Productivity and Burn Out

Working from home

By Emily Rangel, CHHS Intern for NPC

In this blog, we are going to discuss the ideas and opinions I had while reading. “We need to talk about our toxic obsession with productivity” by Vu READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE.

I read this article and I have never related to something more. As a college student who works and also interns, I have an unhealthy relationship with productivity. Since the Pandemic has started, my Bedroom has become my classroom, study hall, and internship site. The few times I do leave the house are to go to work. However, when I’m home, I find myself always doing work, trying to stay productive.  While this is great for staying on top of all my assignments and tasks, it has turned my home into a place where I can no longer relax. I have to leave my home to relax and not be tempted to turn on my computer and work ( also it doesn’t help that there is not much to do when I leave my home).

Vu’s first point is, “We’re reinforcing unrealistic expectations: The more meetings we attend, the more stuff we do off-hours, the more projects we take on, the more we reinforce this idea among one another that this pace is normal and expected.” I find myself agreeing to attend all my virtual class meetings, meetings with classmates, meetings for work, and meetings for my internship site. I now find it normal to have back-to-back meetings all in one day because it is so easy to turn on my computer and hop into a Zoom or Google Hangout. Prior to quarantining because of COVID,  we would have to take into account travel time and possibly stopping for food. If I’m hungry in between meetings, my kitchen is right outside my door. My point is that before the Zoom meeting, we could only meet with a few groups of people a day, compared to the 5+ meetings we are now having a day. Another point Vu makes in this article is, “We’re perpetuating exploitative and oppressive practices: Our sector has talked a lot about “burnout,” which does result from all of us working too much. “ Burnout! Yes, I am tired of jumping from meeting to meeting but at the same time, I feel guilty for being tired from working from home. When I used to leave my home for work and school, at least I was allowed to come home and say I was tired from a long day. How do I explain to someone that I am burned out and tired from sitting on my bed, attending meetings, and doing homework? I encourage everyone to read Vu’s articles. They are easy to read and relatable. I wanted to write this piece for anyone who stumbles upon this opinion/blog; I wanted to let the readers know that we are all feeling this fatigue from working virtually. It is 100% justifiable to feel tired without leaving your home. 



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