Quality Is Exhausting

That dog-tired feeling that’s following you around may be about more than the hours you’re putting in. We measure our workload in quantity, and it is certainly true that early mornings and late nights take it out of you. But there’s a fatigue that comes from the quality of work you’re doing, too, and by quality I don’t just mean how good it is.

Work that aims for impact has to stretch our capabilities and deepen our knowledge base. Learning new information and skills, synthesizing novel insights and applying them in unproven ways: these are qualities of work that is exhausting, whether it takes up 60 hours a week or 20.

The good news is the insights and skills won’t always be new. Once you’ve got them, they’re yours to deploy, and deployment is easier than acquisition by far.

The better news is there’s always more to learn. Nobody is keeping you from straining after better all the time.

Is your fatigue due to the quantity of your workload or the quality?

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