If during this lockdown you’ve not written a novel, or learnt how to cook, or learnt a new language or a new skill, please repeat after us – YOU. ARE. NOT. A. FAILURE. Everyone’s dealing with this lockdown in their own way and while we do have all the extra time to do what we have always wanted to do, it’s completely human to take your time to get to your list. Don’t get us wrong – if you’re able to do all of this in the middle of financial insecurity, health concerns and social isolation, you’re doing great!
While being productive is awesome, there’s a fine line between healthy and toxic productivity, and that line has been crossed during this period without us having realized it. Let’s take a look, shall we?
How do I know if this is toxic productivity?
If you’re wondering what the red flags are, here are some signs that will help you identify that your productivity might not be healthy:
1. Your work is harming your personal relationships. If you feel you do not have time to eat, drink water, or even go to the bathroom, you’re definitely in a toxic relationship with your work.
2. If you’re used to hearing “you’re always on your phone!” or “why are you always working?” you might want to reconsider your work timings and your definition of productivity.
3. If you’re having unrealistic expectations from yourself, it’s definitely a sign of toxic productivity. You cannot be as productive as you were when things were normal – there is stress all around, and it’s completely okay to go slow.
4. If you’re finding it difficult to rest, sleep or stay calm, because you feel you constantly have to keep doing something, you’re facing toxic productivity!
5. You’re close to facing burnout.
How do I deal with toxic productivity?
If you feel low or under confident when you’re not creating, producing or working in some way, here’s what you can do to deal with it:
Adjust your goals: With work slowing down, most of our plans have been put on hold. Take time off to reorganize processes, extended deadlines and revise expectations. If you’ve been working on five blog posts a day, go slow and write only one. If you’re producing one video a week, take it slow and give yourself 10 days instead of seven. Fall in love with the process of creation.
Take a lot of breaks: It will be really difficult at first but you will slowly come to realize that resting is helping you feel more productive. Take a break to enjoy a good breakfast, take a lunch break, take that nap. You can spread out your 8-hour work day throughout the day, instead of trying to fit in all the work at a stretch.
Meditate often: If possible, try starting your day with 10 minutes of meditation, and end it with 5-10 minutes of meditation or a breathing exercise. You can check out this article to see the different apps that can help you breathe, meditate and sleep.
Focus on positive self-talk: Many of us might be defining our worth by our productivity at work, but you must remember that what matters is who you are at the end of the day, the kind of person that you are, instead of what you could tick off from that to-do list.
Define your boundaries clearly: If something is making you uncomfortable, express it. If you’re maintaining strict work hours, let your colleagues know. Eat clean, switch on the do-not-disturb mode on your phone, pick up a book to read: Do whatever makes you happy and brings you peace!
This lockdown has been a great opportunity to get real with yourself, and we’re dropping by today to tell you that you are so much more than what you ticked off on your to-do list.
It’s time to say goodbye to toxic productivity.