Toxic productivity

neon sign with the words work harder

I've noticed that we link our productivity to self worth, even when we're not doing okay and it's out of our control. That my friends, is toxic productivity.

The Instagram millionaires screaming "THE MORE YOU ARE AWAKE, THE MORE YOU MAKE" as much as it's some sort of motivation, it does more harm than good. And we have awakened a conversation about mental health and self care, but this constant productivity mindset completely goes against what mental health advocates have been trying to eradicate.

I have fallen victim of this mindset. In fact, in the beginning of the year I was addicted to energy drinks and coffee because I was depriving myself of sleep so I could do more school work.

I wish I was joking but it was a serious problem that I went through because of the hyper productivity trend. I would get about 3 hours of sleep for an 8 hour day of school and I would find myself constantly exhausted because I felt as though i wasn't doing enough and had to work more.

In September I was writing my prelim exams or "mock exams". It was here that I only really got in the hang of allowing myself to rest. I was getting more sleep, not 10 hours but enough to get me through the day and taking naps whenever necessary.

This was the term I did the best in academically and that's because I took care of myself and my health above all else. I stopped drinking energy drinks and coffee around June/July and the withdrawal was hideous.

Every day, life presents us with challenges - but also with opportunities for reflection. ? Discover more stories about personal growth for Youth, by Youth, here

Take time for yourself. During exams, during work or whatever it is that is your main priority and SLEEP

Having anemia (a lack of iron in the body) on top of everything, it just wasn't good for my health at all.

I was constantly tired, constantly sick and I could feel my body becoming weaker.

It was so hard and I know reading it may sound stupid but it was an actual struggle I went through and I've learnt not to downplay my struggles. It was a real struggle I went through in 2019 but we got through it.

The reason I'm sharing this and why I always share these kinds of stories on here is to shed light on topics that may slowly ruin our lives.

Hyper productivity doesn't result in a better outcome in whatever you're trying to accomplish. Psychology says you can't function to your fullest potential without enough sleep. Not only was I depriving myself of sleep, my health was deteriorating because while I wasn't getting enough sleep and I also had an iron deficiency but I was just shoving caffeine into my body.

Take time for yourself. During exams, during work or whatever it is that is your main priority and (I can't stress this enough) SLEEP. Sleep deprivation does more harm on your body than you can see.

If you are a victim of the hyper productivity mindset, stop. It's so dangerous. I hope you can learn from my behaviour and better yours.

This topic isn't talked about much, but it should be. It's affecting so many more people than we think.

That's it from me. Happy sleeping. Happy napping.

South Africa