Today’s focus is specifically on resting and its positive impact on professional resiliency. Discipline, action, intensity, priority: those words do not usually invoke the word “rest.” And, yet, that is exactly what I am prescribing for both individual and organizational resilience. Any marathoner worth their running shoes understands the value of the Rest Day in their training plan. More importantly, they understand that a Rest Day doesn’t mean that the body is doing nothing. Indeed, the body is very busy repairing itself from the strain of training, restoring glycogen, and preventing mental burnout.
The same is true in our professional lives. We need the time to repair, restore and renew ourselves so we can not only maintain our performance but work toward achieving a personal best. We literally get smarter as we rest: our brains process information more quickly, our memory improves, our ability to think and speak creatively is heightened. Interpersonally, we are able to get along with others and problem solve more efficiently. In the professional world, “rest days” look like this:
- Healthy work-life boundaries
- Attention to self care and personal well being
- Systems and policies that are people oriented
How can you tell if your professional “rest days” are up to par? Ask the following simple questions about yourself or the team you lead:
- Do you feel comfortable not immediately returning non-emergency calls or emails after business hours?
- Is there a place in the office that is a “no work” zone (lunch room, gathering space, etc)?
- Is working extensive late night, early morning and weekend hours lauded as evidence of “real commitment”?
- Are statements of migraine headaches, meals consumed over the keyboard (or missed entirely) and non-existent personal time secretly considered bragging rights around the office?
We could add a hundred more examples of what Arianna Huffington calls the “glorification of busy” in her book Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-being, Wisdom, and Wonder. Burnout, technology fatigue and lack of actual rest in the form of sleep in an effort to succeed in your career, will actually ensure the opposite. Take a “rest day”, not just once, but as a part of your professional routine and see your and your team’s results and your resilient ability to bounce forward soar.
Do you want to see your organization grow its resiliency? I’d love to talk. firstname.lastname@example.org