What is it about?

This short reflection considers the problematic aspects of associating productivity with value and product, especially in times of crisis when one cannot be expected to function at the same level as during lower-stress periods. However, the paper also examines the possibility for task-oriented productivity as a strategy to mitigate distress during crisis.

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Why is it important?

Highlighting the need to pause and reflect on societal expectations based on privileged assumptions, this article brings to light the toxicity on one's mental health, and the overall health of our communities, to buy into the equation that "productivity = worth". It also permits us to understand why, on the other hand, we may feel the need to focus our attention on tangible work and tasks when everything else in our worlds seems to be crashing down.


This reflection was written during unprecedented times in the early months of the Covid-19 pandemic. It allowed me to collect, organize, and externalize my own feelings and thoughts about the issue at hand. I hope that this article will allow those who read it to do just that: pause, reflect, question, and move forward.

Agathe de Broucker

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: ‘Be productive’: A reflection on a loaded and layered phrase, Drama Therapy Review, October 2020, Intellect,
DOI: 10.1386/dtr_00056_1.
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