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How Burnout Makes us Less Creative

mental fitness productivity Dec 24, 2023

Discover why the belief that productivity determines self-worth contributes to burnout, depression, and decision fatigue among entrepreneurs.

In the TED original video series, 'The Way We Work,' Digital Anthropologist Rahaf Harfoush, warns that our obsession with productivity is actually making us less creative.

The concept of productivity originated during the industrial revolution when output could be easily measured.

Rahaf's New York Times Best Seller, Hustle & Float, explains in depth how in today's knowledge economy, where tasks are abstract and creative, traditional productivity models fall short.

Basically, our cultural narrative of the "hustle" and the belief that success is solely attained through relentless hard work has ingrained the idea that productivity equals self-worth.

This makes it difficult for us to give ourselves permission to stop working - a problematic narrative at a time when 48% of entrepreneurs experience feelings of burnout, with an additional 32% experiencing depression, and 56% facing decision fatigue.





Why it matters 👉 Overworking ourselves in the pursuit of productivity can lead to burnout, resulting in a decline in creativity.

This has profound implications for knowledge workers who are expected to continuously generate new ideas. Embracing downtime and allowing our minds to wander is crucial for mental well-being and the generation of innovative solutions.

Pay attention to 👀 the cultural narratives around productivity and success that have ingrained the belief that working harder is the only path to achievement.

Challenging these narratives and establishing new systems that support creativity and well-being are essential. Reflect on your own work beliefs, rhythms, and narratives to foster a healthier and more creative approach to work.


Want to go further?

Check out these resources that will help you level up and keep your inspiration tank full.

Watch - Find Your OOMPH with Positive Intelligence Coach, Caroline Kay


Listen - Re-Centering In Times Of Uncertainty with Alex Elle

This powerful meditation by Alex Elle, an author and breathwork coach, is designed to bring calm and a sense of grounding in times of fear and uncertainty. Take a moment to listen and find inner peace amidst chaos.


Read - Hustle & Float by Rahaf Harfoush

This New York Times Best Seller explores the unseen factors driving our productivity-focused culture. Get practical advice on how to regain your creativity and enhance performance while prioritising your well-being, relationships and mental stability.


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