November 26

Peaks and Troughs

At times, it seems like you are on fire, have plenty of energy, and could go on at your current pace forever. Then you inexplicably hit a wall, and your output suddenly changes. You are in a trough with no clear expla- nation why.

When you have high expectations, it’s tempting to believe that the solution to consistently impressive productivity is to remove the troughs so that you have no “off ” moments. However, by removing the troughs, you also inadvertently limit the peaks. You force yourself into a very narrow bandwidth of productivity that is predictable but also stale.

To be effective, you must embrace the rhythmic nature of the cre- ative process. The peaks are inexplicably linked to the troughs. There must be downtime to accompany your frenetic uptime. Every hill you climb means an eventual valley to endure.

The key is to not resent the troughs but to instead recognize them as seasons when your creative process has gone underground for a while. Use those trough moments to learn, to look for new opportunities, and to rest.

The creative process has peaks and troughs. Instead of resent- ing the troughs, learn from them and leverage them to look for new opportunities.


Are you in a creative peak or trough right now? What does that mean for you?

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