If you are driven to succeed, I am sure that you work as hard as you can every day, trying to give 100 % to everything you do. The question I have about this philosophy, where you give 100 % every day and work until you can't anymore, is that, without time to recover, our bodies gradually break down. Those of you that go to gym will know exactly what I am talking about. If you push yourself every day, working to your max, never taking a day off to rest and recover. You begin to see a gradual decline in your performance. You seem to be weaker every day, unable to sustain your peak performance. How is that possible, you give your max every day, working as hard as you can and yet you just seem to go backwards? The simple answer to this very complex question is that our bodies cannot operate at max for prolonged periods, without sufficient time to rest and recover.
The same is true about the way we work every day. You cannot sustain an effort where you work at your max every minute of every day, never allowing yourself time to recover and rejuvenate. Unless you give yourself permission to slow down for short periods of rest during the day and you take at least one day off a week, your performance and productivity will gradually decline. The other workaholics out there will be frowning at this and will be saying things like "Rest should be a necessity and never an objective".
I can tell you without a shadow of doubt that, since I have started to follow the advice of my success coach and I rest for short periods during the day and I force myself to take a minimum of one day off a week. I have not only seen a massive improvement in my productivity, but I feel far more rested too, which means my brain is better able to innovate and come with new creative ideas and concepts. There is of course one further benefit, which shows up too, when you plan rest into your week. I get to spend far more time with my wife and family and do more of the things I want to do too. The most amazing thing of all though is that, by resting more, I am actually getting more done every week.
By giving yourself permission to slow down and rest frequently during the week. You are re-energising and renewing yourself and avoiding the inevitable burnout, which comes when you try to constantly push yourself at your max every day. The more rested you are, the more inspired you feel and the more productive you will be every day.
Action Idea: Break your week up into three different types of days:
Work Days: These are days when you focus 80 % of your time and energy on doing all the things you need to do to perform your work related tasks. 10 % of your day is invested into working on your future. This time is invested into goal specific activities, which will help you to create the future you have dreamed about. 10 % of the day is spent in planned rest. These are planned rest periods during the day, where you go to gym, walk away from your desk etc. You give yourself permission to rest and recover, clearing your mind of all work related stress and issues. It is amazing how refreshed you feel after only a ten minute rest.
Focus Days: These are planned days in which you spend 80 % of your day focused on creating the future you dream about. You invest 80 % of your day into carrying out goal specific activities. 10 % of your day is invested into work related issues and the remaining 10 % of the day is invested into planned rest.
Rest Days: These are arguably the most important days in your week. They must be for a minimum of 24 hours each week. During this time you must give yourself permission to switch off completely and just rest and recover. I am astounded at how much work I get done after a rest day. I seem to be completely refreshed and revitalised.
How you choose to allocate these days in your week is really up to you and your specific circumstances. The norm when people start out with this strategy is to introduce five work days, one focus day and one rest day. Planned rest is one of the best ways to add many productive hours to your busy week. At first, when I reluctantly introduced rest into my schedule. I felt guilty and like I was shirking my responsibility. I protested that I was too busy to rest and that it would just be a waste of my valuable time.
My success coach and wife know me well. There was no way I was going to introduce planned rest into my hectically busy schedule without some sort of enticement on their part. Knowing that I seldom refuse a challenge, they put one to me, saying that if I could prove them wrong, they would never mention the rest issue to me ever again. Determined to prove them both wrong, I sat one Sunday afternoon and planned my week, with rest periods planned into my schedule. After the first day went so well, I thought it was just an accident that I got to the end of the day, having got so much done, yet feeling more rested and alive than I normally did? By the end of the first week I was a complete convert. Who would have thought that by resting more, you would actually get more done?