I recently finished listening to an interview with Tim Ferriss and Daniel Ek, the CEO of Spotify. One key point Daniel discussed was to find the balance between activities that give and take energy. Sometimes, we have to do things we don’t want to. But to avoid crashing and burning, we should also find things that re-energize us.
Optimizing for the long-term is critical for success. And typically, short-term pain is what provides those second-order benefits. However, if that means you don’t enjoy your daily life, you’ll likely burnout. It’s like charging a battery. You can overuse your phone until it dies, but then you have to wait for it to power back up again. Alternatively, you can recharge it at 50% without ever having to wait for it to start back up.
These activities will make your workdays sustainable, but not all activities are created equal. Watching Tik Tok and Youtube may be enjoyable, but at least in my experience, they don’t bring me energy. There’s a difference between enjoyable & high-energy activities. Carve out time for the latter ones, like reading, socializing, exercising, or whatever else you love to do.
This also doesn’t need to be a 50-50 balance, as long as it’s enough to sustain your optimism throughout the day. When you’re positive & energized, you will be more productive with fewer hours available, even if it doesn't feel like it in the moment.
Which things give you energy?