Toxic Productivity

Instead of ‘going and getting that bread’ why not just take a break and some bread instead?

No, you are not a failure because you didn’t create a startup during the ongoing uprise of a deadly virus that’s killing millions and millions of people.

No, you are not a failure because said hypothetical start up didn’t make a gazillion dollars.

No, you’re not better than anyone else even if you did manage to be extremely productive during the pandemic.

You know what, forget about the pandemic. Even without the current work from home scenario, you don’t have to wake up extra early every morning to ‘hustle’ and ‘grind.’

It’s a virus that predates COVID-19 by decades.

Productivity culture is probably one of the most disgusting and capitalistic ideologies that has been encouraged and celebrated generation after generation. You don’t have to work 24 hours a day and 7 days a week to feel validated. You don’t have to come home feeling like you’re about to pass out from physical exhaustion. At least you shouldn’t have to.

I’m not going to be naive and say that this is a choice that every single person gets to make. I’m completely aware that some people genuinely need to work themselves to the point of exhaustion to simply survive.

In this particular context, I’m talking about the people that are either somewhat or completely financially secure, yet continue to chip away at their mental and physical health for the sake of societal self preservation.

If you’re sick, you can stay home. You don’t need to peel yourself off of the bathroom floor to impress anybody with your incredible “work ethic.” I promise you, the only result of that is you harming yourself even further. Do you really think your boss notices if you showed up to work with a bunch of broken limbs because you’re just so incredibly motivated? Do you really think that’s going to get you that promotion?

Let me explain something to you. Do you know why your boss applauds you every time you come in to the office a few hours early and stay a few hours late? It’s because it benefits them. And for what? For the validation from an institution that benefits from you having no work-life balance.

Your constant need for recognition and applause for being “hardworking” is simply being exploited.

And for what? Money? Counterfeit meritocracy?

If you have anxiety and you don’t want to do something or be somewhere, forcing yourself to do so is not ‘brave.’ It’s detrimental to your well-being.

I wish we could stop pushing this insane narrative that ‘hustling’, ‘grinding’ and a state of constant productivity is somehow equivalent to reaching nirvana.

Why is the number of hours of sleep you get inversely proportional to how successful you are?

“I worked so hard yesterday that I only got 3 hours of sleep last night, I’m exhausted I feel like I’m going to pass out. I’m so proud of myself” Is getting 7 hours somehow…failing?

Am I a failure for prioritising REM sleep over “getting that bread”? Stay tuned while I have an existential crisis over a literal bodily function that is required to stay alive.

Can’t you just imagine one of those toxic ‘hustle and grind’ people saying “Fuck REM sleep get money!”

Don’t get it twisted. I’m not discrediting the power of hard work. I’m just saying that there’s more to life than just updating your list of LinkedIn achievements.

Thank you for reading! Let me know what you think in the comments. What do you think about toxic productivity?

You can check out my last few posts here:

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Until Next Time.


10 thoughts on “Toxic Productivity

      1. Lovely – feedback on my writings always appreciated.

        I’ve started my new blog with the story of Microwave Madam and am currently writing on how she explores patriarchy and the busy of today and finds a way to have a life. Sometimes within the rules it imposes and sometimes by pushing barriers.

        The posts actually make more sense read as a book chapter wise and choosing just one was a difficult, so here’s two of them. My About page has a perspective on the attitude behind my writings, because life experiences can be so varied.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks so much! I am trying to write about social issues I notice in a way that portrays the journies and challenge of different parts of the family. Thanks for reading and commenting!


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