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What Does Toxic Productivity Do To You?
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What Does Toxic Productivity Do To You?

When the continual pressure to do things has a detrimental influence on your physical, mental, and emotional well-being, that is toxic productivity—the negative aspect of perfectionism.

Sura Aydin
January 4, 2023

"You shouldn't be resting because you're wasting time." 


Does it sound familiar?


What is Toxic Productivity?


Toxic productivity is frequently linked to guilt for not always accomplishing anything and for failing to acknowledge accomplishments. Toxic productivity is a problem that extends beyond just checking off items on a list; it is a problem that is directly related to how you view yourself and your potential. It all depends on how well you evaluate yourself and when to stop working and relax. Many people who battle this issue frequently tend to believe that the only way to feel successful and productive is to be continually busy.


When you continuously feel the need to complete a task or produce something, it may severely impact your mental health.


What does toxic productivity do to you?

Perfectionism is closely related to toxic productivity. Because perfectionism is usually referred to as having unrealistically high personal standards, and never achieving them, this feeling of being unaccomplished turns against the self and appears as overly criticizing yourself. In such a sequence of ways of thinking, one is attributing their self-worth to what they have completed, achieved, and usually in comparison to others.


5 Tips to Overcome Toxic Productivity 

Make a list of what is important in your to-do list at that moment.

It is very common for some people to jump from one emergency to another. In our desire to finish everything, we often neglect our own priorities in favor of those of others. Even worse, it could seem impossible to change the situation.


To manage this mess, make a to-do list based on some qualities of the tasks. Keep in mind that what's important only sometimes complies with what's urgent.

So create categories of priorities and secondaries. According to this classification of the tasks, you can place the important tasks into the first priorities. Then you can divide the tasks how urgent they are. After that, the rest of the tasks are secondary to you. Which means that they are the ones that are not important. Again, you can divide them based on their urgency. 


Notice the boundaries between you and your job.

This is the most powerful thing you can do to set yourself free of toxic productivity and avoid burnout.

Your professional role in life is not equal to your all in all identity; you and your tasks are separate things. Such an idea opens the door to understanding that you can be productive without putting your self-worth on the table. 

Yet, there is the inevitable question: how do you do that? You can try thinking about how you consider your job in your personal life. What does it mean to be that professional in your current role?


Doing nothing is an important task too.


Having nothing time is actually a reward for your hard work! Everyone is unique in what they do to recharge themselves. Think about what you like to do; it can be something other than something productive too. Looking at the ceiling can be your thing too!


Differentiate the work time from personal time and place, too, if possible

Define a moment in time or quantity of hours for the work. You need to be strict about stopping when that moment comes. When you shift to your personal part of the time, it is under your control what to do with it. What does relax you?

Some people like practicing their hobbies, some like skin care, and some play games or meet friends. You decide.


Don't avoid the breaks.

Take a moment to look for ways to fill up your calendar as a way to counter toxic productivity. To give yourself time to prepare and decompress, add 10- or 15-minute buffers before and after meetings.

Whatever your favorite break is, make sure you take one to manage your energy, prevent exhaustion, and boost productivity.


Sura Aydin

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