“Productive” conjures images of accomplishment, such as finishing a work assignment, cleaning up the house, or taking on a new pastime with ease and success.
Isn’t that what we all strive for? We strive to accomplish something on both our workdays and our days off.
Grit and hustle are lauded as virtues that should be pursued at any costs.
If we don’t meet our goals, we beat ourselves up and sometimes drag ourselves out of bed to get things done. To us, if we don’t finish everything, we’ve failed. As soon as we fall short of our lofty goals, we lash out at ourselves for failing.
Is it possible to cut back even a little? Why not incorporate some downtime into our routine?
We’d disintegrate into mush, unable to make a positive impact on either society or our own lives. This is a load of BS. Rather of propelling us forward, toxic productivity wears us down.
We can’t enjoy life and take a break because we’re too busy trying to be productive all the time.
I’m not arguing that all production and hustling is a negative thing. I’m arguing that our obsession with being a 24/7 production machine is the root of our problems.
It’s something I’ve done, and I know I’m not alone. I worked for a high-tech start-up as my first big lady job after graduation. After being handed so much responsibility at the age of twenty-three, I put in all the hours I could to establish my ability.
My workplace promoted the “work hard, play hard” mentality. As a last resort, we had a ping-pong table and avocados in our snack room. When you’ve got all you need at work, why would you need an apartment?
That was how I felt at the time. I worked long hours, early in the morning and late at night, with a lot of caffeine and very little sleep, to get the job done. On a Saturday, working at the office was nearly exciting.
At work, I had a coworker who stayed at the office every night. Even if the rest of us felt she was insane, I wasn’t far off in my assessment.
I had a thousand interests outside of my job. I was maintaining a blog, playing hockey, helping at my meditation centre, attending twelve-step meetings, and attempting to find a girlfriend at the same time.
The drudgery never slowed down. When was the last time you slept? Never. Rest was reserved for the wicked.
When I sat in my therapist’s office sobbing about how I didn’t want to be alive anymore, it all finally caught up to me. For too long, I’d been burning the candle at both ends, and it had all gotten too much for me.
I was transferred to a psychiatric facility, and my entire life fell apart. After two weeks in the hospital, I began to reassess my life.
“Do I really want this?” I pondered this for a moment. How much longer can I go on like this?
No, that was the answer. Neither my work nor my personal habits were sustainable. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t keep saying “yes.”
It was time for something to go. I was bursting at the seams, and I lacked any coping mechanisms to bring me back to life. The only option I had was to give up my job and allow myself to recuperate, therefore I had to do so.
I didn’t have a full-time job for a year. Unusual for me, to say the least. When I was on disability, I had time to dissect my life and figure out what wasn’t working.
The grind, or the urge to always be doing something, was toxic to me. In the long run, it consumed me and my perfectionist tendencies.
Instead, I took advantage of the opportunity to relax. I’m very aware that I’m in a unique position because not everyone is afforded the same opportunities. Working more than forty hours a week is the only option for some people.
Although I have a full-time job, am in college, am in a relationship, and have a number of other interests, I still make time for relaxation. To my general well-being, I realise how vital it is.
To accomplish this, I set aside time each week on a specific day to do absolutely nothing. I’m free to do whatever I want: snooze, read a book, watch TV, or lay in the grass. I’m in complete control. The idea is to take a break from being productive for a while.
Not only do I set aside a full day for this, but I also make an effort to set aside time throughout the week to simply sit still and observe the world around me. Whether it’s taking a little break from work to stretch, or snuggling with my roommate’s cat for a few minutes, I take pleasure in the simple things in life.
My life isn’t just about how much I can make. Recharging my batteries and savouring the brief time I’ve had here on this planet is crucial to my well-being.
Examining your life is one method to get rid of poisonous production and the grind culture. What questions do you need to ask yourself?
- Is it possible that I’m pushing myself too far?
- Does my to-do list overwhelm me?
- In what ways am I berating myself?
- Then, what can I do about it?
- In what ways can I include more rest?
- Find out where you’ve succumbed to the temptations of poisonous productivity. But don’t go overboard with your scrutiny! Look, not sift through.
With this information, you’ll be able to make better decisions about how much rest you need. The only way out of this situation is to get some shut-eye. If you rest, you’ll be able to work even harder!” My productive brain assures me on sometimes. Possibly, but it isn’t the objective of this discussion.
The point is that we need a break to replenish our batteries. Because we sleep for about a third of our lives, we’re able to recharge our batteries. In order to recover from a workout, one must take a break.
A lot of the time, we don’t pay attention until the last minute, when our gauge has already run out of gas.
Taking a break isn’t something you have to wait till you’re in the hospital for. It’s up to you to decide how much you want to invest in it right now. It’s worth it, I’m sure of it.
Master Wang (王师傅) is a psychic artist and master of astrology famous in China for being able to draw anyone’s soulmate. Thousands of people have found love thanks to Master Wang’s gift.