Pulling out all the stops. At least sometimes


I have exciting news to share! I sold the rights for my book to HarperCollins in the UK and the US, and to publishers in Germany, Finland, China, Spain, and Israel. That means that GRIP will soon be available far and wide.

This was quite the process, but I’m super happy with the outcome and can’t wait to share the translation. Publication is slated for 2022. Thank you for sticking around and cheering me on along the way. As soon as I know more I’ll let you know.

Of course not every workday brings exciting news or thrilling work. Doing some things we’re not all that excited about comes with the territory.

In an earlier issue, I covered the art of doing the work (even when you don’t feel like it), for those times when you lack inspiration and need to fall back on willpower. Or check my newsletter on good old fashioned hard work. As far as I’m concerned, putting your head down from time to time and powering through that long list of to-dos is nothing less than a superpower.

But when you do things for an extended period that take more energy than they give you, there’s always a risk of burnout. That’s why we’re continually told to be on the lookout for the kind of stress that can wipe you out. You’re encouraged to watch your work pace and your stress levels and to organize your work so that you’ll have enough downtime to relax and recharge. And now more than ever, when many of us are working remotely and the days run together, that’s all crucial.

So far, nothing new I bet. But if we have to be urged not to overdo it, then maybe it’s also a good idea to hear every now and then about when you can pull out all the stops

Your energy level can work as a warning, signaling when you need to ease up. But it can also be a great guide for knowing when to push on.

What part of your work makes you lose track of time?

What gives you so much energy that you have trouble stopping? Here’s what to do when you strike gold.

  • Ride the wave. You never know how long your energy will stick around. If you’re fired up, don’t be afraid to throw your schedule out the window to get the most out of it. A strict schedule isn’t a problem in this case, it can actually be a big help for finding as much time as possible to ride the wave and to regroup. 

  • Break down the not-so-fun things into little chunks and tackle them first. Even during a wave of inspiration, there are thankless tasks that still need doing. Take everything you can’t scrap entirely and sprinkle it over your workweek. Take care of it in short blocks, preferably at the start of the workday. After that, you’ve got your hands free.  

  • Let go of strict limits to your workdays. Coordinate with the home front, of course, but don’t be afraid to work more than “normal” at times. My wife Joàn always senses when my work is giving me energy, and when it’s draining me and I’m doing too much. Sometimes I hit the brakes, other times I choose to make more room for work. Experiment!

I get that this is a huge luxury – not everyone has the freedom to choose what to work on and when. At the same time, this past year has given us more room than ever before to build our own workweek. And we’ve had to put a lot of effort into boundaries and limits and structure. I hope this works as a reminder to – every once in a while – give the opposite a try.

Have a good week,