As many are expected to keep working remotely into the new year, the pressure to always be productive is always on, especially at a time when remote workers aren't able to divide their personal lives from their work lives as they might have been able to before the pandemic.
In her talk on burnout, digital anthropologist Rahaf Harfoush considers the negative impact that the obsession with productivity can have on creativity—which ultimately makes people less productive and more unhappy. She says that by linking our identities to productivity, we end trying to maintain a constant output that makes it more difficult for the brain to be creative. As Harfoush explains, we need downtime to allow our brains to recover so that we can truly function at our best. By allowing ourselves to stop working, we can improve how we work and maintain a less stressful lifestyle. She says in order to fight the need to constantly "hustle," we need to understand where we derived our understanding of success, and redesign out workdays around when we have more time to be creative.