Feeling unproductive even after working all day? It may be "productivity dysmorphia" - Deepstash
Feeling unproductive even after working all day? It may be "productivity dysmorphia"

Feeling unproductive even after working all day? It may be "productivity dysmorphia"

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Feeling unproductive even after working all day? It may be "productivity dysmorphia"

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Productivity Dysmorphia

Productivity dysmorphia describes the feeling of failing to recognize your accomplishments and wanting to continue doing more, even when you’re running on fumes. 

It is the intersection of burnout, imposter syndrome, and anxiety. It's possible that a toxic "hustle culture" is pushing people to continue working even though they’re breaking down and desperately need rest.

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Burnout Is Rewarded

Highly competitive, work-oriented cultures normalize this constant pursuit of productivity that eats away at other areas of life. In fact, you’re often praised for putting productivity above your well-being. Remember how schools rewarded perfect attendance? Similarly, companies prefer employees who get the maximum work done while taking the fewest possible breaks. Rewards like these reinforce that rest is bad and that being constantly at work is the right thing to do.

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Internalized Capitalism

This mindset pushes people to force their minds and bodies to work even though they’re breaking down and desperately need rest. The idea is that this mindset encourages people to dedicate their weekends and free time to extra work, skip the family dinners to eat in front of a computer, and take work devices on vacations so they can wrap up a project or two on the plane. 

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Hustle Culture and Productivity Dysmorphia

There’s a difference between enjoying work, working a lot, and feeling compelled to work irrespective of whether you enjoy it. Popular quotes like “if you do what you love, you don’t work a single day in life” may normalize overworking under the assumption that if you’re passionate about something, you won’t ever get tired. 

Today’s toxic hustle culture may also feed into this narrative, advising people to maintain a side job outside of traditional office hours and utilize weekends to build a blog/channel/business so there’s no space left to take a break. 

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Being Productive Is The Only Goal

Some writers have even begun describing rest as productive, as if people should stop relaxing if it doesn’t improve performance in some way. Not only does this mindset make it difficult to view and celebrate your achievements, but it also nudges you to build your entire life around work

Messaging like this can make you feel guilty for enjoying a weekend doing “nothing” if you’re not hard at work on the two days you get off from work. As people place more and more importance on work, it becomes harder to justify enjoying something if it doesn’t lead to productivity. 

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