Relax for the Same Results

Derek Sivers shares how he would go full-on, 100 percent, all-out for his bike rides, trying to beat his 43 minute mark.

But one day he decided to chill, look around, looking at dolphins and pelicans, and noticed that the time was 45 minutes.

Only two minutes more than before.

Both go the same distance, about the same time, but one leaves you exhausted, while the other, relaxed and rejuvenated.

I tend to stress out very easily. I try to minimize time and maximize effort for all my tasks, telling myself that if I finish this, I get to to this other thing I need to do, so I can do more tomorrow, the next day, the next month.

These days, I still default to stress myself out, especially when I'm in flow. When I'm 3 hours in for a coding project, and I'm facing bugs and ChatGPT isn't helping, I fail to listen to my body and work myself to exhaustion. I am incapable of tolerating unfinished tasks, especially the ones that feel really close to completion.

The lesson here is when you stress out about something, it's likely half of your effort is not effort, it's unnecessary stress that made you feel like you're at your best.

So relax for the same results, remember 80/20, put in the 20% of effort you need for optimal results, listen to your body, go take a walk when you face a bug. Don't exhaust yourself, it's not worth it.