Think about the difference between running for miles and miles vs. training for a marathon. The distance covered may be the same, but only one activity has an end goal in mind.
This analogy applies to many professionals whom I coach; they seem to spend their days harried from running between small tasks instead of gaining satisfaction from accomplishing something big from the accumulated distance they have covered.
Running a marathon is an intentional act; you know it will cause discomfort, but you choose to do it anyway for both the intrinsic and external benefits it provides. The trick is to frame your professional work as running a marathon, finding a common thread and an overarching purpose to guide the smaller steps that consume your day.
Crafting your own finish line can allow you to feel that it’s worth pressing through the pain to reach the end.