If you’re not careful about how busy you let yourself get, then a terrible thing happens. All of the things you do stop being things you do because you want to and start becoming things you have to get through.
This happens even to the enjoyable things. You’re thinking about the next five things you have to do, worrying about timing, not present in what you’re doing. Each thing becomes worse. The things you’re doing because they’re valuable start producing less value because you’re not effective. The things you’re doing because they’re fun start becoming less fun because you can’t enjoy them.
In turn, this starts shortening your time horizon. You look at things in short bursts because there’s always a next thing. You can’t see the future past all the fires you have to put out.
Here is the only solution: let it burn.
You can’t build a fire-prevention system while you’re inside a building that is currently on fire. All you can do at that point is fight the fire, but if you’re not gaining any ground against it, then you’ll be fighting it forever. The correct solution, far more often than we think, is to just let it burn, build anew, and do it better.