Degenerates are degenerates because they are in some ways excitable. They enjoy stimulation and expansion into new domains. The majority of artists in all places and at all times in history have been of degenerate temperament. Degenerates, who are more prone to variations in energy than most, tend to want to focus their high-energy periods on the expansion of activities.

The expansion of your domain is inherently more stimulating than the contraction of it. The problem is that your high-energy, high-capability self (the version of you that is most prone to the execution of activities) is often incompatible with your low-energy, low-capability self. And unfortunately, it’s often the low-energy, low-capability version of you that is left to manage, maintain, and repair whatever complicated apparatus or plan the high-energy you has created.

The solution for the degenerate is not to cut off the expansion of activities that comes in high-energy periods. The solution is to be cognizant of the ongoing management costs associated with taking on additional levels of complexity. Also, since we are most capable, organizationally, in high-energy periods, it’s always best to contract existing commitments in high-energy times. A substantial fraction of high-value time, when you have energy, focus, and motivation in abundance, should be spent in contracting your activities. Conscious contraction is a worthy investment of high-energy, high-capability time.

When possible, do things in such a way that they stay done, and avoid situations where this is impossible. At all times, new activities should be carefully considered and added only when value far exceeds cost. Be especially careful about adding activities that entail an ongoing, almost never-ending commitment of time and energy. Anytime you add these things, the maintenance complexity of everything goes way up. This can apply to: social media, paid work, investment, a partnership or joint/group project, club duties, or any social understanding (a regular monthly dinner, etc.).

An error asymmetry can result when you take on (or don’t take on) additional complexity. If you choose not to take on additional complexity, you will tend to: a) do a better job on your existing projects and commitments, and b) have time and energy free if unexpected and especially compelling opportunities present themselves. You will also tend to be more relaxed. If you do choose to take on new complexity, you will tend to: a) do a slightly worse job on your existing projects and commitments, and b) be impatient, and not have the time and energy to appreciate especially compelling opportunities when they come up.