Posted at November 09, 2022 by Nathania Desnauli Tarihoran

Long before the pandemic turned our lives upside down, toxic productivity culture was on the increase. But when COVID-19 prompted requests for lengthy stay-at-home orders and extended periods of social isolation, toxic productivity found the perfect way to seep into our lives without us even noticing. The toxic productivity happened because of the FOMO phenomenon. FOMO or "fear of missing out," is the feeling or perception that others are having more fun, living better lives, or experiencing better things than you are. It involves a deep sense of envy and affects self-esteem. It is often exacerbated by social media sites. The FOMO also developed the “hustle culture” in our lives that eventually became toxic productivity. Hustle Culture is a widely spread mindset that encourages hard work, in the pursuit of glory. It promotes revolving one's entire life around work.

To overcome the “hustle culture” and have the healthy productivity, here is some step that we must follow:

  • Untangle your self-worth and your work. There’s a big difference between what you do and who you are. Detaching your self-worth from your to-do list is crucial for learning to shut off. You need to let yourself spend time on passions and activities unrelated to your job that make you feel good, rather than automatically asking someone about their career when you first meet them.
  • Set (and stick to) healthy boundaries. You need to establish a quick end-of-day routine to tell your brain it's time to transition out of "work mode," such as looking through your calendar for the next day and cleaning up all of the discarded coffee mugs from your desk. Set aside enough time on your calendar for leisure activities, hobbies, and time with loved ones. 
  • Build buffers into your schedule. Instead stick with deadlines but add some extra time into your schedule. Basically, estimate how long a task will take you and then add at least a day or two (or more). You won’t feel like you’re constantly under the wire. Resist the urge to equate your free time or the time you blocked off for other activities as your buffer. Your buffer needs to come from your dedicated work time—it shouldn’t steal from what you have set aside for relaxation and leisure.
  • Learn to say “no”. Some of us find it difficult to say "no" because we want to avoid conflict or avoid disappointing people. Even when they are already overburdened, some people enjoy being the "yes person" who always gets things done. If you continue to overburden yourself, toxic productivity won't be resolved or combated. It's never easy to say no, but it's a crucial step to stop overcommitting so you don't have to work overtime to keep up with your workload.
  • Practice meaningful self-care; Making time for actions and pursuits that contribute to your happiness and wellbeing is known as self-care.  The important thing is to figure out which self-care activities make you feel the most refreshed. It might be exercise. Perhaps it's lounging on the couch. It might not be getting enough sleep. As long as it makes you feel good, there is no one "correct" approach to practice self-care.

That is a way to overcome the hustle culture and toxic productivity. Letting go of hustling culture and toxic productivity, can resume accomplishing tasks in a way that makes you feel happy rather than exhausted. Hope this post helps! :)


Boogaard, K. (2022, September 19). Are You Suffering from Toxic Productivity? Paperform Blog. Retrieved September 21, 2022, from,become%20fixated%20on%20constant%20productivity. Ferjani, E. (n.d.). The Dark Side Of Hustle Culture. Retrieved September 21, 2022, from Reeves, K. (2019, September 12). How the “Hustle Culture” is Bringing Us Down. Retrieved September 21, 2022, from Writer, S. (2022, July 20). The Founder Rebuilding Creative and Fashion Industries Helping Artists Transcend Boundaries. GREY Journal. Retrieved September 21, 2022, from