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Post-Secondary Planning

A Productivity Plague: How to Overcome Toxic Habits

Student studying_project uni
Student studying_project uni

Project Uni tackles the big questions of post-secondary education. Today, we’re answering: “How do I overcome Toxic Productivity?”

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If you think these criteria are at all reasonable, you may be one of the 7.2 billion viewers tuning into TikTok trends, such as “that girl” and “grindset.” Although most students want to be driven, motivated, and passionate, toxic productivity culture poses a detriment to their mental well-being. You can overcome this with a social media cleanse or practicing the Pomodoro method.

Social media is ubiquitous; it’s routinely the first thing we wake up to and the last thing we see at night. One way to combat the negative impacts of social media may be taking a week-long break from interacting on unnecessary platforms. Studies show after a mere seven days of absence from social media, participants experienced a significant increase in mental well-being. Achieving this goal won’t be easy; our brains are hotwired to the dopamine hit that social media offers. However, limiting or deleting the most toxic social platforms for you may result in substantial improvements in your mental health.

Furthermore, many students are working against time, leaving them restless and irritable. Channelling anxieties into healthy time management methods can bring you to a better, balanced place. The Pomodoro Technique implements study intervals of 25 minutes followed by five-minute breaks. These breaks can be used as a refresher from any built-up stress. This cycle is repeated four times with a reward of a 15–30-minute break afterwards. This improves focus and productivity by ‘brain training’ to work more efficiently as there is a clear end goal.

Methods like Pomodoro are more inclusive of what it means to reach a school-work-life equilibrium rather than trying to fit a mould. It is understandably difficult not to get lured into social media niches that make you feel inadequate or lesser than others, but productivity looks different for everyone. If you struggle to find balance and what makes you work most efficiently, utilizing the aforementioned techniques could help you find your own definition of productivity.

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