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The Productivity Trap

I don’t think you should have to do anything more.

I think that is a trap.

Capitalism has taught us the false narrative that our worth in this world is tied to what we put out and do in it. We are made to believe that our value is based on our productivity and ability to contribute to society. As a result, many of us feel pressure to constantly produce more and be more to be seen as worthy and valuable.

Which I am sure Jeremy Hunt loves, but I subscribe more to the idea of the sanctity of life for life’s sake. What about the elderly who have worked all their lives but are not currently an output factory – this increase in productivity means they are now worth less. It could be suggested this is exactly how they are treated. What about a newborn baby? Producing a lot of burps, perhaps, but is this baby to be seen as a life less important than an office worker? What about someone like me, who struggles to walk around and has a body which does not fit into the average 9 – 5?

I am sure most people reading this think all these humans hold the same inherent worth, but how do you apply this to yourself? How do you speak to yourself when you have not completed a task, were unable to meet a deadline, or crammed so many obligations that you dropped the ball on something? The way we speak to ourselves in these moments is an essential window into the narrative we are holding ourselves to.

We can become trapped in a cycle of constantly striving for more and never feeling like we are enough, which I am sure most of us can recognise. We can also become fixated on our output and productivity and neglect the other aspects of our lives, such as our relationships, health, and well-being.

I invite you to question your beliefs around your worthiness. You are worthy and valuable simply because you exist, just like everyone else. You are both incredibly precious and worth the world and also not that special that you are the exception to the rule that this applies to everyone. Your worth as an individual is not tied to your productivity or your ability to contribute to society. Instead, your worth is inherent and unchanging. Pop that on your New Year’s resolutions list.

If we are trashing ourselves in the process, there is no way of creating a society where there is more care for more people of all abilities. Because when we do this, there will be people in similar situations to us who we are also throwing under the bus.

If you’d like to create a world filled with more kindness, it has to begin with how you speak to yourself.

If you’d like some support with the how, head on over to

A black woman sat on a pile of books


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