The constant fear of not being productive enough can be annoying
© Getty Images / Jamie Grill
“I wasn’t that productive today.” is a phrase that has crossed everyone’s lips at some point. When this feeling becomes permanent, one speaks of productivity anxiety. Affected people put themselves under tremendous pressure to maintain or increase their performance. In short: you expect yourself to always be productive. The younger generation in particular is affected by the fear of productivity. These are typical signs of the phenomenon.
Productivity anxiety can manifest itself differently in each person. These are three typical signs that occur frequently:
1. You feel guilty if you don’t do anything
With this kind of anxiety, sufferers always have a bad conscience when they rest and take a break. The reason for this is the strong internal pressure to achieve high performance and you must always be productive. People with productivity anxiety constantly worry about whether they are doing enough and whether their skills are sufficient.
2. You are a perfectionist
Perfectionism often goes hand in hand with productivity concerns. These sufferers set unrealistically high standards and strive to perform flawlessly. They tend to be overly self-critical and are never satisfied with what they achieve. Social media often reinforces this feeling by showing people (founders, entrepreneurs, influencers, …) who are supposed to always be working in their careers. Society also shows us that being constantly busy is an attractive and worthwhile situation.
3. You find it difficult to turn off
Whether during free time or on vacation, people with productivity anxiety find it difficult to stop and relax. They feel guilt or anxiety when they are not productive and actively working on something. Especially in the long run, this can lead to a chronic state of fatigue, sleep disturbances, and/or fatigue.
Everyone feels stressed, unable to shut down, and afraid of not doing enough. However, when these feelings become persistent, anxiety about productivity can be at the root. In this case, it is advisable to seek support from people you trust or professional help to overcome your fears.