No, this post isn't about any type of XXX rated material. Rather, the newest type of "porn" in people's lives is something  Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian has deemed "hustle porn." Not only is it not sexual in nature, it's not sexy at all.

Hustle porn is what Ohanian calls the fetishization of people--particularly entrepreneurs or employees in the tech industry--overworking themselves. He spoke passionately about the subject at the recent Web Summit in Lisbon, saying people's penchant for working ludicrously long hours can have "deleterious effects" on their physical and mental health, according to a Business Insider article about Ohanian's presentation.

He says that sometimes entrepreneurs get so caught up in trying to make their business a success that they can end up putting their health on the proverbial back burner, which is neither smart nor productive.

I agree.

Back when I was getting my first company started with my wife, we pushed ourselves beyond what is healthy, staying up late, getting up early, and putting every waking minute into the business. We didn't give ourselves time to relax and unwind before we would be at it again, trying to get it to succeed and grow.

I now recognize that we were pushing ourselves too hard, not getting enough sleep, not always eating as healthy as we should have. Fortunately, we didn't suffer any long-term health effects, but pushing yourself too hard obviously can lead to problems in the future.

Constantly sacrificing time with your friends and family to be working can lead to many health risks, such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, musculoskeletal issues, depression, anxiety, and other nasty health implications.

Now, raising two entrepreneurial sons of our own, my wife and I don't want them to get caught up in the culture of overworking oneself to succeed. To avoid falling into the culture of overwork and potentially putting your health at risk, try these three things.

1. Define success for yourself in a way that includes non-business interests.

Success means different things to different people, but I'm quite sure nobody's idea of success is to work nonstop at the expense of friends, family, and health. So, define your full scope of success and what that entails. It's highly likely that your ultimate goal is to be able to eventually not work, or at least to work only part-time while your business is run by other, competent people, so you can enjoy the more important things in life, like spending time traveling or with your family.

If this is your ultimate goal, keep in mind that you don't need to work yourself ragged until you achieve it and then enjoy the fruits of your labor. That's how you miss childhoods and alienate the people around you. Rather, I think it's more important to incorporate spending time with your family into your vision for success. If you include downtime in your definition of success, that means you have to make room for it to be successful by your own definition.

2. Put a priority on sleep.

If you have to, trick yourself into getting more sleep and thinking of sleep as a necessity. I've written on Inc.com before about mind tricks you can use to convince yourself to sleep more and it's an important subject. We're finally seeing the tide turn after decades of being told that the only way to be successful is to work harder than everyone else. Just as it's better to work smarter than harder, it's also better to manage your time smartly rather than trying to shoehorn more into your day. Being rested and working fewer hours is more productive, according to Stanford University, than being tired and working more hours. Do what you need to do to get enough sleep and wake up each day refreshed and rejuvenated.

Rather than thinking of your time as something that has no value that you can give away, think of it as a currency you are using. And then be a little bit cheap when spending that currency on your business.

3. Temper your passion.

Entrepreneurial burnout, something I've written about on Inc.com previously, can often be traced back to a mistaken belief that following your passion means sacrificing everything for it. Don't buy into the hype. Following your passion doesn't mean letting it usurp the rest of your life to the point of burnout. After all, if you are burned out, you can't perform your best, which means you are not putting maximum effort in. Thus, if you are buying into the hype that you have to constantly work on your company to the detriment of the rest of your life, you're actually doing your business a disservice, as burnout will eventually follow.

While he may talk about it in somewhat crude terms, Ohanian does have a valid point when it comes to so-called "hustle porn." It's better to keep a measured but steady pace when starting a company rather than throwing yourself completely into it and risking burnout.

Published on: Nov 19, 2018
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.