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All articles > > Productivity guilt - what it is and how to avoid it

Have you ever felt like you are trying to juggle with multiple things at the same time in your professional life?

Finish that demanding project, get the weekly report done asap, answer to e-mails, hold meetings and presentations, call business partners, talk with your managers about quarterly objectives and KPIs improvement... Unless you’re a flexible acrobat trained at Cirque du Soleil, maintaining a perfect equilibrium between all that is downright impossible.

And still, regardless of the many things you get accomplished in a day, there’s a tiny little critical voice in the back of your mind that whispers: “You should have done more today!”.

This voice, ladies and gents, has a name: productivity guilt. And we’re about to learn how to silence it. Keep up with us!

What is productivity guilt?

Productivity guilt is the constant nagging feeling that you should be doing more and the powerless feeling that if you haven’t done everything, you will never reach your goals or succeed in life.

No matter how much you do in a day, in a week, in a month or a year, there’s an anxious feeling of always wanting to do more. Productivity guilt doesn’t allow you to be happy with your results.

Obviously, we can’t go on like this forever and ever. And if you’re wondering, yes, there are ways to put a stop to it. We’ve put together a few.

How to avoid productivity guilt?

1. Let go of perfectionism

We know, easier said than done. Perfectionism is a two-edged sword. On one hand, it drives you to do your best at work, on the other, it can cause unnecessary anxiety, fear of failure and interfere with your work productivity.

The “cure” to heal perfectionism may seem impossible to find, but we will share a secret: it starts with being kinder to yourself.

  • Imperfect, but delivered on time is better than “not done, because it’s not perfect yet.”
  • Completing 7/10 things on your to-do list is a pretty good thing and the remaining 3 items can definitely wait until tomorrow.
  • Saying “I did a lot today” instead of “I didn’t do enough today, I didn’t finish anything!” is always a better idea.

2. Be friends with clarity

Rather than obsessing over tasks, start asking questions to clarify every aspect that helps you get them done. After all, you get stressed when the tasks are not clearly defined, which makes them scary. When you have all the information you need, create a plan about how you can accomplish those tasks. More tips on what productivity technique to use, here.

3. Use organizing tools

Millions of people deal with stress and productivity guilt at work. This may be one of the reasons organizing tools were invented: to help ease the burden. They can add structure and stability in your professional life. It’s only a matter of finding the ones that will work best for you: time management apps, task tracking apps, digital to-do lists, e-mail accounts and so on.

And wouldn’t it be amazing to keep all these tools into just one place? Definitely! Well, the app you need exists and it’s called OneDock.

OneDock allows you to create a 100% customizable dashboard to reunite all social media & communication apps, calendar, to-do lists and tracking tools you use on a daily basis. It has a clever Search feature that allows you to search through hundreds of files, apps and accounts all at once, just using a few keywords. It also declutters your screen and saves incredible amounts of time. Try the free trial version and let us know what you think!

4. Keep track of what you accomplish during the day

We often focus only on what went wrong one day, forgetting to rejoice in all the things we did well or finish. Try having a work-journal where, at the end of the program, write everything you managed to accomplish over the day, be it small or big. Re-read the entries at the end of the week and take a moment to be grateful for all you’ve managed to achieve. Overviewing your own progress should give you a greater sense of satisfaction at work.

5. Remember that life is not all about work

Yes, it’s important to have a job you’re proud of and really do your best in the 8 hours schedule. Yes, getting things done and being productive comes with its rewards. What’s equally important is spending time with yourself, your family and friends, taking regular breaks and pursuing your hobbies as well.

Note to self

Sacrificing everything else in your life out of a desire to do more at the workplace isn’t going to mute the productivity guilt’s voice. But following our tips above, will surely improve the way you relate to it.

OneDock can also be a strong ally in your fight to silence the productivity guilt’s voice. It will help you stay organized, declutter your screen and ease your mind, so that you can get enough things done each day. Download the app for free, create an account and see for yourself!