This drivenness is deepened by what sociologists call the rapid shift from ascribed to achieved status in modern societies: the shift from sensing a givenness to who we are through family, religion, and community membership, to defining ourselves (and being defined by others) in terms of what we produce through whatever individual way of life this production of self and things may involve. Today we could also include what we consume as part of our identity: our consumption of education, material goods, public events, mass media, etc. Such consumptive activity can involve as much drivenness as our productivity.
This individualized way of life, even during leisure time, produces enormous pressure on us. When it becomes too much we are tempted to collapse into some form of oblivion: sleep, drink, drugs, television, or whatever else might numb our self-production for a while.