A friend said she heard Gregg McKeown say that expecting people to be productive every minute of the day is unrealistic. You can realistically expect about 60% productivity.
Humans are pretty bad at estimating how long projects take. As I understand it, a rule of thumb in construction is to estimate the amount of time a project will take and then multiply by two. That math lines up pretty well with the Gregg McKeown idea.
That’s to say, if you believe you’re working at only 60% capacity, you’re probably close to doing everything you can (and wasting some effort by being hard on yourself). We often expect and demand far too much from ourselves and others. It’s only when we get really honest with ourselves about what we can do consistently, and plan for that, that we begin to approach what appears to be a superhuman 110%.
Getting really honest doesn’t mean getting draconian, overbearing, and unkind. It means observing what I can do and reporting on it without judgment. Seeing what my strengths are. Seeing where I could probably get more done by not attempting to do anything. And finally, doing what seems to be kryptonite for me—asking for help when I need it.