Signs You're Suffering from Toxic Productivity

  1. "Are you listening to me?": Your friends, partners and children constantly catch you checking email or logging in to work mid-conversation, or when you're supposed to be doing something together like going on a hike or watching a movie.
  2. You've had to pee for at least an hour, but you've been jumping from inconsequential task to inconsequential task; none of them are very urgent or even interesting but you can't help but think that if you get up to go to the bathroom, something bad will happen.
  3. Think back on the last time you decided to do something "just for me" or tried to disconnect: did you abandon that attempt or not even start it because you were worried that it would lead you to miss something at work? Because you did miss something at work and feel guilty about it?
  4. When you do drop balls at work, or make mistakes, you feel less valuable as a person.
  5. The joy from work success fades more and more quickly, causing you to chase previous feelings of worthiness with more and more futility.
  6. You've chosen work over vital life events for friends and family.
  7. You sometimes wonder if work is the only thing you're good at.
  8. The harder you work, the less successful you feel, leading you to secretly (or not so secretly) wonder if you're even that good at work.
  9. You find it difficult to identify and engage in hobbies or goals outside of productive labor.