The idea of being hyper-productive every day might seem like a good thing, but it can actually lead to “negative work”.

Negative work is when you think you are doing great work, but actually, it’s setting you back because you lack the clarity of mind to realize that the work you are doing will not get you closer to your goals.

Often in the past, I would think, let us go for another hour just to squeeze out a bit more. While this works for when you just need to get things done, and there is a place for it. Make more widgets and put in more time. It seems to backfire doing it long term, and especially true for creative work like writing, programming and business design, where this burnout can be very pernicious. Consistency, staying open, and clarity of thought are more important for those types of work outputs than trying to excel every day.

Trying to push yourself every day can lead to “negative work.” This is a term I’ve become all too familiar with when my focus is too sharp, and I don’t pick up on periphery context. So, it’s better to come in every day and work consistently, stay relaxed, take care of your health and avoid burnout. By doing so, you can avoid “negative work” and ensure the clarity of thought to recognize that you’re on the right path.

By putting in your best effort every day and not expecting immediate results, you can make steady progress. I’ve seen it work, and it’s the premise of a whole book called “atomic habits.” It does require confidence, mindfulness and patients.