By Vaishnavi Kumar


toxic productivity

People who misunderstand toxic productivity with being productive – you are probably reading the right thing for you today.

What is toxic productivity?

Toxic productivity is just a fancy term for workaholism. Workaholism means obsessing over work. Working constantly without achieving an output is not productive. Productivity is when you put aside time for a certain job, accomplish it and end your day feeling good about the time put in.

Toxic productivity is a buzzword lately. Many people are victims, especially due to the pandemic and the resultant lockdown. It is also a side effect of perfectionism.

In simple words, toxic productivity is an unhealthy tendency to be productive all the time and to not stop even when the job has been completed. 

How does toxic productivity affect us? 

When individuals are obsessed with being productive they tend to ignore other important things in life. The constant desire to work and accomplish things steals the happiness from them. Being never satisfied no matter what they achieve and are constantly on the go. They continue to judge themselves based on what they have not done instead of the things they have achieved. And often they tend to push themselves above their threshold and eventually end up in a terrible state of physical and mental health.


Signs which show you are a victim of toxic productivity:

  • No satisfaction: People who feel dissatisfied often. Working for a short time doesn’t give them satisfaction and relaxing doesn’t give them pleasure. 
  • Isolation: People tend to distance themselves because they see these as distractions that will affect their work. 
  • Guilt: A sense of guilt arises when you do or even think about something other than work.
  • The feeling of failure: When you don’t meet commitments, for whatever reasons, they start considering themselves as a failure who is worthless. 
  • Abnormal fatigue: Toxic productive people suffer from unusual tiredness. Even after a 8-hour sleep, they wake up extremely tired and sick. 

How to avoid it? 

  • Set up a schedule- Make a schedule for yourself and try to follow it. The schedule must include exercise, tasks at work, and of course leisure time. 
  • Pursuing a hobby– Take your mind off work and start pursuing a hobby. Do what makes you happy and relax for a while. 
  • Spend time with your loved ones– Spending quality with family and friends works like magic. The best way to avoid toxic productivity is by being around people you love.
  • Get Counseling – If things go out of control, and you are not able to handle the situation on your own, seek professional help. 

Toxic productivity is something that might seem very normal to a lot of people because most of them see this as a sign of ambitious people. The constant anxiety of knowing that if we stop, our competitors might go ahead of us is not healthy and is a major sign of toxic productivity.

It is important to understand when productivity is turning toxic and affecting your well-being. 

We like this post on Huffpost on this topic.

Dealing with burnout already, see this post on self care on our blog.