Increasingly, we assess the value of our days through one single question: “Was I productive today?” And if the answer isn’t a resounding YES, we wonder what we could have done better.

In this mini-episode, I explore the toxic nature of a concept that I call “productivity shame” — which is the act of regularly setting unrealistic expectations for what you can accomplish, and then beating yourself up when you fall short.

Key takeaways from this meditation:

  • Why we’re driven to set unrealistic expectations for our productivity
  • The three factors that contribute to “productivity shame”
  • How to stop beating yourself up for never doing enough

Go Deeper

RESET, a cosmic tune-up for your workday. RESET is a new course from Hurry Slowly host Jocelyn K. Glei that shows you how to let go of productivity shame and get back in touch with the natural rhythms of your energy, your attention, and your creative flow. Watch the 30-second trailer at reset-course.com.

Get Jocelyn’s brainwaves in your inbox. If you like Hurry Slowly, you’ll love this twice-monthly email highlighting new ideas about how to find more creativity and meaning in your daily work.  Sign up at hurryslowly.co/newsletter.

Favorite Quotes

Like battery acid, productivity shame is a toxic substance that slowly corrodes your ability to take any joy in your work.”

“We have been slowly lulled into a ‘productivity mindset’ that sets us up for shame, rather than success.”

“The productivity stories we typically hear are as unrealistic as any Disney movie.”


A few references and ideas I mention in this episode:

Call to Action

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