May 4

Writer Ernest Hemingway’s work life was decidedly ordered and very serious. One of his practical habits was to never quit his work having exhausted himself on its subject. Or in his own words, “Always stop while you are going good and don’t think about it or worry about it until you start to write the next day. That way your subconscious will work on it all the time. But if you think about it consciously or worry about it you will kill it and your brain will be tired before you start.”

Completely spending yourself on a project every day may feel like a badge of honor, but then you have to gear yourself up during the next work session and do it all over again. You’re tired, spent, and empty of energy after spending everything you have only the day before. (Who wants to run a marathon on two consecutive days?)

It’s best to consider ending each work session knowing exactly where you’re going to pick up the next day, while you still have energy for the idea you’re pursuing. If you work until you’re stuck or completely spent, you may struggle to reengage during your next work session.

Don’t work until you’re exhausted. Stop while you still have energy for the work.


How will you know when it’s time to quit work for the day?

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