And on the seventh day, I shall rest. At least that’s my goal. That’s the light at the end of the week-long tunnel. As I chug along, “I know I can, I know I can,” the reward for conquering the week is: rest.
I learned the hard way how valuable rest time is. I’ve always had big goals—and too many of them—so it’s always easy to find something to do. After weeks of running full-steam, eventually the tank would hit empty and it would take me days, or sometimes weeks to get back to full capacity. Once I started taking a rest day every week the stretches of dead time disappeared, I found myself more productive than ever during the week, and I feel great.
I have an irregular work schedule but I still manage to get a rest day in. Maybe not every Sunday, but most. It’s taken some practice to get into the routine, but it’s really pretty simple:
- Have a productive week. A well deserved rest day starts with a productive week. If I keep focused and get everything done I want to get done then I can truly relax. When I slack off during the week those sneaky little goals find a way of seeping into my rest day. Besides, it’s not really resting if you haven’t done something first, that’s just sloth.
- Do laundry Friday night. I could easily stretch my laundry out for a couple weeks, but doing less more often and more consistently is more efficient. The ironing may get done Saturday, but the hamper gets emptied on Friday.
- Get groceries and clean the house Saturday. If we haven’t thought about it already, Saturday morning we plan our food for the coming week and get grocery shopping done. Then we clean up the house and put things back in their place. We try to keep the house clean during the week so it doesn’t take much to give it a quick polish. Once every month or two we’ll go a little deeper, vacuum, scrub the bathrooms, clean out cabinets. A clean house helps me keep a clean head.
- Commit to doing nothing Sunday. I love waking up to the fresh air of a clean house with absolutely nothing I have to do. My wife and I enjoy cooking so we often spend Sunday preparing food for the week. We’ll catch up with family and friends, go for a walk, watch a movie. Taking a day to relax helps me fill the tank back up and makes me more effective all week.
I love to get things done so it actually takes work for me to rest. I take a few minutes every day to think about what I’m working on so I don’t forget anything—because anything I forget will be remembered as soon as I put my feet up. And now, I’m convinced that putting my feet up is going to help me succeed. Can’t beat that.
What gets in the way of taking time to rest?