In a past life, I was a distance runner. Any distance runner will tell you that it’s extremely important to pace yourself. It’s easy to go too fast at the beginning of a long run because you’ve got all this energy, but you know you won’t feel so energetic after a few miles, so you have to find a pace that is sustainable for the entire run. Common sense!
So why do we often forget this logical approach in other aspects of life? I see it all the time. People exhausted from juggling too many things at once, burnt out in their careers, feeling like there aren’t enough hours in a day, having trouble getting out of bed in the morning. I think almost everyone feels like this at some point. I’m actually one of the worst perpetrators because I tend to have too much drive for my own good.
But in my experience, if it feels hard to keep going, it usually means I’m going too fast. I try to remind myself that my career is a marathon, big development projects are marathons (I actually don’t love that scrum uses the term “sprints”), my marriage and friendships are marathons, remodeling my house room by room (while living in it) is a marathon… Life is a marathon! You’ll never hit your goal time if you sprint the whole thing. You may not even finish. Or, instead of enjoying your runner’s high, you make just puke.