Three Ways Resting from Work Drives Progress Towards My Goals

This past Thanksgiving weekend I was reminded of how essential it is to periodically unplug from the Monday through Friday weekly work grind.

The key word here is essential.

All too often, I’ve found myself making the mistake of treating rest from work as optional.

For me, the typical progression goes like this: I start off a new quarter with exciting, clearly defined work goals.  

Each day that passes, I grow more and more obsessed with goal achievement.

Before long, I find myself so obsessed, that I begin believing the lie that there is no time to unplug and rest.  

“There simply isn’t time to rest, and achieve my goals,” is the dirty little lie I tell myself.

The truth is this: rest from work is essential to successfully achieving your goals without burning out.  

I try to adhere to the following cadence of resting from work: at least one full workday off every month and one full workweek off every quarter.  

Although it sounds counterintuitive, resting from my work actually drives progress toward achieving my goals.  

Here are 3 ways this happens for me:

  1. My creativity increases: time and time again I find that my most creative work ideas come when I’m not working. They come when I create space for my mind to wander and let my subconscious take over. For me, this happens often when I take full days off work. It allows my mind to step outside my typical daily structured routines and bring creative thought into my work. Oftentimes, after a day off, I’ll return to work with several creative ideas on how to achieve my goals more efficiently, allowing me to make more progress with less effort. 

  2. I feel physically reenergized: when I take days off, I typically take advantage of skipping my morning routine wake-up time of 4:45am and sleep in. I also rest my brain from the rigorous thinking I do during a typical workday. The result is a sense of feeling physically reenergized when I get back to work. This usually means I’m able to move my goals down the field with a burst of physical energy.

  3. I feel emotionally reenergized: when I take days off, I typically spend time reconnecting with my spiritual calling to work. I spend time reading my Bible, praying, and revisiting my 5-year life vision (yes, I have a written life vision). These activities allow me to reconnect with a sense of purpose that is bigger than myself. When I return to work, the result is a refreshed sense of purpose and emotional connection to my work, which drives me to work towards my goals with a higher level of energy.

Have you felt yourself heading towards burnout recently? I highly encourage you to prioritize rest and to take some time to unplug from your typical work grind. It might seem scary at first, but trust me it will be worth it. 

Until next time, cheers! 

Photo by Drew Coffman on Unsplash