Toxic Productivity

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Disclaimer – This post may contain affiliate links. This means I may earn a small commission if you purchase a product from the link, at no extra cost to you.

Toxic productivity is defined as overworking at the expense of other areas of your life. It makes you feel as though you can’t take a break because it creates a mindset that throws at you a constant need to ‘do something’ (mostly work).

It is well known among the productivity gurus of YouTube that Productivity YouTube is becoming very toxic. These channels recommend doing as much work as you can and managing your time so that you can do as much as you possibly can in one day. And while the people in the videos schedule in time for rest – that’s the one thing we tend to forget. We want to get just as much done as them and so we use our rest periods to work harder than ever.

On the first day of a new routine like this – it can be so easy. Your filled with motivation for this, that you can run off basically all day! But slowly the energy and motivation wears of until you fall back into your old routine of doing nothing at all.

Well, we don’t want that now do we? But before we can solve this, we should probably take a look at Toxic Productivity a bit more! (We’ll look at that problem in another post!)

What causes Toxic Productivity?

It occurs when we have goals and expectations around our work that are really unrealistic. It also happens when someone has a unhealthy obsession with being productive.

“The brain can become addicted to productivity.”

What are the effects of it?

So, toxic productivity is not a diagnosis. However it is a real phenomenon with real effects. It can lead you to be burnt out and tired. Your work will end up being half as good. It can often be a red flag for different issues such as anxiety.

How can you identify it?

Watch out for these things:

  • You constantly feel the need to be doing something productive.
  • You feel guilty for not being productive.
  • Sacrificing your health just to get work done.
  • You’re deprioritizing your physical, mental or emotional health.
  • Worrying that you have not done enough tasks in one day.
  • You only focus on tasks with a clear objective.

(Each of these alone do not mean you are partaking in toxic productivity.)

How to overcome Toxic Productivity?

  • Focus on what’s important and not just wants urgent. Toxic productivity can make you forget what’s actually important, and it’s makes you focus on things just because they are ‘urgent’.
  • Schedule time to do absolutely nothing! Free time is the best way to detach from toxic productivity because it means you are not constantly working!
  • Take breaks. Always take breaks. I mean it. Taking breaks is so important – otherwise you might overwhelm yourself.

Thank you for reading this quick post on Toxic Productivity. Don’t forget that I post every Wednesday and Sunday at 12:00 GMT.


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