the notion that this is a normal, even positive, state of being.
We live in a society that doesn't just normalize being constantly busy but glamorizes it.
We humblebrag about how rough our jobs are on social media, and we inform everyone when we've had the honor of pulling an all-nighter to get work done. Most of us are guilty of such things.
After struggling to keep up, we naturally feel proud of accomplishing our goals. We want to tell people how we got there.
Unfortunately, this just perpetuates the vicious cycle.
By bragging about these things, we make it seem admirable to sacrifice our health and well-being for the sake of productivity. What we don't consider is the toll this constant stress takes on our bodies.
Pulling an all-nighter seems like a fun adventure the first few times, but it eventually wears you down.
And there's nothing exciting about being perpetually exhausted.
The need to perform at all hours of the day doesn't end with college. The demands of the working world are equally as unrealistic, and most of us fight to keep up with them. After all, we want to advance our careers and impress our employers.
Entrepreneurs and managers tell us that hard work is the only way to achieve success, and many of them encourage working longer hours and minimizing breaks.
We're led to believe that the more you work, the more you'll have to show for it. And despite the fact that research sheds doubt on this belief, it somehow persists.
It's possible we brag about "the hustle" because we'd rather laugh about it than start asking the hard questions. Many of us have difficulty admitting that we can barely keep up. But we need to accept that constantly being on the go isn't in our best interest.
We're only human, and we need downtime.
Part of the problem is that long-term stress activates the same adrenal response that the fight or flight response does. But humans weren't meant to remain in this physical state for extended periods of time.
This is why we become fatigued and burnout.
It's so important that we make the time to avoid the mental and physical complications associated with nonstop work (and stress). But to do that, we need to accept that this downtime isn't a waste.
We need to ditch the mindset that every minute spent on leisure is a minute wasted.
And fighting that battle means pushing back against the glorification of a busy lifestyle. So next time you're tempted to tweet about how staying up for 48 hours led to an A+ or a promotion, maybe don't.