I like the metaphor used in this post of being light a lightbulb: fully one, or off. In fact, not only have I organised my working life to be like this (I can’t work at half pace, and it’s burned me out when I’ve been employed), but this is the advice I give to my kids when they play sports.
“Most people in life are dim lights, they’re on but they are not bright. Because they are trying to conserve energy. You should make a choice, you are either on or off. There is either GO time or there is relaxing time. Try to be more binary. You have more energy when it’s Go time” – Andrew “Cobra” Tate.
Naval [Ravikant] famously said: “Productivity is the Enemy of Creativity”
Rest is absolutely critical for high performance. Without it, it’s like revving your engine until it breaks or blows up. We’re in a new world now where our brains power everything. As the Doomberg crew calls it: “The Gig Economy for Brains.”
Naval again says: “Some of the most creative and productive people I have ever met work in multi-week bursts and then have weeks where they just idle with little done. It’s the nature of the human animal.”
All-in and fully energized OR quiet and at rest. There is no in between. This is a key habit for effective work in the modern day. Don’t be a dim light.