I used to feel guilty when I was not being "productive."
Whenever I relax and take a break, there is an urge to stop that and get back to work.
That's when I realised I was being toxic to MYSELF.
How can a mere human do his 100% all the time? Even machines need maintenance.
So here's the new mindset that I adopted:
"Work when you want to work, stop when you want to stop. But don't lie to yourself because you're doing this for yourself."
I force myself to work only when I feel motivated and excited to do it. When I can't stop thinking about an idea, I work on it – or at least I take notes of the idea.
I no longer set aside time to work; I work when I'm in the best condition to work.
And... the "best condition" may not be 100% all the time. Sometimes I can only give 20% because I am too tired after my 9-5 job. And that's ok.
The best ideas and outcomes come when I have the right balance of work, play, and rest.
To stop working when I am exhausted and feel too tired to do it. I no longer force myself to work and hustle.
I may have 100 ideas I want to work on, but if I can only work on 1, and it's not even done - I'd be happy with that.
No more targets, goals, and tasks that I need to accomplish within a day. If I manage to work on my dreams just for an hour within the week, that is good enough for me.
To be accountable and responsible for my actions. If I have been "taking a break" for too long and has not made any progress towards my goals and dreams, that means I am lying to myself.
Know when to stop and when to work. Reflect on the actions and decisions I've made, and look at where they took me.
If I am in a better place than before, it's great. I can keep the pace.
But if I am not making any progress at all and have stayed the same all this while, then I am just lying to myself. I am just being lazy.
After all, my actions and decisions affect me and my life only. The one who will enjoy and suffer is me.
So when I am postponing work, taking a break, or working towards my dream, I am mindful of myself. I am doing it for me.
Some progress is better than no progress. But taking a break is also part of the process.
You are not harming your progress just because you relax and rest. You are being mindful of yourself.
Pausing is not losing.