Is rest the forgotten pillar of success?

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Is rest the forgotten pillar to success? What does rest have to do with productivity? How can you succeed when you’re resting? 

Many people think I’m obsessed with getting more done and being more productive because I’m very structured and always have so much to do outside work. I remember one of my team members saying that they can’t ever imagine me relaxing because I’m so focused when I’m at work. 

In this episode, I’m going to let everyone in on a little secret: I’m actually a lazy git. I love holidays, I love resting, I love relaxing, I love my downtime. By making sure that I get my rest, I am able to be my productive self.

Rest is the best thing you can do for yourself

Not just for your physical and mental health, but for your business as well. It helps us recover from illnesses and injuries, and it gives our bodies the chance to repair and regenerate. It also helps us to recharge our mental and emotional batteries, so we can then approach our work with fresh energy and new ideas. 

The more rested you are, the healthier. And the healthier you are, the more alert, effective, and productive you can be.

Extending the mindset to your staff

Think about how important they are to your business, and you’ll soon realize the benefits of having well-rested and healthy people on your team. There are lots of studies out there that show that working less actually makes people more productive and work better, therefore increasing profit margins.

Rest is necessary for survival

There’s an article on the power of rest by Barbara Henslee that talks about how, if you want a more productive life, you should practice deliberate rest. 

Barbara talks about the secrets behind world-class performers and the rest that they take. Professional athletes discovered the power of rest and they use it to become world-class performers. It doesn’t matter what the sport is, they train long and hard to improve but they are managing rest all the time to improve their overall performance. 

They have rest periods between and after practices to speed learning and recovery. So if professional athletes do it at the top of the game, why should business performance be any different?

What type of rest?

Do you need two weeks of a holiday or is it better for you to have lots of mini-breaks? Do we actually really need to restructure our entire way of working? 

The answer obviously depends on you, you need to know what works for you. Whether it’s flexible working where we find our rest and continued energy, or actually getting that factory reboot of two weeks’ holiday. 

And just as important, you need to know what works for your company and your staff. Remember that what we do with our time off is just as important as what we do at work.

Support your team in discovering the power of rest

The first thing you need to do is to communicate the message about rest and how important it is. You want to include breaks, to encourage time for reflection and brainstorming. 

Another way is to ask people what would improve their work balance. What sort of holidays or breaks would they like to take, or what relaxes them? That can give you a sense of what you need to do to make people feel more comfortable and to make them feel that they’re actually in a better space and a better working environment.

Creating a better work environment

I suggest looking into employee programs that incorporate mental health, and private spaces in the office for rest and reflection. Give your team members a space to go to when they are feeling stressed or tired. You can put a simple bench, a couch, or even a bed as they do in China and Japan, where they have a little room for power naps. Whenever their employees are needing to recharge, they can go in there and just turn the light off.

The same goes when you’re working for yourself; you need to understand what works for you, and what you can do to make sure that you are getting the proper rest that you need.

Thinking about the power of rest

Either with yourself or with your colleagues or staff, this is a conversation that you should be having. The simple fact is that we all need to rest. By giving yourself and your staff the opportunity to rest when needed, you are creating a productive working environment that will surely help your company grow.

Rest may not be a forgotten pillar of success, because I don’t think that people have forgotten about it. It’s just not as widely practiced as it should be. If you start to implement some of what I’ve talked about, it can definitely be the pillar on which your success is built.