Obsession is a sprint, life is a marathon

September 27, 2020

I have a little quirk.

When I start working on something like a task, project, anything, I tend to get obsessed and completely immerse myself into it until the objective is met.

It could be as random as when I first discovered intermittent fasting and decided I should try it, I spent the next few days absorbing as much information out there in the form of blogs, podcasts, research papers until I felt like I knew enough about the subject.

If I start reading a book and I’m into it, I find it hard to put it down until I’ve read the entire thing and satisfied my curiosity. In a day.

The same thing happens when I watch a TV show that I start to get into. I have to finish all 7 seasons and find out the whole story (hence I stopped watching old TV shows that are more than 2 seasons). In a week if possible.

I started working on a new landing page for DelightChat (dropping next week), which I worked on obsessively until the page was ready. 

I literally didn’t get up all day from my chair (okay I did get up, but you get the point) from 8am to 8pm one of the days. I couldn’t sleep that night because I kept thinking of variations to try.

Marathon, not a sprint

My obsession zone is a mix of flow state and I-can’t-switch-my-brain-off-even-for-a-second state.

Over the years, I have discovered that while obsession is great and it’s totally how I get into something new that I’m excited about, my little quirk often pushes me towards burn out. 

Completely plugged in throughout the day, no rest or break, incomplete sleep. The works. 

I’m a fan of hard work, but as I’ve grown older I’ve understood the importance of life being a marathon, not a sprint.

Younger me didn't understand the value of weekends. Older me knows that running at maximum speed is great and super useful to cover short distances quickly, but it’s not optimised for crossing long distances. 

For me, I know I have to follow the approach that takes me furthest. Because I’m in it for the long haul.

Just as rest days are important for an athlete to recover, it’s important for all humans in all every other profession as well.

Even though I want to work today (Sunday) and complete another small aspect of DelightChat’s big plans, I won’t.

I'm gonna take the rest of the day off (after finishing this post, ha).

Because I'm running a marathon. And today is my rest day.

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