Why Slacking Off Might Be the Ultimate Performance Hack

Dr. Todd Snyder
8 min readAug 2, 2021

When You Think for a Living, Less is More

Woman and man surfing in ocean with warm sunlight

Here’s the thing most entrepreneurs don’t realize. When you live life at the extreme edge of your capacity, you significantly damage your creativity, drive, and productivity.

Existing at the limit of your capacity creates stress. Stress causes you to think small and play small in an effort to conserve energy, protect against failure, and hunker down just to survive.

You can and should use controlled sprints to expand your capacity to get things done. Just don’t let it become a marathon. If you try to constantly operate at full capacity, your mind automatically and subconsciously puts on the brakes, holding you back from your true potential.

Fortunately, there’s an antidote, and I’m going to explain that in a moment. But first I want to ensure you understand the problem.

The Problem: When Energy Lulls from Lack of Motivation

Years ago, I rented a U-Haul to lug my stuff across the country. And this particular truck had a governor installed on the gas pedal. It’s a mechanism that limits the speed you can drive (presumably a safety feature).

I got stuck behind a little white car that was going 64 mph. When I tried to temporarily budge my speed over 65 mph to pass, the governor prevented me from going even 1 mph over the speed limit of 65, forcing me to hold the pedal to the floor during the painful two minutes it took to get around that car.

As an entrepreneur, you can’t afford to have a governor slowing you down, operating in the background of your neurobiology without you even realizing it. Yet that’s exactly what happens when your mind perceives the future as a never-ending marathon ran at full capacity. Your brain begins to sabotage your efforts to expend more energy.

As a psychologist and productivity coach to entrepreneurs around the globe, many of my clients initially come to me with questions about energy, motivation, and drive. It’s not uncommon to experience an early burst of energy and success as you launch a new business, followed by a frustrating lull in motivation.

Dr. Todd Snyder

Dr. Snyder is a Psychologist and Productivity Coach working with entrepreneurs to accelerate results that matter. Learn more at ToddSnyderCoaching.com