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How to Push Back Against Toxic Productivity

I’ll be honest: this article hits home. I’m definitely guilty of toxic productivity. It’s easy to get into that “go, go, go” mindset. We practically live there as healthcare workers. We have dozens of patients at a time, and move at lightning speed on the floor.

It’s easy to keep moving at that speed in the home. This carries over even farther into entrepreneurship.

Let’s dive into toxic productivity. Looking for more mindset tips? You can check out my course


What is Toxic Productivity?

Toxic productivity refers to the constant need to be doing things. It’s the obsessive need to create and do, regardless of your own limits.

Why is Toxic Productivity Bad?

But isn’t productivity good? What’s so toxic about it? Well, when you start to ignore your needs, it gets toxic. When your productivity is encroaching on your life, relationships, and health, it becomes toxic. Not everything is about the end product. Sure, you may have written a white paper and made a few thousand dollars, but at what cost?

Toxic productivity can cause:

  • Burnout

  • Depression

  • Trouble sleeping

It can result in other mental and physical health problems, too.

What can you do to Combat Toxic Productivity?

Stopping toxic productivity is all about setting limits on your own ambition. I know it’s hard. This is probably my worst trait.

Let’s go into how we can limit our toxic productivity.

Have Set Work Hours

Don’t work all day every day. You should have a set amount of hours you work every day. And you should keep track. Not only is this good for bookkeeping, it also helps keep your toxic productivity in check.

Refrain from Having Too Many Projects

Learn how to say no. There are only so many hours in the day, and you need to sleep. You don’t need to say yes to every single client that’s out there. Is it a great experience? Sure it is. But you just can’t do it all. And that’s okay. These things take time.

Instead of taking every client, be picky. Choose the best of the best. That mindset will help your mental wellbeing in the long run, too.

Don’t send out Too Many Client Outreach Emails

If your calendar is absolutely stuffed with clients, don’t reach out to them any more. When I do client outreach, I send a lot of emails at once. It’s how I build my client base up. But it also means that they all answer at the same time. So, I end up getting overwhelmed with work. And instead of setting limits, my toxic productivity kicks in, and I say yes to everyone.

Build in Self-care Time

Make sure you’re taking time for you. And if it doesn't come naturally, have a set day and time where you practice self-care. Maybe it’s listening to music in the bath. Or swimming in the pool. Whatever you do, remind yourself that it’s not all about work.

Introduce mindful moments into your day, too. Quiet your mind and check in with yourself. Are you hungry? Tired? Thirsty? Do you need a walk? Don’t just push past these emotions. Acknowledge them.

Take Breaks

Make sure you’re taking frequent breaks. I take a break every few hours and get up to walk around and do something else. Staring at the computer screen isn’t great for your eyes. And it’s definitely not great for your body to sit in the same spot for hours on end. Fight back and make sure you’re getting up


Take Back Hobbies

Do you have any hobbies? Make time for your hobbies throughout the week. It’ll help remind you that it’s not just about writing. There are other things that bring you joy. And most of them will give your eyes a break from the glaring screen.


It’s hard not to get roped into toxic productivity. We live in a world where everyone’s accomplishments are plastered all over social media. As entrepreneurs, we may feel like we have a million courses to take and a ton of tasks to do. But we don’t have to play catch up to everyone else. We can go at our own, sustainable pace.

Fight back against toxic productivity by taking frequent breaks and introducing mindful moments into your day. Make sure you have set work hours, and stick to them! Don’t take too many clients, and make sure you’re not reaching out to them until you’re almost ready to take on new work.

Looking for more mindset tips? You can check out my course

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