I've established a cadence to my day that takes into account when I'm most productive. I'm a morning person so I typically do thought-intensive work early in the day and schedule tasks like meetings and documentation for the afternoons. It's also been helpful to add breaks for exercise and my midday meal at predictable times. Doing this helps me to break away from the screen every 2-3 hours.
Something else to think about is that we often equate "hard" with value. I value an activity, like earning a degree, based on the amount of time and effort devoted to completing it. While there is some truth in this there is also a missing component. Namely, the efficiency you add to how a task is performed also has value. It's like a lifecycle process. How an activity is performed starts out being inefficient, but should get easier over time not because of repetition, but because you've taken the time to adapt and change how its performed to take less effort and time.
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