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Reevaluate your expectations

Are your expectations actually attainable or more like unattainable ideals? If your expectations are more realistic, you will have more energy to be productive.

We must alternate between times of action and times of reflection and rest. It’s just the way organisms work.

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Here’s a powerful paradox: We are often most productive when we feel it least, when we’re taking a break or relaxing or doing absolutely nothing.

Resist the urge to fill every empty moment with something — “especially if you need to be extra productive or creative for a task.”

We don’t have to rank, compare, compete.

Do not be anxiously concerned with ranking and comparisons. Instead, be concerned with doing a good job.

  • We link our behavior, our performance, our productivity, with our self-worth.
  • We also mistakenly believe that there’s actually a point where we get everything done that we want to, or should, or expect.

And we start to associate relaxing with being lazy, bad or worthle...

Reframe your life as a process of growth, not of being done.

You can celebrate your growth instead of feeling guilty for things left undone or incomplete.

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Productivity guilt

Productivity guilt is a mindset of feeling bad about not creating, achieving or working hard.

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Guilt is an informative emotion

It’s often a sign we’re not acting in accordance with our values.

The guilt of not working stems from two places: 

  • From the fact that we value working hard
  • We consider the opportunity cost of our actions whenever we’re not working

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Inspiration alone is not enough

Just as leaders who deliver only performance may do so at a cost that the organization is unwilling to bear, those who focus only on inspiration may find that they motivate the masses but are undermined by ordinary results.

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