I didn’t necessarily forget it or fail at it. I just bumped up against it and was reminded of it’s importance. We do not have unlimited amounts of energy and mental focus. At some point, we run out of gas and need to refuel.
When you’re trying to make a difference in your world, it is very easy to get consumed with your work and start to overdo it.
You know what I mean…
- You get excited about a project and you begin working on it every chance you get.
- You find yourself thinking about it all throughout the day.
- You get creative motivation and you spend every waking moment “producing” something.
- You get so busy working on your good idea that you neglect proper rest and exercise.
1. You have limited capacity.
None of us can do every single thing we’d like to do. We can’t watch every movie, listen to every song, read every book, write every article, visit every museum, create every video. It can’t happen.
Our options are unlimited, but our resources are not.
We have to realize this and embrace it. We have to be able to deal with the fact that there are things we can’t do. There isn’t enough time. So, we will always be managing a degree of disappointment. That’s okay. We have to learn to say no.
2. You need rest.
Rest is recharge time. It’s when we fuel up for the next leg of our journey. It’s the source from which our capacity flows.
We MUST get sufficient sleep or we will not function at our maximum capacity. If not, we will be less focused, have less energy, and be generally unpleasant. You have to figure out how much sleep you need and then work to get that amount. You can sacrifice sleep in short amounts and only suffer minor consequences. But if you make it a habit, it will catch up to you and cause significant damage.
We also need times when we’re awake, but we just STOP producing. We’re not sleeping, but we’re doing something fun to recharge our batteries. Trivia and mindless entertainment and laying around are not good for us if we do them all the time. But, in appropriate doses, it can be just what the doctor ordered!
3. You are not defined strictly by what you produce.
Some people really struggle with this. It can be very unhealthy.
You are worth more than the number of widgets you crank out! Your value is not determined strictly by the amount of work you get done in a given week. Don’t fall for the lie that you are only worth keeping around if you are in full sweat and pulling a plow.
You have to have times when you slow down, stop working, and just enjoy life. Eat something you like. Hang out with a friend or family member. Sit in silence and think about how grateful you are for the things you have.
4. You will accomplish more by working a little less.
We push forward because we really want to get things done. Then we run out of time. So we decide to work a few more hours. It’s not enough so we work an extra day. Before we know it there is no margin.
And we suffer for it.
Our bodies wear down. Our focus gets blurry. We actually accomplish the same or less than we would had we rested appropriately. Our bodies and minds seem to be designed to work best when we maintain a rhythm of rest and production.
How are you doing in this area?
What steps do you need to take to implement appropriate rest into your schedule?