It’s simple and inevitable: When you try to do too much in a short amount of time, you burn out. The only way to avoid that, to have a long and consistent career, is to do just enough each day.
But what is enough? To find out, let’s look to those who have it down to a formula.
When we think about the most productive people, it’s easy to assume they’re working 18-hour days and sacrificing their personal lives (and sleep) to get it all done. But that’s just not the case.
Take Stephen King, who publishes a book a year: In spite of his extraordinary output, he’s not sitting at a computer and writing all day long. In his memoir On Writing, King writes: “I like to get 10 pages a day, which amounts to 2,000 words.” …
How often did you get a good idea for a business that you never executed? I used to be the master of this. I had ideas for businesses all the time and was convinced it would be a hit. But I never actually validated my ideas.
I just said, “This idea is great!” And just moved on with my life. I never executed my ideas. You know why? I tried several things that didn’t work out. I wasted my time and money. So at some point, I got enough of that.
This is the story of many entrepreneurs. You come up with an idea, you start working on it, no one is interested, and you give up. But entrepreneurship is not something you do; it’s something you are. …
There’s this thing I noticed with people who do well in life. They are all very active and productive. Just think of any person you admire, and ask yourself, “Why do I look up to this person?”
Let me give you an example. My favorite filmmaker is Christopher Nolan. I’ve seen all his feature films (except for his latest), and they are all amazing — from the cinematography and music to the casting and acting.
The man is a master of his craft. But why is Nolan respected by so many people? It’s not because he made one or two great films. There are many great films, made by great directors. No, he’s one of the most consistent filmmakers there is — in terms of quality and output. …