77° San Marcos
The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star




The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Opinion: Success should not be measured by constant productivity

Productivity+illustration
Productivity illustration

It is easy to become comfortable in the state of overworking yourself. With the fast-paced society we live in, productivity has been prioritized in order to achieve success. However, the issue arises whenever one’s worth is placed solely upon the level of productivity.
A study by Stanford University, revealed productivity levels declined when someone worked over 50 hours a week. In addition, the study showed that individuals who worked 55 hours a week got the same amount of work done as those working 70 hours. The increase in the amount of actual time spent working did not result in a higher payoff.
The saying “work smarter, not harder” directly applies in this scenario. The act of remaining productive for longer periods of time was not beneficial, and in fact, these individuals wasted their time.
Instead of working longer hours, they could have been using their time with friends and family or spent time enjoying a hobby. However, these individuals worked for extensive amounts of time when it was not necessary for the amount of work accomplished. Spending time with families aids in creating a stronger emotional bond between children and their parents, strengthens communication levels and tends to increase the child’s performance in school.
This can be applied to students who are forcing themselves to always remain productive. It is important to recognize success is not solely based on how much you accomplish at a time. Students that never allow themselves to take time off may be at risk of the burnout that accompanies over workers.
Job burnout is “a state of physical or emotional exhaustion that also involves a sense of reduced accomplishment and loss of personal identity.” Oftentimes, students face burnout whenever they experience ongoing stress and frustration especially when they do not have time to relax. It is important for students to acknowledge that their success is not determined by the number of tasks completed.
Students like Addison Hobbs, an English freshman, have felt intense pressure to remain productive in order to have a successful career.
“I have always felt that productivity was essential in order to be successful later in life. It has always allowed me to maintain good grades and learn better time management skills,” Hobbs said.
Productivity can be beneficial in moderation, but the problem arises when success is found in overworking oneself. It is crucial to understand the negative impacts that this kind of pressure can place on individuals.
Overworking has been directly linked to depression and anxiety. It has impacted the quality of sleep, leading to higher rates of disease and lower immunity levels. Furthermore, overworking has been associated with the inability to properly eat and drink. This could lead to severe dehydration and hypoglycemia.
All of this unnecessary stress caused by excessive productivity is negatively impacting both the physical and mental health of individuals. By taking a step back to re-center your mind and realize task completion is not a direct indication of success levels, the negative impacts of overworking can be limited.
One of the most successful men in the world, Bill Gates, wrote in his blog describing his appreciation toward meditation. After co-founding Microsoft, he claimed that meditation was a great exercise to improve his focus and used it to help him pay attention to his thoughts and distance himself from them.
Meditation has helped increase one’s self-awareness, relieve stress, increase creativity and reduced negative emotions. Taking 10 minutes out of your day a few times every week can help tremendously with the stress that accompanies the busy schedules of students. There are other activities that can help alleviate stress, such as decreasing time spent on social media, exercising, engaging with others and maintaining good nutrition.
Students are expected to keep up with workloads for multiple classes, which can be very stressful in itself. Also, students may have jobs, families to take care of and relationships to maintain. With the busy lives of students, students may easily fall into a cycle of overworking themselves. It is important to realize that productivity should not be the sole factor that indicates one’s success. Instead, success should be found in personal growth and contentedness.
– Kadence Cobb is a journalism freshman
The University Star welcomes Letters to the Editor from its readers. All submissions are reviewed and considered by the Editor-in-Chief and Opinion Editor for publication. Not all letters are guaranteed for publication.

Donate to The University Star

Your donation will support the student journalists of Texas State University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The University Star