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For almost every employee, their workplace is their second home, which makes it more important to have healthy habits to boost productivity and maintain the proper working balance throughout the work day.
However, suppose you’re working in an environment with toxic coworkers or an unethical boss. In that case, you may experience challenges balancing these healthy habits with the stress and anxiety that comes with your job.
According to various studies, it is found that 62 percent of employees say they don’t have the tools or resources they need to do their jobs effectively. And that’s just one of many reasons that can lead to a toxic work environment.
In this blog, we’ll walk you through 10 useful and tested strategies that will help you to stay productive and avoid the pitfalls of a toxic work environment.
So without any further ado, let’s get started with our first topic.
What do you mean by Toxic Productivity?
Toxic productivity is a term used to describe the negative consequences of an excessive drive for productivity. It’s often associated with overwork, burnout, depletion of energy and resources, and ultimately decreased performance that can lead to long-term health and mental issues that can decline the overall quality of performance.
Signs that can tell you are suffering from toxic productivity
Toxic productivity may be difficult to detect, particularly as employees adapt to more flexible schedules that combine work from the office with work from home. These are some of the most common indicators of toxic productivity:
- Feeling overwhelmed and stressed out
- Struggling to concentrate or focus
- Feeling tired, drained, and burned-out
- Struggling with motivation and productivity
- Constantly feeling sick or having headaches, chest pains, or stomach problems
- Declining quality of work
- More errors and mistakes
Also Read: Top 22 Workplace Productivity Statistics You Can not Afford to Ignore in 2022
If this describes your situation, here are ten strategies that can help you combat the negative aspects of your workplace and increase your overall productivity.
Top 10 Ways To Avoid Toxic Productivity
1) Set boundaries
Many workplaces have a toxic culture where employees are overworked and underappreciated. If you’re feeling less than motivated and feel like your work is suffering, it may be time to set some boundaries. Set limits on how many hours you’ll be working each week (including overtime) so that your performance isn’t hampered by stress or exhaustion. Also, try actively avoiding people who consistently undermine your ability to do good work; simply cut off their access.
And remember that it’s not just your boss who can hinder a productive environment; if you can shift out of a group project mindset, you may find that projects will run more smoothly with less frustration.
Although it’s essential to be a team player, no one should feel they can’t get their fair share of the credit. Even when you’re part of a group project, take some time to fine-tune your part so that it has added value; if you complete 90% of your work for someone else to clean up, don’t be afraid to ask for more credit or recognition.
2) Practice self-care
Learning how to care for yourself is important for avoiding toxic workplace culture. Practice self-care by blocking out an hour every morning and evening where you allow yourself time for meditation, yoga, or quiet reflection. Avoiding toxic productivity means taking time out for yourself so that you can remain balanced and productive in the workplace to get the work done.
When it comes to avoiding toxic workplace culture, understanding that your mental health is just as important as managing your projects and clients. To avoid toxic productivity, you should establish clear limits in place for yourself, so you don’t feel overworked or overstressed.
In cases where you have a clearly defined project with a set deadline, consider determining what other areas of life are off-limits for working. Then, trying to schedule time for hobbies, family obligations, and other tasks during specific hours each day will help you maintain a work-life balance and get more done.
3) Be honest with your boss
Toxic workplace culture is created when people are afraid of being honest because they feel their honesty will be used against them. You need to understand that your boss is not out to get you; he or she probably wants what’s best for everyone involved in terms of job satisfaction.
So, if a particular project or assignment isn’t your strong suit, let them know it may not be worth your time. This will go a long way in creating an open and productive workplace environment.
You don’t have to feel sorry about it. Just calmly explain why the project may not be a good fit for your skillset or personality. This will help your boss to assign you something more appropriate, and this honesty and openness about your capabilities will go a long way in developing trust between you and your boss, leading to a healthier work environment.
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4) Talk it out
One way toxic workplace behavior can be avoided is by talking things out with your coworkers. Calling out issues early can help you establish a more productive work culture, even if it’s not possible for you to change your entire workplace.
Many people are afraid of doing so for fear of being seen as aggressive, but those who don’t speak up risk becoming complicit in toxic workplaces.
You must focus on communicating with your coworkers about any issues or concerns to create a safe and productive work environment.
It’s also a good idea to take time in advance to make a point of listening carefully before responding. This shows your coworkers that you care about their concerns and are willing to work toward creating positive change together.
This will help reduce the likelihood of toxic behavior taking place in your workplace and promote a more positive and collaborative atmosphere.
5) Master the skill of time management
Managing your own time properly is a great way to avoid becoming overwhelmed at work and ensure that you’re able to stay on top of tasks throughout the day.
This means planning out how much time each task will take or using calendar reminders so that you can keep track of what needs to be done. Doing this in advance allows you to prioritize tasks more effectively so that you don’t get bogged down with too many things at once.
Additionally, it helps reduce stress levels and ensures that you’re able to focus on the important tasks that need to be completed. You can use time-tracking software like Workstatus to keep track of how much time you spend on each task.
Workstatus help you to track time, monitor productivity and manage projects with ease. It has a simple interface that allows you to quickly log start and end times for tasks and helps you to accurately measure the amount of time spent on each task, making it easy for individuals to manage their time and tasks with ease and make the most of their day.
You can try Workstatus for a free 7 days trial and experience how well it works out for you.
6) Find a different environment if necessary
There’s a certain point where any job can become too toxic. It’s not the same for everyone, but when you find yourself putting more effort into avoiding drama than your actual work or when you notice that working at home is more productive than going to work, it may be time to look for a new environment.
It might mean going freelance or leaving that company altogether. Many people have discovered they’re happier and more productive after removing themselves from toxic workplace cultures.
If you find yourself being pushed into working more than you would like, or if it seems the environment is too distracted to focus on your work, it may be time for a change.
7) Stand up for yourself
This is an essential part of avoiding a toxic productivity trap. You need to be able to recognize unhealthy situations and speak up when necessary. Don’t settle for being treated badly or pushed too hard.
If your colleagues or managers are pushing you too hard, don’t be afraid to raise your voice and have a conversation about it. You can simply express that the demands are too high and explain why you are not able to complete them.
Give proper explanations and ask for a more reasonable alternative. This way, you can protect your well-being and manage your workload in a more sustainable way.
Also Read: Hybrid Workplace | How it Works, Pros, Cons, Everything to Know!
8) Focus on what you can control, not what you can’t
It is easy for some people to feel anxiety about situations outside their control. However, if you worry about things you have no power over, it’s time to acknowledge that these worries are toxic. When thoughts like what if I can’t pay my bills next month? And what if my boss doesn’t like me? Start running through your head, and redirect your attention toward what you can control (i.e., your actions) rather than what you can’t.
Remind yourself that worrying is fruitless, and instead, begin to think about what you can do to positively impact the situation. Taking action on the things within your control will help to reduce your anxiety and help you to refocus your thoughts on more productive activities that will lead to better results at the workplace.
9) Go for Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
Many companies provide an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), a “voluntary, work-based program that provides free and confidential assessments, referrals, short-term counseling, and follow-up services to employees who are having job-related or personal difficulties.” Many workers are unaware that their company offers this sort of program, so it’s worth checking to see whether your firm does and fully utilizes it.
These programs can help you deal with stress and address any mental health issues that might be preventing you from being productive. This includes issues such as burnout, anxiety, depression, overworking, difficult workplace relationship management, and much more.
It’s always better to get help before things spiral out of control, so if you have access to EAP services, make sure to take advantage of them and get the help you need.
10) Define realistic goals
Setting attainable objectives that are realistic, achievable, and flexible may assist you in distinguishing between tasks that must be completed right away versus those that can be finished at a later date.
Determine the essential professional objectives and everyday activities to accomplish. Ask your supervisor or manager to assign the most important professional goals and daily duties to complete.
After you’ve set short-term goals, break them down into actionable tasks and responsibilities. A common tactic is to divide larger goals into a series of smaller, bite-sized pieces. This will help reduce feelings of overwhelm, enabling you to conquer daunting challenges in manageable chunks.
This will help you to ensure that you stay on track without feeling overwhelmed.
Toxic productivity can have serious consequences for your mental and physical health, not to mention your career. That’s why it’s important to be proactive in avoiding these behaviours and environments. Implementing some of the tips we shared today should help you stay on track and productive without sacrificing your well-being.
Are you looking to promote a toxic-free work culture in your organisation? Try a workforce management system that provides you with real-time workforce analytics for more productivity and less toxicity.
Have you had to deal with toxic productivity in the past? How did you handle it? We would love to hear from you in the comments below.
Thanks for reading!!
How can I tell if I’m being too productive?
If you feel like you’re consistently pushing yourself beyond your limits or that the quality of your work is beginning to suffer, it could be a sign that you’re trying to do too much and need a break.
Furthermore, if productivity starts interfering with important aspects of life, such as family time and social activities, then it may be an indication that something needs to change in order for balance to be restored.
Is it possible to be too productive?
Yes, although being productive is generally seen as a positive trait, taking on too much can lead to issues such as burnout and poor mental health. As such, it’s important to take breaks and prioritize activities in order to ensure that productivity remains healthy and not detrimental to your wellbeing, which will lead to negative long-term effects.