Whether it’s you or your staff, taking a rest is essential to maintaining good performance and productivity in the workplace. But if you’re feeling terrified with the idea of resting because you might “miss a lot of growth potential”, then it’s time to learn and understand the innumerable benefits of rest in your entrepreneurial journey.
When was the last time you had a restorative rest?
During the early stages of building a business, taking rest may sound like a privilege only afforded by successful people. Every day feels as if you’re in a running wheel — you wake up, run from one place to another, sleep, then repeat these steps all over again. It’s a non-stop activity of doing and moving that, even in your sleep, you may still be thinking about your endless to-do lists. There’s the fear that if you stop, your business will slow down before it even reaches its peak.
However, even fledgling entrepreneurs need enough rest to flourish. And if you think this is gibberish talk, it’s not; there are studies to back up this claim.
One of the studies probed the impact of sleep quality on the decision-making process by asking entrepreneurs to describe their sleep the previous night and then directing them to evaluate three new venture executive summaries. According to the results, those who didn’t get proper sleep the night before tend to choose the less promising idea compared to their well-rested counterparts. This means that lack of sleep, or rest in general, can lead to poor decision-making.
Being busy all the time without slowing down leads to quick energy depletion. Sure, it may give you the feeling of being productive and essential but the main problem happens when the situation calls for creative and critical thinking. The more you overexert yourself, the closer you will be to creating problematic decisions. What makes it more frustrating is the fact that work will continue to add up no matter how hard you work.
The importance of rest in life is so significant that even the world-acclaimed business moguls see it as a non-negotiable activity. What should you do, then, to make sure you’re getting enough rest without neglecting your duties?
10 ways to get the rest you need
Bec Heinrich, a transformation leader, explained the importance of finding time for both work/activity and rest/renewal in sustaining high performance. She also mentioned that people who do not include rest in their weekly schedule do so because they 1) feel guilty about it, 2) don’t know how to, 3) can’t switch off their mind and disconnect from technology, and 4) are simply overcommitted in every aspect of their lives. Are you one of these people?
If yes, consider the following recommendations:
- Taking small breaks at work.
- Automating your business processes.
- Discovering your most productive hours or the time when you’re at your best. When your productivity takes a dip, take a rest instead of pushing yourself to the limit.
- Delegating tasks.
- Getting enough sleep.
- Disconnecting when not at work.
- Deliberately spending time with family and friends.
- Doing any non-work hobby you love.
- Taking a digital sabbath weekly or monthly. Choose which suits you best.
- Going on a vacation to ease your stress and refresh your mind.
Automating your processes by using appropriate tools and delegating tasks either by hiring another staff or getting outsourced help allows you to ease your worries while resting because they assure you that your business will continue to operate even when you’re on leave.
Meanwhile, the actual acts of resting such as sleeping, disconnecting, and going on a vacation can give you enough time to restore the physical, mental, and emotional energy you’ve lost. On the other hand, spending your time on hobbies and with your loved ones can revive your creativity.
It’s also good to note that even if you love what you do, pushing yourself too hard can take a toll on your overall well-being. It may sound cliché but running a business is a marathon and not a sprint — it’s better to run steadily rather than swiftly only to stop in the middle of the race because you’ve lost all your energy.
Other benefits of rest
Resting has various benefits on a personal, interpersonal, and organizational level.
When you rest, you can:
- Become less stressed and reactive
- Find more purpose and clarity
- Make effective decisions
- Know your priorities better
- Become more honest
- Improve your performance
- Become gentler with others
- Develop more genuine relationships
- Become humbler
- Value your relationships more
- Become a better leader
- Empower your people
- Build more confident teams
- Prioritize productivity and work quality over the number of hours work
- Develop a healthier, more dynamic work environment
Like the other habits, learning how to rest requires practice. If you don’t have the luxury to take a long vacation, how about starting with small and manageable activities like taking short breaks and getting enough sleep?
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