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Work Hard, Rest Hard

How much time have you already wasted today? Contrary to the majority of self-help philosophies out there, I am here to tell you one of the main reasons we are unproductive during our working hours is because we are not resting during our resting hours. We are always “on.” We don’t truly “unplug” and therefore we can never truly “plug-in.” Sound familiar? Rest is the missing element of work, and the least talked about in this space today.

In the content below, rather than detailing why rest is a critical part of your working rhythm, we are going to explain how to get better rest by identifying areas that promote rest and those that inhibit it. Most of your best rest will be directly linked to the elimination of the inhibitors below. And yes…you can thank us later.

First, here are some simple practices to promote rest:

  1. Disconnect from media, especially social media…give yourself a break from your screen!
  2. Schedule in some much-needed SILENCE. Who knew?! Meditation apps such as “HeadSpace” work wonders.
  3. Set appropriate boundaries – we’ll go into more detail about this one below.
  4. Rest according to your personality. Do you like to be alone or with others to recharge?
  5. Be one with nature! Did you know being outdoors actually has science-backed health benefits?
  6. Take your sleep seriously! Make those hours count! Your room should be like a “sleep chamber” when you are ready to get some serious zzz’s.

Rest Inhibitors and How to Avoid Them:

Distractions
Time wasters – we all know’em…YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, you name it.

Every alert on your phone, every viral video your friends send you, every minute you spend swooning over your friends new baby-in-a-pretty-headband pictures…even though you don’t even want babies yet (or is that just me?)…there are a million distractions in your life. It’s time to get serious, because they are stealing your future.

How to fix it

  • Eliminate Non-Essential Notifications
  • Utilize the “Do Not Disturb” Setting
  • Schedule Time Blocks for People and Activities
  • Put a Limit on Your Social Media or Other Non-Essential App Usage …and stick to it!
  • Delete Non-Essential Apps – Either Temporarily or Permanently
  • Make Time Wasters Difficult to Use…unplug the tv, delete YouTube off your phone, download website blocker plug-ins for your browser, etc.

Artificial Boundaries
Has anyone ever pushed your buttons? What does that even mean anyway? It means, that someone has overstepped your perceived boundaries.

Boundaries are barriers we put up in front of ourselves to guard our time, our energy, our emotions, our physical space – basically, our life. Most people don’t put up boundaries correctly when dealing with other people and too often find themselves overcommitting. Does that sound like you?  A proper boundary is a barrier with the door nob on the inside – so YOU are the one that determines when you open the door and when you close it. An improper boundary looks like a barrier with the door nob on the outside, where certain people can just open that door and walk right through without your permission. Many people react by putting up walls, but the problem with that is no one gets in and no one gets out! Putting up walls is not effective or efficient for growth, even if it provides temporary comfort.

How to fix it:

This could be an entirely separate blog post, but the main premise to become aware of is to know what your boundaries are in every situation. Then you must be aware of which side of the barrier the door handle is on, and ALWAYS make sure you are in control.

For more information on boundaries, check out The Art of Saying No by Damon Zahariades or Boundaries by Henry Cloud.

Procrastination
How much time have you already wasted today? Procrastination comes in many forms – distractions, interruptions, focusing on non-priorities, and so much more. We have all dealt with procrastination in one form or another. What if I told you this was more of a coping mechanism rather than laziness? When we are faced with difficulty, we tend to let procrastination get the best of us.

Procrastination is a snowball.

It pushes our work down the road until we reach a snowball where we are overwhelmed and under-motivated. This is what inhibits rest the most. And that is why it’s a cycle.

When you procrastinate and don’t get your work done during your “work time” you end up having to do work during “rest time.” Your “me” time. It’s time to interrupt this pattern and stop the cycle!

How to fix it:

GET CLARITY. First, become aware that you are procrastinating. Next, ask yourself what you are avoiding and why. Then, ask yourself why you should face it and what would happen if you don’t. Then, TAKE ACTION! Pick one, very small action you can take to tackle your task ahead. This can break the procrastination cycle.

For more tips on how to improve your rest, check out The Perfect Day Formula by Craig Ballantyne.