5 Signs of Toxic Productivity and How to Avoid It

Since December is the time for deadlines, almost everyone feels exhausted. But there are also employees for whom there is no difference: They actually live at work, if not physically, then mentally. They may get some bonuses from their superiors, but other than that they don’t seem very happy. The cult of productivity causes us to constantly create to-do lists and blame ourselves for unfinished tasks. We tell you how to get rid of this painful feeling.

How to understand toxic productivity?

Jessica Chastain in Sloane’s Dangerous Game

You need to work to live, not the other way around. In fact, most of us fall into this trap. After all, just being a “good employee” is no longer enough: Everyone wants to have a trump card, that is, a competitive advantage. Due to competition in the labor market, a person tries to present himself as a perfect superman. This is where imposter syndrome occurs when we tell ourselves that we don’t deserve more and that all success is down to luck.

Symptoms of toxic productivity:

  • continuous operation
  • It’s hard to get rid of work-related thoughts
  • Feeling guilty about vacation
  • Working hard
  • Trying to please superiors

How does toxic productivity occur?

Kevin Spacey in the movie “Marginal Risk”

In many Asian countries, hustle culture or extreme workaholism is the norm. In Japan, for example, it is considered bad manners to leave on time, allegedly because you show your disinterest in the matter. Moreover, you unknowingly challenge the team that puts pressure on your back “because of your fault”.

The situation is slightly different in China. Due to high competition and lack of jobs, every employee strives to prove that he or she is a business hero. At the same time, it is the one with higher performance indicators that causes the most hatred. The point is that next time this will become the norm for other colleagues. According to the principle “If this person can do it, others can too.” This also results in overtime because not all employees can perform tasks with the same efficiency.

At the same time, in the USA and European countries, overtime is not approved because by law the employer must pay the employee extra for additional hours.

In addition to these factors, toxic productivity also arises from the internal attitudes formed by the family. Self-doubt pushes a person to compensate for some failures in his personal life, for example, with business successes.

How do we break free from toxic productivity?

Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway in The Intern

Toxic productivity is a direct path to professional burnout. There are several effective ways to make life more harmonious.

Determine your priorities. Divide tasks into categories: urgent, important, non-primary, and additional tasks. Most often the last two points do not play a role, so you can focus on the first two.

Add rest and entertainment to your plan. This is a way to “hack” the system and trick your brain. Meeting with friends, taking care of your health, meal breaks, walks, hobbies and appointments – let all these items be marked “done”.

Change social roles. You are a loving wife and mother at home, a great companion with friends, a student in yoga classes, and a steely businesswoman at work.

Taking breaks. You shouldn’t give up basic needs for money. Make sure you eat regularly, get enough sleep, exercise and monitor your emotional state. Remember, the brain also needs to unload. Otherwise, it will work inefficiently and your performance will decrease. Why do you need it?

Don’t be jealous. Stop looking at other people’s achievements. Live your interesting life. Imagine standing before a divine court. Were deadlines all you cared about?

Don’t overload yourself with personal development. You don’t need to learn skills that will make you effective at your job. Take tennis, swimming, dance or language courses. Your hobbies don’t have to be “trendy” or “practical.”

Celebrate successes. We are very generous with criticism but stingy with praise. It’s time to change this.

Set realistic goals. You are not a multi-armed Shiva, so you cannot physically redo all the work in the world. Do not assume the function of God. You are a great professional, but you can also have bad days. Allow yourself to be human.

Realize your value. If you still have a habit of comparing yourself with others, try to at least sometimes do it in your favor. Remember how many people dream of being at least a little like you. After all, it’s true.

Source: People Talk

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