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Pause for Thought: Toxic Productivity

Taking time to rest is important

Suitable for Whole School (Sec)


To consider the idea of toxic productivity and how we can best protect our mental health during lockdown.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need to have the means available to play the video below. It is 3.20 minutes long.


Watch the following video by Dr Julie Smith.

Time for reflection

Pause and consider the points that Dr Smith made in the video. You might like to get some paper and jot down the ones that you feel particularly apply to you.

Remember to look after yourself - how can you do this today?


Take time today to listen to some relaxing music that you enjoy.

You might enjoy listening to The UK Blessing - Churches sing The Blessing over the UK’, available at: (6.46 minutes long)

Extension activities

  1. To avoid exposure to toxic productivity, have you considered switching off your devices for a period so that you can avoid the pressure of being constantly available and the messages to be productive all the time? Why not try it today and see how you feel?
  2. To remind yourself that you are enough, you could put some Post-It notes round a mirror with the words I am enough’, or create a poster with these words and put it somewhere that you can see it in your room.
  3. To make sure that youre looking after yourself, you could compile a list of the ways in which you like to relax and try to make time to do at least one of them every day. Some helpful suggestions are available at:, especially in the Make time for therapeutic activities section.
Publication date: July 2020   (Vol.22 No.7)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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