Striving, Resting, Mending, and Maintaining
We have a love-hate relationship with striving.
We know it is necessary and that treading water works for only so long, but can also see the unseemly haste of those who rush, rush, rush to accomplish tasks of no consequence. That is why the thought of deliberately addressing a high priority is so appealing and why small acts that are done well can bring such pleasure. Making a fine cup of coffee can be as enjoyable as drinking it.
Avoiding the unnecessary is an obvious strategy. Less obvious is the wisdom of addressing those small necessary tasks that cling to us like parasites and, if unattended, bring down morale and effectiveness. Correspondence, filing, and maintenance are common culprits that can cause serious damage if neglected and they are best addressed on an incremental basis. Pretending that we will magically find a large segment of time to devote to them may have been the practice that spawned their harmful effects in the first place. In short, if too much time is given to the macro, the micro will set a trap.
We may strive and we may rest, but we also must schedule time to mend and maintain.
[Update: Along those lines, check out Cultural Offering's list of enjoyable activities.]