Productivity addiction: when we become obsessed with productivity - Deepstash
Productivity addiction: when we become obsessed with productivity

Productivity addiction: when we become obsessed with productivity

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The Premise

The Premise

The business and productivity app market is worth billions of dollars. Every day, there is a new productivity tool popping up, a book about productivity being published, and millions of people reading and sharing content related to personal productivity. It started as a measure of efficiency for the production of goods and services. Somehow, along the way, many of us have become addicted to productivity.


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The Obsession With Productivity

At its core, productivity addiction is based on the same reward systems as other addictions. By providing constant reinforcement — for example, financial rewards in the form of salary increases, or social rewards in the form of work recognition — productivity can become a goal in and of itself, resulting in compulsive behaviours.

The problem is that just like all addictions, over time a person needs more and more to be satisfied and then it starts to work against you. Withdrawal symptoms include increased anxiety, depression and fear.


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Addicted To Productivity

Addicted To Productivity

At least in the Western world, our education has often taught us to tie our self-worth to how much we contribute to society. The more we contribute, the better. “I work, therefore I am.” Being productive feels like a way to improve our self-worth.

This positive reinforcement can make it hard to realise we may be falling prey to productivity addiction. 


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Five Tell-Tale Signs

Five Tell-Tale Signs

There are five tell-tale signs you may be addicted to productivity:

  • You don’t want to “waste” any time.
  • You tend to turn hobbies into side projects.
  • You feel guilty when you don’t hit your targets. 
  • You always make work a priority. 
  • You constantly feel busy.


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How to Manage Productivity Addiction

How to Manage Productivity Addiction

  • Make space for self-reflection. 
  • Define meaningful priorities.
  • Remember that not all hobbies need to become hustles.
  • Reconsider your relationship with time.
  •  Create your own system. 
  • pay attention to your triggers.

As a recovering productivity addict, you may need to always be careful about not falling back into old patterns whenever you start a new job, a new hobby, or set a new exciting goal. Practising self-reflection and paying attention to your mental health will ensure the way you work is more enjoyable and more sustainable.


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