My wife and I struggle with what I call productionism. It is a variation of perfectionism. It is the belief that a man’s value comes from his ability to accomplish or produce something, or that a woman’s worth is found in the amount that she can get done in a day. In other words, a good man is productive every day, while a lazy man is a lousy man. A good day for a good woman is measured in the amount of to do’s accomplished before her head hits the pillow at night.
Productionism is a little different than perfectionism because things don’t have to be done perfectly, they just need to be done efficiently. A productionist is practical and efficient, always trying to accomplish a lot in a little time.
In stressful, busy situations, productionists follow these mantras:
- When the going gets tough, the tough gets to work.
- If you feel overwhelmed, just do the next thing. You can do that much.
- If you can’t do a big thing, just do a few small things. You will feel better then.
Productionists brag to others about how much they accomplish. They make lists, check them off, and congratulate themselves. Some will even keep as trophies their old lists with all the crossed out tasks.
Being a productionist is not all bad, of course, but it’s a major problem when tasks overwhelm the ability to love others and enjoy life along the way. When tasks are more important than people, we are way off track. Unfortunately, the productionist will often choose the tasks over people, since there is more control and more pride in doing than in being. Continue reading “The Peril of Productionism”