I think a key to a productive life is simply to not to ever slow down. It really could work--just never stop for a rest, simply move from one tough task to the next. The question is, are we then reduced to the status of automatons? I've just finished grading literally hundreds of student essays. (Okay, it was actually about 40, but you get the idea!) My immediate inclination is to sit down on my comfortable green couch, uncork a bottle of cheap wine, and channel-surf my way into oblivion.
On the other hand, attractive as a persistent vegetative state may seem right now, in six months I would be knocking myself for having achieved nothing. I find myself thinking that platitude to which I was first introduced reading the "Thomas the Tank Engine" books to my son: "a change is as good as a rest." That's a pretty believable lie! A truer statement: "a rest is as good as a rest!"
Boy, reading over what I've just read, I can think of only one thing to add: Welcome to my aphorism hell.