I’ve come to learn recently that what I thought was one of my biggest strengths is actually one of my biggest weaknesses. I’ve dubbed this my “Superman” mode, where I’m able to be hyper productive, fix problems rapidly and can juggle multiple tasks simultaneously.

I used to love this mode. I thought it was the best version of me, the one that helped me achieve and excel at anything I did.

The problem is that Superman mode comes at a cost. I’m able to activate it for a very brief period, and once it runs out, I don’t go back to “normal”. Instead, I end up in a burn out state for a day or two.

I imagine it as putting all the available wood on a fire at the same time. It may make one hell of a flame and warm things up quickly. However, it burns through the wood much more rapidly than anticipated and then you’re left with no fire and no warmth.

I used to think the solution was to have more Superman mode… if I could just get it started again then everything would be fine. However, I failed to realize that there is a finite amount of psychological fuel available to us and once that’s finished it takes a while to build up.

So my new solution is to use Superman mode less frequently, not more. On a day to day basis I aim to keep a steady burn, just enough to keep things warm.

And then, when I need Superman mode (like tonight, as my marking deadline is tomorrow) I can activate it for a brief period to get the job done.

Image is from September when my dad and I ran our first full marathon together. He hurt his knee so I helped him hobble over the line

Update: marking is finished!!!!!!

Ps: a great song to listen to that fits this post is Superman by Five For Fighting. Check it out