5 Easy Ways To Deal With Toxic Productivity

Here are some common signs of toxic productivity and what you can do to healthily deal with it.
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Toxic productivity is defined as an unhealthy obsession to continue being productive through the constant overstimulation of the brain. It has become increasingly common, as many people have been feeling the need to always be doing something in a society that strongly values productivity.

Of course, regular productivity is definitely beneficial and can ensure that you achieve your goals. Productivity becomes toxic when your self-worth relies solely on how much you get done during the day and when you feel like you can never take the time to truly relax. If these symptoms sound familiar to you, you may be suffering from toxic productivity.

Here are five easy ways to deal with toxic productivity:

1. Set realistic goals and don't feel guilty if you need to adjust them

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If you are feeling overwhelmed, do not fall into the trap of toxic productivity by setting unrealistic expectations for yourself! When you are under stress, it negatively impacts your performance, so it is reasonable if you want to adjust your goals to make them more realistic. My suggestion is to use a whiteboard and make a list of everything you want to accomplish on a daily basis. This will help you stay organized, but also make it easy to adjust some of your goals if you feel like it is unachievable for that day. 

2. Take frequent breaks and try to live in the moment

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Overworking yourself to the extent that it harms your health is detrimental in the long-term. For this reason, you should aim to frequently schedule breaks for yourself. Try to live in the moment and appreciate the little things in life that are unrelated to work! This will help you deal with toxic productivity because it shows that you are able to establish a healthy work-life balance. Personally, I love taking bubble baths while reading my favorite books. It is incredibly relaxing for the mind and it allows you to take a break for a while. 

3. Take some time to do mindfulness exercises

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Relating to the previous point, mindfulness exercises can help you become more aware of your surroundings. They can also help decrease stress and anxiety resulting from toxic productivity by allowing you to relax the body and the mind.

For example, Anxiety Canada has a good mindfulness exercise called "Three Senses" that involves noticing what you are experiencing right now through the senses of sound, sight, and touch. Try to concentrate and slowly think to yourself three things that you can hear, three things that you can see, and three things that you can feel, and I can guarantee that it will help you settle your mind if you do it properly.

4. Clean out your workspace

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According to Harvard Business Review, our physical environment has a significant effect on our ability to concentrate. Their research has demonstrated that having cluttered workspaces is correlated with having negative impacts on our stress and anxiety levels. Therefore, cleaning out your workspace may help you deal with toxic productivity by decreasing your stress and anxiety levels. You can easily achieve this by recycling those old papers and making sure that only work-related objects remain on your desk!

5. Work on establishing healthy relationships with people around you

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This one might take a while, but it is very important that you surround yourself with people who do not reinforce behaviors related to toxic productivity. Try to become friends and associate yourself with people who understand if you need to take a break from working. Don't try to hang onto old friendships that do not allow you to become the best version of yourself. Surrounding yourself with positive friendship groups will allow you to focus on your mental health and help you break out of the cycle of toxic productivity.

Overall, it is essential to recognize the symptoms of toxic productivity so you can take active steps toward diminishing its negative effects. The best ways to transform toxic productivity so it becomes healthy productivity are by setting realistic goals, taking frequent breaks and living in the moment, doing mindfulness exercises, cleaning out your workspace, and surrounding yourself with positive friendship groups. These straightforward steps will definitely help you break out of the toxic productivity cycle!

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Content Writer based in Vancouver, BC. Currently a university student studying Social Sciences and Business. Avid reader and Netflix binger.

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