Rest – Why You Get More Done When You Work Less

When asked what I enjoy, what I want to do when I retire, I often simply answer ‘work’.

I love creating, doing, accomplishing, growing, learning, helping. When I reach a goal, I don’t pause for celebration, I’m motivated to get on with the next fun project. Not surprising that rest is something I have had a tumultuous relationship with.

A few years ago we had purchased a seven night, eight day, stay at a new resort on the Mayan Peninsula for just $400. Yes, that’s right, $400. (Most inexpensive vacation ever!) We were excited and chose wintertime to go.

  1. Come January and February we both need some Vitamin D.
  2. It’s a slow time with our business.

Off we went.

By day three I was going stir crazy!! I literally started to panic. My poor husband. Here we were on vacation, I was counting the days to return home, and he’s attempting to unplug and enjoy the sun and sand. He probably wanted to drug me.

I recall thinking, “Oh my goodness, this is only day THREE!! I’ve got five more days of this!” I’m certain my eyes were bugged out. The days seemed to drag on forever. I was wound tighter than a spring. Finally, something clicked.

I relaxed on day four.

I could get the hang of this vacation thing.

Day five rolled around and I thought, “Oh no, I’ve only got three more days!”

What a basket case. I’m surprised we’re still married. Good thing he’s patient.

At this point you’re thinking either I’m a whack job or we were separated at birth.

Business was growing, no time ever felt like a good time to be gone and hire extra staff to cover, I loved what I was doing, there was always more work to be done, and, I felt guilty not working and taking vacation.

I’m starting to better learn the importance of rest, especially for creatives, people with intense jobs, and Type A’s.

Best book I’ve read so far on the subject:

Rest, why you get more done when you work less, by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang

  • Work and Rest are Partners
  • Rest is Active
  • Rest is a Skill
  • Deliberate rest stimulates and sustains creativity

The above four points are taken directly from the Introduction of the book. I was a bit skeptical.

  • How can work and rest be partners? They seem opposite to me.
  • Rest is not active. Rest is doing nothing. (I thought.)
  • Skill? What’s skillful about laying on the couch?
  • Ok, maybe I get this one a little.

After reading I have a new perspective.

Now I see why I craved an intense workout when work was its most stressful.
I understand the hubs ability to push his body so hard training for the Iron Man while working a very busy job.
Heck, I even understand my need for a ten-minute nap.

You might be surprised by the mega accomplished people in this book and the shockingly similar schedules they kept (or keep).

Last week’s blog was about getting away and planning. Nab this book either from this link or your local bookstore and take it with you on your retreat. I have a feeling you’ll like it.


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