You’re probably aware of such behavioral addictions as gambling, shopping, and overeating. Did you know that an obsession over productivity is also a behavioral addiction? Call it being a workaholic or whatever you like, worrying about how productive you are can make you less productive. The more you obsess about productivity and explore all the apps and gadgets that promise to help, the less productive you’ll be.
How to Identify an Obsession With Productivity
You may have a productivity obsession if you find yourself making to-do lists all the time and getting upset if you don’t get all your items done. In moderation, list-making is a great productivity tool to help you clarify the things you want to get done in a day. It can also be a great motivator to get those things done. Unfortunately, there are times when life takes over and we just can’t accomplish everything on our list. That’s natural. But if you genuinely feel guilty for not completing a list, your productivity obsession may be a little out of control.
We have to be aware of a problem before we can start fixing it. It’s easy to cross over to a point where we spend more time making our to-do lists than completing the tasks themselves. Don’t let yourself get drawn into that trap.
Do You Feel Like You’re Being Lazy?
People with a productivity obsession may feel lazy as well as guilty. They may beat themselves up for not getting everything done and not being perfect. Maybe you feel like other people are being lazy when they set boundaries between their personal life and their work life and reduce their workload for self-care or other reasons. You may be obsessed with being productive if you don’t recognize the need to balance work and personal life. You may find yourself on a fast track to burnout.
Do You Always Talk About How Busy You Are?
If you’re one of those people who tend to start your conversations with “Things are so crazy here,” or “I’m so busy right now,” you are probably slipping into a productivity obsession. While you may have a lot to do, it isn’t healthy to always be busy. Most people don’t want to live with their schedule so full they have no time for themselves. You can only sustain that kind of intense productivity for so long before you burn out, start procrastinating, engage in self-sabotage, or your overstressed psyche just rebels against all of that activity with exhaustion.
You are human and you have limitations. Working every single day, working 16-hour days, or whatever it is you’re doing can push you past your limits and everyone and everything around you begins to suffer as a result. If you’re always exhausted, you may find yourself simply going through the motions and having to redo work. If you are trying to do something creative, your mind needs to be fresh to be sharp and come up with new ideas.
Do You Use Too Much Technology?
You have to check your emails, then check your social media, then check that special program you have for posting to your social media. And there’s more—you have a messaging board for work and an application that helps you track your work projects. Don’t forget to check your Google calendar to see if anything’s coming up and make sure you haven’t missed anything from your handwritten calendar. You have digital sticky notes as reminders as well. Oh, and don’t forget your online course that’s supposed to teach you how to be more productive.
Are you exhausted yet? Cut down on all the technology. If you need that many applications or programs to manage what you do throughout a day, how on earth can you possibly do all of that and do everything that you need to do well? If you’re at this point, you may be spending more time planning your day than executing it.
Exhaustion Will Eventually Set In
How productive do you think you will be when you become so exhausted you can do nothing but sleep? That’s going to happen if you keep burning the candle at both ends. Doesn’t it seem smarter to work at a slower but consistent pace? Sometimes when you slow down and do things right the first time, you produce better results. Stop rushing from one task to another. You will be less exhausted. You may even be surprised at how much more you can get done when you focus on one task at a time and give yourself regular breaks between activities.
Multitasking and productivity can eat up your focus to the point that you lose most of our free time trying to be productive. Though it may seem counterintuitive, sometimes working less gets more done. You’ve probably heard the saying “work smarter, not harder.” Obsessing over your levels of productivity makes you work harder and can make you less productive in the long run. If you are having trouble managing stress over all the things you need to do, we can help you here at Everlast Recovery Center. We specialize in treatment for substance abuse and mental health issues that can affect your health and productivity. Your mental health can drive you to behavioral addictions such as an obsession with productivity, as well as obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression, anxiety disorders, and other mental health disorders. We can help teach you the skills to cope with the stresses in life at our home-away-from-home facility in Riverside, CA. Call us at (866) 338-6925 to learn more.