When reading the book The Rest of God by March Buchanan, I deeply related to his thoughts about the ways in which become our own taskmasters.
Taskmasters are employed to keep track of slaves, to make sure they are constantly working and not taking breaks. As an ambitious and results-oriented person it is easy to set lofty goals for myself of what I can and want to get done in only one day. When I inevitably don't accomplish as much as the version of me in my head thought she could, I'm left disappointed and begin a cycle of negative motivation to get more done.
When we let all of the possible things that need to get done in life, relationships, work, and our dreams pile on to our mental to-do list, it weighs on our emotional capacity to get things done. These areas are constantly in motion for everyone, but when you add trying to master a new career path or starting a new business well, it's no wonder we become overwhelmingly busy.
To be productive without driving myself insane
I've been trying to limit myself to one major "to-do" or milestone per area of my life, per day. This way, my day is full of the beautiful things that make my life rich, but not jampacked with any one thing. This is one of several strategies I've employed over the past year to give my life some healthy amounts of order and definition.
I want to set the expectation for myself and others that I am only human. So I won't commit to doing the absolute most, not even in my head. Over-committing leaves no room for interruption or opportunity and I've found that it motivates the smug self importance that accompanies "busy people." The moment that we become content to be busy, we lose something of the reason why we were called to create in the first place. Have a full life, not a busy one that makes you lose your purpose in the hustle and grind.