The Importance of Rest for Productivity

Why You Can Get More Done If You Take Time To Do Less.

Rest is for the dead, or so they say.

The possibility of burnout is probably the biggest flaw in the human mechanism. No matter how badly you want to hustle with your new website, new business, or new life into existence, you are bound to need to slow down before it all explodes — in one way or another.

The problem with “hustle culture” is that too many people focus on the hustle and not the self-care aspect. You only have one body, and the more you abuse it, the less you have of it.

When I first began life as a freelancer, I learned a lesson that most newbie freelancers tend to learn. You may love what you’re doing, but overworking yourself only has one result: burnout.

I worked 12–14 hours a day, on a slow day. Some days, my naive self, worked 18 hours. I figured if I wanted to be successful, I had to work hard, and burn that midnight oil at the same time.

It started to impact every part of my life, including my relationships with friends and my significant other. Not a great recipe.

Take a step back.

That was the voice inside my head, yelling at me for overworking my body, brain, and focusing more on work than my own sanity. I didn’t have a life outside of building my business. Don’t get me wrong. I love my graphic design freelance work, but taking a step back from how much I was doing and setting actual office hours for myself, was literally the smartest thing I could have done for myself.

Now, whenever I get the chance, I am often first on board to advise new freelancers, entrepreneurs, and writers to set hours! You do not need to email that client back at midnight.

I repeat, “You do not need to email that client back at midnight.”

I do not care if this will “impact your response time.” It is perfectly normal and acceptable to email them back on your next working day. I make a point to not email clients back on Sundays or Mondays. I work Tuesday through Friday, and answer extra emails on Saturdays. My office hours end after 5 p.m. I have a family to feed. I have a home to care for, and I aim to be a part of that existence. I can’t be a part of that existence if I am constantly on my phone or email. And neither can you.

If your goal is to be more productive,

then set hours for yourself. Schedule your week to fit your needs, and find a way to step back. Only do what is reasonable for you. That’s what this comes down to, self-care. There is no freelance, no future business, and just plainly no future, if you damage your body, mind, or spirit to a point of having nothing left.

Burnout recovery takes more time than it does for you to take the day off. It takes more mental power than it does for you to set hours for yourself. I know the urge to hustle and keep hustling is there. But you can continue to hustle on business hours, and clients can and should respect that. If they don’t respect that, you can already tell they may be hard to work with, or they may assume you work for them.

Resting helps recharge your batteries.

You need to be sure to get a full night of sleep. You need to be sure to take time away from work. And you have to make sure to turn the switch off. Laying in bed deciding what to do for a client is not and never will be rest. No matter how hard you try to convince yourself that it is.

On the other side of the spectrum here, be sure not to abuse the, “I need rest to keep going”-thing as an excuse to not work when you should be. That’s a trap you do not want to fall into, that a lot of new to work-at-home people can come across. Yes, you need to rest. You need to stretch, drink plenty of water, but you also need to pay bills. Bills get paid via clients paying you, and that’s not happening if you’re not working.

Balance is the key to all things.

And yes, maybe I have spent too much time reading about Taoism and flow, but it’s not wrong. You need to make sure that you balance your rest time and your hustle time so that you are getting exactly what you need from the situation. This means that you should probably learn to create a schedule if you’re just switching from a corporate-type job to work-from-home, or anything similar.

This also means that you need self-discipline.

I like to remind people that working for yourself or working from home comes with its own pitfalls, and without some level of self-discipline, it may become complicated for you. If you know you’re a major procrastinator, be sure to work on that before moving forward with a decision that will change your life drastically. If you’re already in the neck of the woods, and you’re resting too much, consider the way you balance your days. If you spend more time on Facebook chatting and getting into heated debates than you do marketing your services in respectable places and doing already paid client work, or soon to be paid projects — then you need to work on that balance.

Recap?

Remember to set hours and take a step back if you’re overworking yourself. This is going to help prevent burnout. If you’re resting too much, remember to set a schedule like you might have in a corporate job, and stick to it. And with all things make sure you have balance.

Moderation & balance is the real key here.

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Johannus M. Steger is a Oklahoma City blogger, vlogger, student, and fiction writer. He has a love for all things Fantasy and coffee, and leads a successful group of like-minded individuals in goal-and-task setting every Friday. He is published through The Huffington Post and a horror anthology, “Infinite Darkness”.

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Connect with me on Social Media:

Twitter: @ jm_steger

Instagram: @ books.n.brawnz

Youtube Channel: Fantasy & Coffee

Website: www.fantasyandcoffee.com

Former HuffPost writer, Professional Author & Graphic Designer, BA in English & Graphic Design.

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