As a teacher and a learner I've been taught that it is important to be rewarded for effort over results. While we all want the best results for our efforts the outcome is something we have less control over than the effort to obtain the outcome.
I know the more I effort at something the better the chances of things turning out well. Usually when I am putting energy into something I get enough satisfaction by just doing the thing that I feel good. Sure, any rewards that come later may feel good, but the fulfillment is more in the moment when I am actually doing the thing I want to do.
Yet there are times that I don't want to do much of anything. I want to relax, read a book, do something that requires little effort on my part. But that kind of effort I increasingly find harder to value. I certainly can give myself time off and put all of my "To do" things off to the side, but day in and day out, I tend to be more focused on being "productive." Those that know me well may say it's about time. I did spend a good portion of my life efforting in those less productive but at the time more enjoyable pursuits. Now, I may be making up for lost time. I find I prefer to sit and write than sit and read. I allow myself time off each day, but it seems to be more of something I allow than I just do.
I suspect this has something to do with wanting there to be some meaning in my life. As I get closer to the end of my life I find less enjoyment in going to a movie or the beach. I still enjoy going to concerts and will watch certain sports and movies on TV, but mostly I spend my time sitting at the computer writing. I guess since I now consider myself a writer it makes sense. My time in large part is spent efforting in those things that bring value and meaning to me. I spend more time with close friends and less time with others. We each prioritize what has meaning and value for us and in a lot of ways it all boils down to doing those things that make you feel good.
Time is a limited resource and like all resources the less there is of it the more thoughtful we need to be about how to spend it.