What makes addiction to productivity complicated is that society tends to reward it - the more you work, the better. A workaholic might be earning a lot of money, but in the long run, the detrimental effects outweigh the short-term benefits.
Addiction affects the brain's reward system. It results in compulsive behavior while disregarding harmful consequences.
MORE IDEAS FROM When productivity becomes an addiction
The brain can become addicted to productivity just as it can to other addiction sources, such as drugs, gambling, or shopping.
As with all addictions, the desire for the stimulant continues to increase while withdrawal symptoms include increased anxiety, depression, and fear.
High performers who are extremely productive describe their work style as unsustainable. They acknowledge that they need help getting back on track.
There will come a point when performance suffers, and the effects become potentially life-threatening. It is essential to address the warning signs - such as rushing through a family meal to return to work - and to take steps to modify habits.
At the root of obsession with productivity is a fear of wasting time. Everything is seen as either productive or unproductive.
Buying groceries is seen as productive because you have to eat, while a hobby is viewed as unproductive. Productivity junkies are overly focused on a single aspect of their life. Potential sources of pleasure, such as spending time with loved ones, are very low on the list.
Gone are the years where most people used Post-it notes or email flags to prioritise tasks.
The tools we use to track our performance at work have crossed into our personal lives and have the potential to control us. It may be time to rethink whether tracking and uploading tasks into various apps is really the path to success.
As workers, we are obsessed with getting stuff done. It is then clear why there seems to be a bottomless well full of advice, hacks, tools, tricks, and secrets to help us pack more into the waking hours.
According to IBISWorld research, productivity software alone accounts for an $82 billion market.
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