Illustration by Timo Kuilder.

In this mini-episode, I tackle the unsexy topic of “maintaining stuff” and explain why factoring in your ongoing commitments is the key to avoiding overwhelm.

Along the way, I share the creative process behind the launch of the Hurry Slowly podcast, breaking down how and why the program morphed from a 10-episode, hyper-crafted, narrative show to a 30-episode, interview-based show. (Short answer: Because maintaining the original format was going to eat my life!)

Key takeaways from this meditation:

  • Why you should always ask, “What will it take to maintain this?” when launching a new creative project
  • How to think about your stable of projects in terms of the percentage of time and energy you spend on each them
  • Why you should be aware of “Hofstadter’s Law” when you’re mapping out how many hours you want to devote to a project

Go Deeper

RESET, a cosmic tune-up for your workday. RESET is a new course from Hurry Slowly host Jocelyn K. Glei that shows you how to take a “heart-centered” approach to productivity that’s intentional, energizing, and inspiring. Watch the 30-second trailer at

Get Jocelyn’s brainwaves in your inbox. If you like Hurry Slowly, you’ll love this twice-monthly email highlighting new ideas about how to be more creative, productive, and resilient. Sign up at

Favorite Quotes

“If you’re trying to adopt a more sustainable workflow, keeping an eye on maintenance is crucial. And it’s crucial because we often do these maintenance tasks — like making and sending invoices or writing a weekly newsletter — on autopilot, which means that we fail to account for the time we spend on them. And so we take on new commitments as if those tasks didn’t exist. And then we find ourselves overwhelmed and overworked as a result.”


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References and some additional reading for those who want to go deeper:

Call to Action

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