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Toxic Productivity at work: How to Handle?

Updated: Sep 2, 2021

Struggling too much or overdoing out of so many reasons and yet left with the guilt of not doing enough- recognize this condition. You may not notice for long that you are ignoring your health and personal relationships- the most common sign of Toxic Productivity. It is an extreme level of workaholism. It might be going unnoticeable that you have been spending all day long on zoom calls, or just working on your tasks and even thinking about them when away from work. In fact, you might feel that your breaks are nothing but inactivity, which makes you question your abilities.

Hustling for a long time does lead to an overwhelming gush of work, losing balance from other important tasks of life. In fact, the involvement in the work is so much so that we sometimes overdo everything and are still unsatisfied. This describes the situation of toxic productivity- constantly wanting to do be productive, despite giving that hundred percent.

toxic-productivity-signs
How to Handle Toxic Productivity

Do you see these Symptoms of Toxic Productivity?

  • You like to boast of long working hours

  • The switch-off button of working is just now a blur

  • You find yourself always working

  • Constantly feel stressed of work

  • Restlessness about competition/ hustle culture

  • Setting unrealistic expectations

Effect of Pandemic on Toxic Productivity?

The pandemic has been the most pointed out reason for inducing this situation of toxic productivity. A lot of pressures are already there due to the current Covid-19; and as it is, there is a sense of constantly lingering job insecurity for all of us along with the stress of family health. While we all are working towards our career development and optimizing our productivity, we could be doing so much more than required as found in this pandemic. People are overworking, sometimes feeling proud about their long working hours, and yet not satiated that they get down to the level of guilt.

Maybe the overall productivity has not suffered in the pandemic, but the work ethic, schedule, effective working must-have.

Do you end up looking back at the things that you didn’t do, in spite of great achievements? Has your work started making you question your worth? Or simply makes you feel like a failure?

You may have optimized yourself in terms of productivity adjusting to the work-from-home routine, yet your desire to do more now seems overwhelming such as it is another stress than a motivation. This is an absolute sign of toxic productivity.

How to Deal with Toxic Productivity?

1. Being Compassionate towards self has a lot of answers- Where we have been all nice to our work, we often forget our own self. Taking a deep dive into what we love, your work does not mean you have to ignore your mental, physical health. When you look after yourselves, you find a way to be more active, and it makes you want to follow your passion & dreams. Hence, do not run after the working hours, work over the quality productively.

2. Adjust your skills with your current capabilities- This is always a helpful approach to set things right on the job. Aligning your skills with your capabilities will help you focus on your goals just the way you always wanted.

3. Check your optimal growth- You always know what you want, and how to work for it. As a person, you should know your best version of yourself and to what extent you can go to get the best out of yourself. Optimize that work and time taking care of the quality you provide.

4. Stop comparing you to anyone- Comparing is a seed that gives rise to all the negativity around. The envy, resentment, and bitterness will keep growing and will keep putting more pressure on you. This emotion has to be let go.

5. Define your boundaries- Everything has to have a limit. When you successfully optimize your growth in a project, you can cap off easily the when and where of it.

6. Say No to Overwork- Saying No to overwork is something one needs to learn for yourself as well as to define the situation’s boundary so that nothing goes disadvantageous for you.

7. Do not put unnecessary pressure on being perfect all the time- Accepting the very fact that we are in some ways always imperfect is okay too. You might be giving your 100 percent always but not all efforts transpire into success or the way you want them. Your version of perfect may not match with your client or boss’ needs and that is alright.


Dealing with Toxic Productivity- Work on your Personal Time

  • Spend your meals without any screens in front of you-Phone, TV, Laptop alike

  • Schedule days/ hours for your family- in fact, schedule frequency of spending time with them too and see that you are being considerate towards them and not just doing to get out of your work situation

  • A good night sleep must not be compromised: 6-7 hours sleep time to the max

  • Give yourself enough breaks- recharge yourself with sufficient time

  • Fulfil your dietary needs properly and treat yourself once in a while


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