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By the author of What School Should Have Taught You and The Prepper’s Guide to Post-Disaster Communications.
Human beings are not hummingbirds. We’re not created with the ability to go 6000mph 24/7. We need time to rest, time to recharge. It’s for this reason that one of the most productive things that you can do is take a break.
Colette recently wrote about some vital ways to avoid burnout in your own life. If you get hit with burnout, you don’t have the energy or the will to do anything. How do you think your productivity will be then? I’ll help you answer that: it won’t exist.
Resting a day a week protects your health.
Did you know that research has shown that people who work outside the scope of the normal work week actually have higher risks of mental health issues? Not only do you need a break throughout the course of the year (e.g., vacation), but your body needs one throughout the course of the week as well.
Are you going to be able to function as well on Monday if you burn yourself out throughout the entire weekend? It doesn’t take a scientist to come to the conclusion ‘no.’ (However, if you like hearing what the scientists have to say, they’ve found that depression causes one’s productivity to self-implode.)
A rest at some point of the day can keep you recharged as well.
Personally, I’ve found that I have to cut myself off from work at a particular time each day. If I don’t, I’ll be fine for a few days, but if that trend of working non-stop from sunup to sundown continues much longer, I get to where I’m irritable. I don’t want to be that way.
That’s why I typically try to ensure that I leave work alone after my cut-off hour. I end up waking the next day with more energy, I end up with (what I think) are better ideas than I would have had otherwise, and I end up being more pleasant as well.
I mean, I’m already a ray of sunshine as it is, but that just makes it even better (I’m kidding, I’m kidding).
I’m not alone in thinking this. Some studies have even pointed to the importance of a daily nap in boosting productivity. While I don’t have the time to take a nap every single day (a pipedream), I do think there are some days where that’s really the best option for you.
If you need to take a nap, you need to take a nap. I highly recommend reading Why We Sleep for more depth on the subject of how sleep can improve your health, well-being, and productivity.
And contrary to what somebody once told me, an occasional nap isn’t running away from your problems. Instead, it’s a great way to give you the energy to be better able to tackle them with both fists flying when you wake up.
Vacations boost your productivity.
You may balk at the idea of taking off a week or more from work and your regular responsibilities. But research shows that people who take vacations are actually more productive workers than those who do not.
What is a vacation? A huge break.
And though it may seem something of a paradox, by taking one, even if just for a day or two and even if you just spend it at home on a staycation, you can give your body the ability to recharge, making you more productive when you get back to work.
Human beings need rest.
You are not superman. As cool as that would be, you’re not. You’re a human being, just like all the rest of us, and humans are built with the need for regular rest. You are not the exception to the rule, and you’ll only get yourself into trouble by acting as such.
Sure, there are times when you really have to buckle up and prepare for the long haul during certain seasons of life. There are times that you have to do what you have to do.
But this isn’t the way that you can live your life day in and day out without there being repercussions on how you treat your friends and family, how productive you are on a daily basis, and how happy you are.
So let this be the extra urge you need to take care of yourself. You are important, and you’ve got people who both need and love you. Getting your rest is one of the ways that you can help to ensure that you are there for them. Providing for and taking care of those you love doesn’t have to be a full-throttle affair all the time.
But, hey, what are your thoughts? Are there other advantages to regular rest you’ve found? How do you incorporate it into your own life? Let us know what you’re thinking in the comment section below.
Aden Tate is a regular contributor to TheOrganicPrepper.com and TheFrugalite.com. Aden runs a micro-farm where he raises dairy goats, a pig, honeybees, meat chickens, laying chickens, tomatoes, mushrooms, and greens. Aden has four published books, What School Should Have Taught You, The Faithful Prepper, An Arm and a Leg, The Prepper’s Guide to Post-Disaster Communications, and Zombie Choices. You can find his podcast The Last American on Preppers’ Broadcasting Network.
1 thought on “Sometimes, The Most Productive Thing You Can Do Is Rest”
We are big fans of napping – usually a 30 minute rest-my-eyes during the work week (I get an hour for lunch). Weekend naps are usually longer for me. Your brain as well as your body needs rest so I do my best to let it do so.
I’ve also found that thinking before doing is productive, especially when it comes to organizing a room/area. Prevents me from moving things more than once as well as determining where item(s) that aren’t going to stay in that room/area can go.
You’re spot on that humans cannot go full bore. And as one gets older, one needs to work even smarter than harder.