The assembly-line mindset is a natural defense mechanism for the work we're asked to do all day.
One more form to fill out. Six more articles to write. Yet another soundcheck for yet another band playing at the venue where you work. You know there were hundreds before, there's one now, and there will be another soon, perhaps in just a few minutes.
So you sit down to remaster a classic album and you can't help but phone it in. There's another around the corner. You sit down to write another blog post and perhaps you cut yourself a little slack, because another one is due soon. This sales call? Don't worry so much, the call list is endless…
You might have already guessed the problems (there are at least two.) The first is that this is no way to do your work, your art, your chosen craft. Averaging the work down, achieving the least, getting it done–that's no way to spend your day. You deserve more than that.
The other problem is that you have competition. And for them, perhaps even this time, it's not just another in a long line of tasks. It's the one. The one that matters. The competition will bring more to the table than you do, and you suffer.
Perhaps the alternative is instead of thinking, "next!", we can think, "last!"
This might be the last time I get to do this.
If I do it that way, it increases the chances that it won't.