As athletes become older, they develop a keen sense of pacing themselves. Roger Federer used to run out every ball, tried to make every shot. Now 37 years old, he’s careful when to go after the ball. He makes a conscious decision when to engage in a long rally.

Whether it’s Roger Federer, a marathon, a project, a speech or life: the ability to pace yourself is a marker of experience. And the key to long-term success. A good concert doesn’t go into top gear from the first second and keeps going at the same speed. You can’t turn up the volume first thing in the morning and keep it up without tiring out yourself and your environment.

A sense of urgency is important to get things done but it needs to be aligned with the ability to pace yourself and be ready for a quick burst of energy when it really matters.