When it comes to achieving our biggest goals, working hard often isn't enough. We need to work smart—and that means knowing when to rest, delegate, or even scrap the whole idea.

Productivity dysmorphia is when you start to feel like what you're doing isn't enough—even if you're killing it. You start thinking about all the things you could be doing, and wind up feeling like a failure because you aren't already achieving your biggest goals.

One factor that can help you decide whether it's time to move on is your level of purpose. We all have things that drive us forward—reasons why we're doing what we're doing in the first place. But sometimes, these purposes get clouded by the minutiae of daily life. It can be hard to remember our "why" when we're feeling frustrated or overwhelmed. In this blog post, we will look at 7 ways having a purpose can help combat productivity dysmorphia.

1. Purpose helps you set and prioritize the right goals

When we're feeling overwhelmed, our tendency is to go into "overcorrection" mode. If we're forever behind on our work, we decide to spend every waking hour on it. If we've never taken fitness seriously, we give up all food that isn't kale and chia seeds.

The problem with these overcorrection strategies is that you're inevitably going to fall off the wagon—and then feel even worse about yourself.

To set good goals, you need to know yourself. What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? How much time can you realistically allot to different aspects of your life?

Having a purpose can help you set realistic goals—and prioritize them, too. When you are motivated by something bigger than yourself, it's an easier decision on which goals to focus on at any given time.

Chasing a meaningful purpose also helps you stay committed once you've set a goal. When you're working toward something that's positive, you won't want to put it off or give up on it.

2. Purpose helps you take the long view

When we are feeling overwhelmed, it's easy to think that everything has to be done now. You might feel so guilty that you're not working as hard as possible that the only way to resolve that discomfort is to keep working at a breakneck pace until everything is done.

You might think that this type of guilt-driven work ethic will help you get ahead, but it can actually have the opposite effect—especially when it comes to the long term.

People who have a sense of purpose tend to be more inclined toward patience and perseverance. When you're driven by something bigger than yourself, you're able to see the big picture. You know that good things take time—and that every day of delay is only one day closer to the finish line.

3. Purpose helps you see problems as challenges

It's easy to get defensive when things go wrong or you fall short of your goals. You might start to see yourself as a failure and feel like everything you try is destined to fail.

The problem with this outlook is that it can make you afraid of failure—which makes you even less likely to try new things, and even harder on yourself when you do fail.

People who are driven by a strong purpose tend to see problems as challenges, instead. When they encounter a setback, they view it as a chance to learn and work harder.

4. Purpose can help you find support from others

When we are feeling overwhelmed, it can be easy to seek out negative feedback. If you're feeling tired or under-appreciated, it's tempting to reach out to people who will affirm your fears.

Negative feedback won't motivate you in the long run. It will only serve to make you feel worse.

The people who stay motivated and feel positive throughout their lives tend to seek out positivity and support from the people around them. They know that their happiness is shared, not just individual.

When you have a purpose that is bigger than yourself, it's easier to keep looking for positive feedback. You know that there are people out there who will be happy for you—and that good things are on their way.

5. Purpose can help you see the good in your current situation

It's easy to get stuck looking at everything that's wrong with your life. You might feel like your career is going nowhere, and like you'll never get over a breakup, and like nothing will ever change.

But this attitude can be detrimental to your long-term health. If you feel like nothing will ever change in the future, why should you work hard in the present?

It's easy to get stuck in this loop. But people who feel positive about their lives tend to see the good in their current situation. These people have a strong connection to their purpose, and it helps them appreciate everything they have while working toward bigger goals.

6. Purpose can help you keep your ego in check

The majority of people who suffer from burnout do so because they let their egos take control. You might feel like you're better than other people and that your job is beneath you, for example—and this can lead you to overwork yourself and neglect your most important relationships.

People who feel driven by a purpose tend to stay grounded—because they know that their work is part of a greater cause. They take the time to implement healthy habits into their daily routine, and they don't worry about what everyone else thinks.

Instead of focusing on their own needs, they focus on the needs of others—which helps them stay out of ego-driven traps.

7. Purpose can help you pick up the pieces when things go wrong

It's easy to lose sight of your goals when life gets in the way. You might get fired from your job, be forced to relocate or find that someone you love is suffering. And when these things happen, it's easy to feel like all your work was for nothing.

When these challenges come up, people who are driven by purpose tend to pick up the pieces and press onwards. They know that their work has greater meaning than just money or status, so they focus on what is really important to them.

They don't focus on what could have happened—after all, that won't change anything. Instead, they figure out how to bounce back and get closer to their goals than ever before.

We all experience moments of self-doubt. Most people stumble through life without a sense of purpose, trying to work themselves to the bone in order to find happiness.

When you have a purpose, it's easier to keep going in the face of struggle. If you're working towards something bigger than yourself, you don't get bogged down by your own doubts.

And if you're living your life with a purpose, there are plenty of people who will be happy for you. Those who have found their purpose and share it with the world truly can be positive, happy individuals.

Try Go Beyond's Purpose Journey to Discover Your Purpose in Life Today

Go Beyond helps professionals in all stages of their careers discover their true life purpose. 

Whether you’re a small business entrepreneur, a company owner with hundreds of employees, or an industry leader, The Purpose Journey may be able to help you and your team, discover your intrinsic motivations for working and living so that not only can you survive in your career, you can thrive in your life. 

To see if The Purpose Journey can help you discover your true life purpose, learn more about this life-changing software today. Don’t wait for opportunities to knock on your door. Understand your Purpose so you can seek out the opportunities that most fulfill you.

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