Celebrate Reasonable Effort

Day 149 Week 22 Q2 Tuesday, May 28, 2024

As a creative outlier, sometimes I feel the need to put forth an extraordinary amount of effort to get something done. Perhaps it’s the adrenaline rush. Or maybe it is the deadline that is either real or artificial. But extraordinary amounts of effort are not sustainable. You have to learn to celebrate reasonable levels of effort. The level of effort that you can keep doing day and day out for years. Because it is going to take years to get anything worth doing done, and if you were trying to break it up into small salami slices, would you procrastinate and then put for the burst of energy to overcome the guilt associated with not doing what you need to do or to get the adrenaline rush?

What if half the day has gone by, and you have already gotten many things done? Do you feel the effort to do it again for the second half of the day is justifiable? Or can you celebrate that you got a lot done and simply be happy with that?  What is the thing that you’ve got done in the first half of the day? Something that you have been wanting to get done for a long time and have finally broken through and completed? The delays may have had nothing to do with you. Often they don’t. In fact, when you are creating content and you have clients, most of the delays are not due to you.

Can you actually give yourself a break and say wow, that really feels good to have that done, and take a nap or have a snack or call a friend, or just sit and stare into space to enjoy the reduction in the pressure that you have been carrying for a long time?  Do not underestimate the amount of pressure that accumulates over long periods to get things done, which may not be able to be completed at that point in time. And when the damn breaks and the effort flow to get it done, be very happy with those reasonable efforts and celebrate them.

If the only thing you celebrate is a nonlinear effort to deliver what could be achieved linearly because you like the psychological up-and-down, you might want to rethink this. Yes, I know this is an old story about the tortoise and the hare. But just because it’s old doesn’t mean that you believe it or have ever believed it. Well, what I am saying here is to accept it and celebrate reasonable levels of effort because they are the ones that achieve the nonlinear results.

They do this because they are sustainable, and if you are involved in something that is not sustainable, then you have to stop, and that is even more frustrating for a longer period of time than the joy you get from the adrenaline rush hit.