The Rabbit Hole of Toxic Productivity

Yaashna Bhalekar   July 28, 2020

“Work, work, work, work, work, work!” Not just a catchy chorus but a lifestyle.
Ever get this surge of intense motivation to turn your life around by being more active and productive than usual? Well, if that moment of motivation turns into a borderline obsession with being engaged and productive all the time, then there may be a slight problem. You can find yourself in a vicious cycle of toxic productivity.

Our culture has created a very productivity-centric mindset in the general population, which can be a double-edged sword. Sure, being productive and working hard are good characteristics to inculcate. But when these same habits become toxic to us i.e., they start to hinder our daily functioning and mental health, are they worth it?

Many of us are guilty of taking life as a productivity challenge. People who are workaholics or ignore many daily activities in life just to focus and achieve their goals are perceived to be more superior. While there seems to be less appreciation for someone who creates a proper balance between their daily functioning and achieving hard goals. It's not necessary to load yourself up with caffeine and get on a rampage to finish as much as you can in a small amount of time. The problem lies in not giving yourself in a break! “All work and no play” is not really ideal, as it catches up to you later.

If you find yourself constantly overthinking about being productive, getting antsy and restless, compromising your personal needs or your interpersonal needs, putting pressure on yourself to overachieve, etc you may be leading yourself into a toxic cycle. It's imperative to try and stay in the present and try to think about your future activities with a clear mind rather than a cluttered mind.

Some simple ways to keep a check on this are as follows. Firstly, keep yourself in the present by trying to edit the way you motivate yourself. You can set some reasonable goals to not pressure yourself. Secondly, bringing some change and enhancement in your outlook towards rest is very essential. Thirdly, keep track of the activities you perform and give yourself credit where its due and don’t undermine yourself. Finally, try to be more loving and positive towards yourself, set the correct expectations by thinking of yourself fondly and not critically.