Are You a Productivity Monster? Ask Yourself These 5 Questions to Find Out if Your Productivity Obsession Has Gone Too Far

By Chelsea Babin

The quest to optimize your productivity always starts with noble intent. After all, who doesn’t want to be able to get more work done in a shorter amount of time? But, you may be one of the many whose productivity obsession has turned them into a productivity monster and, in the quest for an optimized life, you may actually be damaging your career or your relationships. Do you fit in with the productivity monsters? Ask yourself these 5 questions.

1. Do you feel guilty if your to-do list has uncrossed items at the end of the day? Writing a to-do list to hold yourself accountable is a great way to stay productive and on track but, let’s face it, some days get hectic or get away from you and you’ll be left with a few unfinished tasks and unchecked boxes on your list at the end of the day. Do those uncrossed items make you feel guilty? If so, your obsession with optimization may have gone too far!

2. Do you equate doing less with being lazy? When you hear a coworker say they want to pull back a little and do less in order to focus on one big project, do you automatically think of them as lazy? This is a bad sign! The truth is, sometimes it’s necessary to pare down your responsibilities in order to give lofty, important tasks their due or to simply get some much needed work-life balance if you’ve been going full steam ahead for too long and are starting to feel burnt out.

3. Are you always talking about how crazy busy you are? First of all, no one ever wants to hear how busy you are. Everyone is busy. If you find yourself unable to disclose to your friends, family, and coworkers about your crazy busy schedule you may be a little too obsessed with productivity for the wrong reasons. Being productive isn’t about jamming your schedule full of as many tasks as possible, it’s about working smarter not harder and accomplishing the things you want while still having time for rest and relaxation.

4. Do you rely heavily on technology to optimize your time management? A few productivity apps here and there can be great for holding you accountable and keeping you on track but if you’re starting to measure every moment of your day using various forms of technology to see how productive you can possibly be, this may be a bad sign. You should only have to use a little bit of technology to optimize your productivity and, if you don’t keep things simple, you may be wasting more tracking your productivity than you need to.

5. Are you sacrificing rest, relaxation, and relationships to focus on your to-do list? We all have busy weeks and months but, when you start to prioritize your to-do list over rest, relaxation, and relationship for multiple months or even years this is a bad sign. The best technical professionals know that, when you keep work work and life balanced, you’re happier and less likely to burn out. And taking a vacation has actually been proven to make you more productive when you get back! Don’t be afraid of prioritizing your rest, relaxation, or relationships over your work to-do list sometimes. Finding a great work-life balance is key to a long-lasting career you actually enjoy.

Productivity monsters are everywhere and they’re definitely scary! Have you focused so much on optimizing your schedule that you’re sacrificing your quality of life? It’s time to rebalance the scales and focus on getting the work-life balance you need before it’s too late.