Most of us are always trying to do more. Fit more in the day. Accomplish more. But maybe, sometimes, we need to do less in order to do more.
Rest often gets a bad reputation in our society, especially for high performance professionals. We see the social media posts about full days, endless hours, and leveling up all the time. But in reality, that’s the quick road to burnout. Rest is essential.
Here are some ideas on how to get more rest in your routine:
Start an early morning routine – feeling more productive first thing and creating structure in your routine, may help you really rest when you need to.
Go for a walk – rest doesn’t have to be sleep! Get away from your devices, feel the sun on your skin, and get some fresh air.
Take a nap – naps don’t mean you’re lazy! Even a short nap can do wonders in recharging your batteries.
Stop working at the right time – set a time you’re going to stop working every day and stick to it. Close the computer and walk away. Working long hours typically actually leads to less productive work and more burn out.
Sleep – of course! Let your body have the time to recharge and reset.
Maybe you’re thinking, “But I have SO much to do. I cannot afford to work any less than I am.” To that I ask you, what systems and programs do you use or could use to alleviate some of that work?
Calendar blocking – do you block out your time? It sounds so simple, and it really is, but take the time to block out your calendar. I would even start with the non-work related things you want to do, first. Want to make sure you take the Zumba classes? Want to make sure you read for 15-minutes a day? Block those things out first. Then fill in your days. On the outside it may look overwhelming to someone else, but knowing when and where you need to be will help you get out of that overwhelm.
Tomato Timer – this simple, free online timer will help you take periods of rest. There is a tab for 25-minutes of work, a tab for a short break of 5-minutes, and a tab for a long break of 10-minutes. From there, create a system that works for you. Maybe you do 1 period of work, a short break, 1 period of work, a long break – or something to that affect. But no back-to-back periods of work! See how you feel with even these short breaks in between to stand up, stretch, and reset!
Hire an assistant (or two!) – recognizing the tasks we cannot do well or just don’t want to do is so important. Make a list of those tasks and then hire someone else to do them. First, you’re letting other people thrive in their zone(s) of genius. Second, you’re freeing up time for yourself to do the things you love doing and to rest more.