The Dangers of Toxic Productivity

Real Estate Sales Representative with Royal LePage / Pro Ledger Online Software

The constant pressure to be more productive can lead to negative consequences, known as toxic productivity.

What is Toxic Productivity?

According to Psychology Today: "toxic productivity is an obsessive need to always be productive, regardless of the cost to your health, relationships, and life."

This can manifest itself in several ways, such as overworking, neglecting self-care, and sacrificing personal relationships for the sake of productivity.

The Dangers of Toxic Productivity

The dangers of toxic productivity are numerous and can have a significant impact on an individual's well-being. Some of the most common dangers include:

  1. Burnout: Overworking and neglecting self-care can lead to burnout, which is a state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion.

  2. Stress: The constant pressure to be more productive can lead to stress, which can have a detrimental effect on mental health.

  3. Neglecting personal relationships: Focusing too much on productivity can lead to neglecting personal relationships, which can have a lasting impact on an individual's happiness and well-being.

  4. Decline in physical health: Neglecting self-care can lead to a decline in physical health, which can result in conditions such as chronic fatigue, headaches, and insomnia.

What do you do to avoid "toxic productivity"? Share as a comment below.


Comments (15)

Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager


Feb 22, 2023 07:14 AM
Steve Penner

you bet 

Feb 22, 2023 09:54 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Steve - things of all sorts seem to run amok.  

Feb 22, 2023 07:35 AM
Trish Cole
Veterans United Home Loans of Puget Sound - Puyallup, WA

Ouch!  One of the difficult things in the Real Estate and Lending industry is balance.  Some things in life are "non-negotiable" and put on the calendar first.  I have to admit though, when it is really busy it's tough to turn it off.  Carol is right Balance, balance, balance, and reminders of what it important in life.

Feb 22, 2023 08:29 AM
Steve Penner

Thanks Trish.. .some great ideas and comments! 



Feb 22, 2023 09:54 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Hi Steve... can't say I've ever worried about life/work balance or toxic productivity. I learned a long time ago to work as much and as hard as I need to when that's necessary and then take time off when I can to recharge. I am totally capable of vegging out when I don't need to be getting something done and doing so without guilt.

Feb 22, 2023 09:49 AM
Steve Penner

That's great Nina... you're in a good place in this regard.. that's what important. Thanks for the comment! 




Feb 22, 2023 09:52 AM
Lisa Santilli
Classified Realty Group - North Reading, MA

I'm an individual agent and do not have a "team" or an admin or virtual assistant. Balance has always been hard for me. I work as hard and as much as I need to depending on what's in my pipeline. When I'm busy, I work a lot and don't nurture personal relationships and when I'm not busy, I take time off. I've been doing this for 21 years now and understand that balance is something to aim for, but it's easier said than done, especially in this industry, in my opinion.

Feb 22, 2023 07:44 PM
Steve Penner

Hi Lisa,  I hear you can can related, and seems to me you described many agents. This is definitly not a 9 to 5 job, and the demands and irregular flow can be a real challenge. Thanks for sharing!


Feb 23, 2023 08:14 AM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Planning and time management can help avoid this type of negative work/life balance.  I've been guilty of this though. The constant pressure in today's marketplace to put deals together, can be toxic!

Feb 24, 2023 10:11 AM
Steve Penner

Thanks Jan for your comment.  Yes, when busy not hard to loose balance.


Feb 24, 2023 11:51 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morningSteve. Do what you have to do so you can do what you want to do! Once I realized that there was a "do what you want to do" in the above, I found balance. Enjoy your day.

Feb 25, 2023 05:04 AM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker/REALTOR® - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

I do have a need to always be productive, but I also have managed to maintain balance with everything else in my life. If I start feeling stressed, I know it's time to change something so I do.

Feb 25, 2023 05:59 AM
Steve Penner

Being mindful.. can really help in this area.  Thanks for the commnent.


Mar 01, 2023 06:58 AM
Dr. Paula McDonald
Beam & Branch Realty - Granbury, TX
Granbury, TX 936-203-0279

Keeping your life in balance is key. This applies to all aspects of our life too.

Feb 25, 2023 10:34 AM
Diana Dahlberg
1 Month Realty - Pleasant Prairie, WI
Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563

Balance is necessary to keep from the toxic lifestyle of productivity.  Like others have stated, I work hard -- no matter how long until I have accomplished necessary tasks -- and when I have a moment or two or three of rest -- I REST!  

But for me, starting everyday thanking the Lord for another day and taking time for some devotions has helped me keep my senses ... and taking even a very small coffee break or whatever I need has been my way of holding off burn-out and stress!  Everyone needs to STOP and smell the Roses!

Feb 25, 2023 02:24 PM
Steve Penner

Amen! A good start to the day really can help set the tone. Took me to long to learn that lesson.



Mar 01, 2023 06:58 AM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Productivity it’s own sake kind of robs you of the fun of doing something, whatever it may be….

Feb 25, 2023 08:49 PM
Steve Penner

Good point! Thanks for the comment.


Mar 01, 2023 06:57 AM
Hannah Williams
HomeStarr Realty - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-820-3376

Steve Penner I learned this lesson many years ago - this is great advice. Glad Carol Williams Featured this post 

Feb 26, 2023 10:10 AM
Steve Penner

Greaful for the feature, thanks for mentioning it. Have a great day.


Mar 01, 2023 07:00 AM
Lyn Sims
Schaumburg, IL
Real Estate Broker Retired

Great reminder that you have to have balance.

Mar 01, 2023 06:41 AM
Steve Penner

thanks Lyn.  Yes, reminders can be good. 


Mar 01, 2023 06:57 AM
Greg Mona
Hague Partners/72SOLDHUB - Scottsdale, AZ
Professional Real Estate Representation for YOU!

Hi Steve. Thanks for the thought provoking post. I believe in our industry this is a universal issue for most of us. While we need to “make hay when the sun shines”, we also have to remember to “stop and smell the roses” sometimes, too. Those old sayings were created for a reason

Mar 01, 2023 07:27 AM
Steve Penner

Yes no doubt there are times needed to "make hay" and I hear you that it is not always possible to have each day or even a week or month in balance. Good comments! 


Mar 01, 2023 07:31 AM
Cara Marcelle Mancuso
Golden Girls with SW Desert Homes - Tucson, AZ
Call a Marana neighbor, I'm THERE!

Great post.  My husband puts up with the ebb and flow, so long as we take our together time seriously.  The frantic busy-ness allows us our lifestyle, and so we must learn to make our time together count.

Mar 02, 2023 08:04 AM