• eliabethharwood

Toxic Productivity

Updated: Sep 29, 2020


This week something  have found challenging is trying to find balance within my routine. This challenge has left me feeling overwhelmed by to do lists and lacking focus when I do try to commit to any task. It is a vicious cycle, one that is only highlighted when people (very kindly) ask you what you are doing with your time. 


Our society has conditioned us to have an obsession with a radical sense of overachieving, persistently striving to become better. The reality is that this pressure only leaves us constantly feeling as if we could have done more. The relentless and unrealistic expectations we set for ourselves leaves us in a constant battle where we are always left feeling that we have never done quite enough, or ticked all of the boxes. 


In these moments, we must try and remember that ultra-productivity and laziness are not the  only options. Acceptance of the gray bit in the middle is both challenging and empowering. It can make you feel both out of and fully in control. 


When I feel myself turning into ultra-productive ‘el roboto’ I try to talk to myself as if I were speaking to a 7 year old version of me. I remind myself that my life is worth more than living in “Beths Productivity Contest”. Striking balance is hard however a mix of both meaningful activity and self-care is far more pleasurable.



Helpful Hints:

  1. Presence: You are enough as you are today, in this moment

  2. Self-care: is not an indulgence, it is essential for wellbeing

  3. Non-negotiables: Have non-negotiables on your list. Do you take extra time for lunch? For the book you wish to read? To spend in the sun?


Right now:

What is the one thing you could do? Pick something right now just for you, just for joy. Then, when you feel overwhelmed, under pressure then choose joy.



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