Hustle Harder: The Vicious Cycle Of Productivity

The topic of optimizing productivity continues to be a pervasive point of discussion; but why does it feel like everything we’re doing still isn’t enough? Well, for all the moneymakers out there, you might be surprised to hear that our productivity has increased nearly 400% since 1950, while wages have remained virtually stagnant. Just look at the data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. If today’s expectation is that we do more and more for less and less, at what point do we see people break?

Professional moms feel the brunt of this burden the most—sacrificing (happiness, commitments, relationships), just to stay afloat. Pair that with the cultural pressures and stigma of being a working mom (only 21% of adults say the trend toward more mothers of young children outside the home has been good for society) and you have women who give up on their dreams and stop reaching for opportunities.

As consumers look to streamline their day-to-day to-do lists, these tradeoffs and compromises become the norm. The myth of about “having it all,” is just that. A myth. But we continue to chase after these unrealistic dreams.

According to a new study from Harvard, investing in timesaving expenses (cleaning, gardening, cooking) can boost our overall long-term happiness. However, the default we choose more often is to try and save those dollars. Why? It’s easier to see and feel the pain of that immediate monetary expense vs. our own happiness. Isn’t that sad?

Implication: Perhaps the simplest thing a brand could do to ease this growing pain point for consumers is to focus its efforts on providing more (genuine) convenience-based experiences.