How to Overcome ‘Productivity Dysmorphia’ - Deepstash

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Productivity dysmorphia

Productivity dysmorphia

Productivity dysmorphia could explain why you feel down about your productivity, even when it’s clear to everyone else you’re doing a great job.

It sits in “the intersection of burnout, imposter syndrome, and anxiety.”


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Write down your to-do list

The key to battling productivity dysmorphia is recognizing intellectually that you’re meeting your goals and doing good work. It can be helpful to see those facts represented in a tangible way.

  • Write down your to-do list regularly, but don’t be overwhelmed if it’s long. You’ll get it all done in a timely manner. You are more than capable.
  • Mark off each goal as you accomplish it. It’s important that you see your successes and wins. At the end of the day, even if only half of the items on the list are checked off, you’ll see how much work you really did.


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Take positive messages to heart

We get a lot of feedback during the workday that can go unappreciated because of the pace at which we work. Stop letting positive reinforcement pass you by. That’s what the productivity dysmorphia wants.

Next time you get an email or Slack message thanking you for all your hard work, don’t just reply, “No problem.” Sit for a second and think about the message, whether it’s from your boss or a third-party connection.


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Reframe your idea of “productivity”

Try to reconsider what you think of as “productivity.”

  • It’s productive to get all your work done, yes, and productive to work out or devote a certain amount of time every night to your side job or hobby. 
  • It’s also productive to rest. Relaxing and refreshing your mind and body will enable you to accomplish more in the near future without risking the dreaded burnout. Celebrate everything you do as a step toward productivity. Write down your rest periods, too. They count.


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