Know Your Limits
In the business world, we always seem to drift our focus towards numbers, work, efficiency, and productivity. I get it though, those are all VERY important factors for your business’s success. But what about the time you put into resting? Have you ever wondered how it might benefit you and your company if you invest in intentional rest? I mean think about it…if you’re wanting to increase numbers, work, efficiency, and productivity, you’re going to need the energy and fuel to do so. I’m convinced that intentional rest is one of the driving forces towards success in every business. If we want to work hard, we’ve got to rest…hard!
What is rest?
Before we dive into the benefits of rest, let’s define our terms! Rest, as Merriam-Webster defines it, is “a bodily state characterized by minimal functional and metabolic activities.” Phew, that’s a mouthful! Let’s put some meat to those bones really quick. For the sake of this post, rest can be understood as refraining from mental and/or physical work. Rest is the time that we spend without the stressors of work, both mentally and physically.
Well, put simply, rest comes with many benefits. Rather than fluffing things up with anecdote and experience, I’ll just put it all out there. Of the many benefits that rest brings, here are some of the biggest:
- Reduced stress
- Reduced risk of inflammation and heart disease
- Boosted immune system
- Improved sleep
- Restored mental energy
- Increased creativity
- Increased productivity (when back at work)
- Improved short-term memory
Now, this list is by no means exhaustive, but how can you pass up on all those benefits? Rest is ridiculously important for our physical, emotional, and mental health. And if this list isn’t enough to persuade you of that, do some research of your own. You’ll be surprised at just how much rest can help!
How and how often?
I hope this goes without saying, but you should be resting every day. Obviously, your night’s worth of sleep contributes to that, but there should also be a time during your day/evening where you are able to give your mind and body a rest. For some, this comes in the form of naps or quiet times. If you don’t have the freedom to utilize a nap or quiet time, you can opt for a mindless activity. Go for a walk, do a puzzle, or even cook a meal.
Throughout the day, our bodies go through varying amounts and types of stress. Some spend more time physically working, while others spend their time mentally working. Make sure that you are providing yourself with the rest that is appropriate for your line of work. If you work in a labor-intensive environment, focus your rest on the physical side. If your day is spent crunching numbers or writing articles, give your mind a break.
The “how often” side of rest can vary from person to person. Some individuals may need more rest than others, but we all need at least some. Figure out exactly how much rest you need, and discipline yourself to make sure you are getting the proper amount. Too much or too little could prevent you from seeing the results you might want.
Fostering rest in your life doesn’t require big changes and huge sacrifices. You can get started before the sun goes down today! Don’t just try and create a formula of rest that produces results. Instead, seek rest as a necessary aspect of your day. Plan for it, enjoy it, and relax in it. Set some time aside today to rest. No goals, no jobs, no brainstorms. Just unplug, unwind, and rest.
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–The Berger Hargis Team