The post Shawn Blanc links to is good, and you should read it, but this comment from Blanc really stood out to me:
A lot of this has to do with the (sometimes false and sometimes real) expectations that if we do not look and act incredibly frazzled our peers and supervisors will assume we are not working hard. So we are rigid on ourselves, we live with the fear of man, and we tell ourselves to stay there. Because if not, we’re clearly wasting precious time.
I know this is the way life is for a great many people, I am lucky enough that I run my own company, and my company really is just me. That means I am my own judge, no one else can tell me to work harder, or look busy. However I do share an office with two other companies and I am often told by those employees that ‘it must be nice’ referring to the fact that I never look too busy, or get too stressed out.
The fact is though, I just get my work done and don’t let it get to me. In fact it is not that I never have any work to do, rather that my end goal is not completing work so much as it is creating free time for me to do other things (like blogging). I hope that makes sense, my end goal each day is to have the free time I need to do what ever I want to do.