To get what you need the most, rest. You have to tell the truth and sound like you are lying. My boss called me the other day and asked if I was free from 1.00-3.00pm. I told him that I was actually ‘ really busy’ at that time and I proposed another ‘free’ time on my schedule. What was I really busy doing? I was learning how to dance. If he found out, he probably should fire me. However, he probably won’t, cause it was me dancing every day for those two hours in a day that made me the most productive employee. Doesn’t make sense right? Let me take you through my journey in discovering this.
How guilty are you of the following:
- On deadline-driven week you cut down on all your breaks?
- When your weekend ends you feel like you have not rested
- You spend most of your breaks on the phone
- You get asked for meetings during your breaks and you can’t say no.
- You believe being unavailable is a bad trait.
Resting is illegal
What does everything we read online talk about? Well, it talks about fitting more into your life. Reading more. Working more. Socializing more. Think about it, reading that article about doing less to get more, feels more like doing more than doing less.
When you are having a really busy day with lots of deadlines, what do you tend to remove from your schedule? Probably that lunch break and you cut down on 2 hours of sleep. You need more time to produce more. Think about everyone who is having a deadline-driven project, they tend to be restless, anxious, and lacking sleep.
A state many of us have learned to be the state of success. Strenuous and hard. Involving lots of sacrifices and a lot less sleep. More hours is what you need. Everything that takes them away is the enemy. To be more productive is to produce more, is it not?
As the image above shows. We wake up with lots of energy. This is both mental and physical energy. Why? Since we are from our most naturally designed state of rest, sleep.
Fun Fact! Usain Bolt set the 100 metre world record after having slept for 12hours!
However, as we work we deplete this energy. The choice sadly that most of us keep making is that we keep working without breaks that replenish you.
What ends up happening is that you are doing work as your least energetic self. Meaning that you might end up spending a lot of time doing work that you could have done in a lot less time. It is like driving a car at 40km/hr when it can go at 80 km/hr.
The idea then is to treat rest like work. Yes, learn to tell your workmates that you have a meeting. Even if that meeting is getting two hours of rest after intense work. Why? If you work continuously without replenishing rest spaces, you will be a car being driven at 20km/hr for the rest of the day. Using the car analogy. If you drive at 80km/hr for 3 hours and then rest for 2 hours and then drive for another 3 hours you cover 480 km/hr. However, if you keep driving without rest you may start at a high speed of 80km/hr drop to 40km/hr, and finally, drop to 20km/hr. With a rate of decline of 10km/hr every hour, you end up covering 360km.
Imagine if this is the choice you make every day? You cover 120 kilometers more every single day. Which in monetary terms means you produce higher quality work. Hence being more valuable than all your fellow employees.
Hence when your boss asks, if you are free, even when you are resting, Say I am having a meeting right now can we schedule for this time?
How we rest on weekends
How many hours of the weekend do you spend shopping? According to global research, people spend on average 2-4 hours shopping. As you shop you are exposed to a lot of stimuli. Your mind is thinking and making decisions. Deciding what you need to buy, what you may want to buy in the future etc.
The interesting thing about this is that to your mind there is no huge difference between shopping and doing work. Why? It involves analysis, it involves decision making, and futuristic planning while at it you even learn something new.
This is the reason why candy is placed at the end of a shopping aisle. You are experiencing decision fatigue and you can no longer say no. You leave the supermarket chewing that chocolate and wondering why you feel so tired.
What can you do differently? Think about shopping and even going to church as work-like activities. This is cause they all require thinking. Then once you do that you can either chose to delegate your shopping to the Glovo or Uber app. In regards to your spirituality, you can create a habit of going to church earlier which frees up the rest of your weekend.
Then what do you do with the free time? Nature has been said to be a rejuvenating source of energy. As a result, visit your local park. Create a culture of going on picnics on your rest day. As you soak in the life of nature. The sounds. The views. Your mind takes the calm rhythm of the ecology.
When Sunday ends, you feel ready and excited to start the week!
Remember though, when someone asks you to meet on a Sunday, what do you say? I am really sorry but I am in a meeting can we schedule for the week?
What we do during lunch breaks
After two intense hours of work, your mind gets bored, you decide to check out the latest memes. Heck! It’s lunch hour, you have all the time you need. You secrete the good hormones dopamine as you scroll up and down your feed. It feels good for the first 5 minutes.
30-50 minutes later you are still online. Your lunch break is about to attend and you need to rush to eat. When you finally arrive at your desk at 2.00 pm, you are not in any form or shape excited to work. You continue with the workday like a zombie.
What you don’t know? Your mind is at work when on Social Media. Its accessing color, taking in images, and making meaning of all that is happening. To understand this even better, think about every time you resist responding to a notification as you doing a push-up. It takes your energy. This is exactly why it is difficult to sleep after being online. Your mind is revving up just like your computer does, and when you need to switch it off, you need to switch off all those programs. That takes time!
Instead of going online, learn how to meditate. If there is one thing that is the best way to rest if you have a 5-minute rest window it is to meditate. Picture your most peaceful experience ever. As you do, keep taking deep breaths. You will feel your energy levels rise up.
So when your Social Media asks you to go online during a break, tell it you have an important meeting. Your meditation practice.
You keep saying yes to work/impromptu meetings
You just got off the phone with your boss and he asked you to come in for a meeting. You were unable to say no to this request. He is the boss and you have not been performing really well. You realize that the conversation is geared towards giving you more work. You end up having lost 2 hours and having gained 4 hours of work. You really hate it when this happens.
You go back to your desk a bit depressed. Wondering when this slavery of work will ever end.
Remember what I told my boss? That I had a meeting at that particular time even if I was dancing? You see when you are resting you tend to look upon resting us doing nothing. Which makes you feel unproductive. In fact, your boss does not pay you to rest. They wish you could work for 24 hours.
You need to stop looking at resting as not doing anything. Resting is bringing back your energy to do work. In as much as your boss wants work, there is no way you will do work with poor energy.
As a result the most productive you can be while working is creating the one thing that will make you do more work, replenishing your energy which most of us call rest.
Why did I say dance though? One of the most energy replenishing things you can do is to dance. Dancing is physical movement combined with listening to music. When you dance you start vibrating at a higher level. You become happy and more enthusiastic.
Energy that if you have at 4.00 pm on a Friday, you will definitely stand out to your boss in those meetings he calls you to. You will be attentive and you will understand how to reduce the 4 hour worth of work to about an hour. As instead of moving at 20km/hr per hour you will still be moving at 80km/hr
So when your boss calls you, asking for a meeting and you are on a dance break. Tell them you are in a meeting and can you reschedule to another time?
Is perceived as a very bad thing nowadays. I have found myself complaining a lot about people who are never online to respond to texts. We have hailed the person who responds quickly to text messages to be a better employee or someone who you would definitely want to date. At least that is what the last meme I saw online about dating preferences talked about.
This is all false! When you are unavailable you are actually available to something else. You are giving something your attention. As a result for those of us who are perennially available. Those of us who are always responding to texts after a minute, are you being available to the right things?
When I tried being more unavailable and fix the time when I am online or the time when I can work. I realized that being online for an hour was all the time I needed to respond to all messages. I also realized for the relationships I wanted to grow that I needed to schedule calls. Improving my relationships.
You need to be more unavailable particularly when you are resting. Create boundaries. That way people will not turn your rest day into a workday. They will be like, on Sunday’s she does not respond to text messages, and they will be okay. The world won’t die. In fact, they will value you more, cause of the level of respect you have towards your rest.
Yes. So put that Whataspp Status that says, can’t talk right now. In a meeting! Even if you are out in the park observing the Waterfalls. Remember, resting is the busiest thing you can ever do. It sounds like a lie but it is the most truthful thing you can ever say