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What We’re Reading

Are you doing too much?

Hustle culture gets the job done, but there are other options

Adrienne Gibbs
The Medium Blog
Published in
4 min readOct 20, 2023


Perhaps you’ve seen the meme that says Beyoncé has the same 24 hours in her day that you do — so if you want to be successful, why aren’t you hustling more? Perhaps you’ve also heard of the various movements which encourage workers to relax, sleep and, in some viral cases, do the absolute least in order to be their best selves.

All that said, is there a way to balance hustle culture with the need to rest and reset? A few Medium writers have answers.

“The Less But Better mindset is about giving yourself permission to focus on what really matters and ruthlessly eliminating everything else,” writes Nick Wignall in a piece where he describes the mindsets of highly-disciplined people.

Similarly, New York Times bestselling author Mark Manson reminds us that small adjustments have long-term ramifications.

“Something as simple as going to bed late one night can impact everything you do for the next two or three days, potentially causing a ripple effect through your life,” the author writes, later adding advice about creating a to-do list. “People love to bitch and moan that they don’t have enough time. In most cases, I’ve found that it’s rarely a problem of time, but usually a problem of priorities.”

Business strategist Jackie Colburn created a list of questions to ask yourself when burnout is creeping into your life, one of which is this: “Why am I obsessed with doing so much, or saying yes to things even when I don’t have the capacity or desire?”

I suspect Beyoncé both hustles and rests when she needs to. Where do you fall on the hustle culture-to-rest continuum? Or are you one of the folks who has opted out entirely? Whatever your viewpoint, I'd love to read about it.

Adrienne Gibbs, Director of Creator Growth at Medium

What We’re Reading

Kim Scott, Author of Radical Candor & Just Work writes that “words matter” and people should not make light of war. This piece delves into conversation Scott has had with military, who point out “Sloppy military metaphors can harm people with military experience (or ‘veterans,’ the US term) as well as people harmed by war.”

Harvard Business School’s executive director, Carin-Isabel Knoop delves into the reasons why workers search for meaning at work. Knoop also discusses how businesses have, over the decades, begun to borrow words from religious institutions and implement them in the office, in service of profits.

Seventeen years after the first engagement survey, despite all the workplace changes, leadership research, and neuroscience advances, nearly two-thirds of workers are still not engaged — the so-called epidemic of engagement is now endemic.

Essayist Kim Kelly Stamp keeps it real with The Secrets of Retirement No One Tells You.

Another secret I wish I would have known is that we are built to fulfill a purpose. Without a sense of contributing to something meaningful, our drive to find significance in our actions will run us into the ground. We’ve often heard statistics about people dying soon after retirement, and it’s believed that the lack of purpose is the cause.

Greg Satell, the co-founder of ChangeOS, offers a reminder to see the smart in various careers in We Need to Think Less Like Engineers and More Like Gardeners. Satell writes this: “We like to think of ourselves as rational actors, weighing each piece of evidence before making a decision. Yet our brains don’t work like that.”

Madonna stands in the middle, surrounded by dancers wearing boxing gear.

And finally, British journalist and author Pete Paphides reviews Madonna’s return to the world stage in her new tour. In London, the pop goddess says this to the crowd: “The most controversial thing I’ve done is to stick around.”

The story begins as all good narratives do, with words that paint a picture. Paphides writes this-→ “Lying in an intensive care unit battling sepsis just four months ago, it’s unclear whether Madonna saw her life flash before her, but it was a spectacle afforded to us on the second night of her postponed The Celebration Tour.



Adrienne Gibbs
The Medium Blog

Director of Content @Medium. Award-winning journalist. Featured in a Beyoncé reel. Before now? EBONY, Netflix, Sun-Times, Miami Herald, Boston Globe.