What is Productivity Anxiety and how to deal with it?

5 Ways to deal with productivity anxiety

While using social media amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, you may have seen the push for efficiency, referring to that while in quarantine because of the plague, Sir Isaac Newton discovered calculus and William Shakespeare expressed “King Lear.” Despite the fact that these “reminders” might be planned to motivate, there’s a growing backlash against the requirement of being excessively productive with all the newly discovered “free” time. But the truth is that the strain to be beneficial is causing anxiety for some.

We spoke to a few people about their idea of being productive and this is what they said –

“I feel like I am of no worth if I happen to do nothing in a day. I search for work, I panic if I don’t get to do anything for a while.”

For me, I only feel good when I do something good and be productive at what I do. A little of here and there from the track, a moment when I rush off from doing the good work, I start feeling bad about myself. I start to overwork thinking I will meet the mark.”

I feel like I need to do it all because if I don’t, it will remain undone. And if someone else does, I feel like I would have done better. And hence I wish to be at the best of my productive state and if I don’t be like that, I stress off for not being so.”

Hence, it’s time we address the productivity anxiety. Here are the 5 ways by which you can do that –

Read more: Depression vs Sadness: When one should seek professional help


1. Appreciate the smallest thing you do

With productivity anxiety, what most of the people suffer is that they burn themselves out because they think, what they are doing is not good, or maybe not very good or can be better. And, this is what gives them anxiety. They don’t feel like complimenting themselves for any small to big thing they do because they never feel that it is enough. Hence, the first thing that a person needs to do is that they need to appreciate every small thing. On most productive days, they should appreciate themselves for being result-oriented. And on the days, when they are not doing anything, they should appreciate themselves for just being able to get up from the bed and taking a shower.

Remember, the body and brain can’t function 24*7 with the same speed and quality. Some days it does wander, some days it doesn’t and both days are the ones where you should appreciate yourself.

2. Don’t compare yourself to others

When you see people around you being productive, there are chances of you being intimidated by them. You love them, you appreciate them but you become self-sabotaging which is not right for you and can lead to productivity anxiety. Tell yourself that you don’t need to compare yourself with others. Tell yourself that you need to compete with your own self and not others.

3. Create a routine

To avoid getting in the trap of productivity anxiety, create a routine for yourself. Remember, this routine should not be to burn yourself out. You need to work and you need to rest also. A balance of it should be there. Follow this routine and if you have time after completing the scheduled work, that doesn’t mean you haven’t done enough work. You have been productive and now you need to rest. Follow the routine generously.

4. Try to de-root your anxiety by decatastrophizing it

Anxiety often occurs with fear The fear of what will happen if you don’t work, what will happen if your work comes out to be unfruitful etc. Counter-question your fear. Tell yourself about the worst possible outcome and about the odds of its actual occurrence. Think of the worst outcome is as bad as you are thinking. If not, you don’t need to stress about it. If yes, you don’t need to stress about it, instead of need to act upon it to ensure it is not occurring. Be kind to yourself and be productive without anxiety. Remember, one step at a time.

5. Practice Centering

Centering is a practice you can work upon when you feel stressed or when you are anxious. It is a simple, 3 step phenomenon.

1. Focus on your breathing.
2. Find your center.
3. Redirect your energy to achieving your goal

Remember, practicing these steps can be difficult initially and you might get distracted initially. But practice makes a man perfect. You need to trust yourself and take the next step of normalizing the days when you are not productive.

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Ishika Aggarwal

Can write, shoot, listen, talk and procrastinate. A feminist at heart, Ishika is an avid writer and multimedia person who loves talking about women, realism, and society. When not working she is either seen watching films or making one.
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