If you are intrigued by the title of this article and are reading on to find out more, chances are, you have heard of FOMO!

FOMO stands for "fear of missing out" and is a type of social anxiety. It is the fear that stems from the fact that others might be doing interesting and fun things while you are not present. 

While COVID-19 has changed the course of life all across the globe and cancelled many things, FOMO continues to exist, especially in the form of productivity FOMO. 

Productivity FOMO can be defined as the feeling of guilt or remorse due to one’s insufficiency or unproductivity in comparison to others. To an extent, productivity FOMO has always existed. 

You may feel guilty when you see people utilizing their time more efficiently, discovering their hidden talents, creating art, or starting a new fitness routine, while you may not have been doing any of it. 

However, this FOMO has increased significantly since the beginning of the pandemic and the numerous lockdowns that ensued. Although no one is overtly telling you that you must be efficient while socially isolating, you may feel the pressure to accomplish more now that you ostensibly have more time and fewer distractions such as commuting. 

With technology making anything possible within your homes, you may also feel that this time should be utilised to scale different heights of productivity. Social media does not help either. More and more people are using online resources to stay connected to people and getting overwhelmed in the process. 

Social media is filled with stories about people learning a new skill, starting a hobby, launching a business from home, or fixing up their diet, while you may be just trying to survive the pandemic. 

Like many others, you may spend a majority of your time worrying or working and tend to envy the amount of energy others seem to have. There is a constant comparison and concern that you are not getting enough work done and that you could be more productive than you are now. 

You may not realize that people use social media as a distraction from deeply rooted stress and anxiety, and to avoid negative emotions like exhaustion and inadequacy. This distraction unconsciously becomes your main enemy and contributes to productivity FOMO. 

This fear of missing out on something can stifle productivity. As a result, you may be constantly torn between wanting to cut yourself some slack and realizing that it is okay to not be productive 24/7 in the middle of a pandemic or beating yourself up for missing out on the collective experience of increased productivity that everyone seems to be having. 

In addition to that, people and articles online are talking about how to make the most of this downtime, only adding to this feeling of guilt. 

When everyone else appears to be going above and beyond their job descriptions and thriving during these difficult times it is easy to feel that you are not doing enough. 

However, it is unhealthy to harbour such expectations of yourself while living through such tough times, and based on what you see online. 

Here are a few tips to overcome productivity FOMO:

Remember that you are not alone, either in trying to survive this pandemic or in experiencing productivity FOMO. These times will not last forever. 

Take care of your mental health as judiciously as you would for your physical health during these times. 

Disclaimer: This article is written by the Practitioner for informational and educational purposes only. The content presented on this page should not be considered as a substitute for medical expertise. Please "DO NOT SELF-MEDICATE" and seek professional help regarding any health conditions or concerns. Practo will not be responsible for any act or omission arising from the interpretation of the content present on this page.