How Conscious Resting Can Make You More Productive

Posted by Ash DePass on

THE IMPORTANCE OF CONSCIOUS REST 

2 MIN READ

Like so many of you, I pride myself on being productive. I love getting things done and checking things off my to-do list, almost to the point of it being a flaw. Even when I commit to having a down day I fill my to-do list with chores or tasks and find myself never truly resting.

This is a problem.

Whether you’re like me and the word lazy feels like a threat, or you find yourself feeling guilty or stressed when you take ‘your foot off the gas’, this article is for you. So read on, and your future you will thank you.

Rest is vital, not only to your body, but also for your mind, your productivity, and your overall health. When you plow forward without taking a moment to breathe, you run out of energy. On the surface it’s as simple as that, but it actually goes a lot deeper.

True rest allows your whole body and its intricate systems to recalibrate. It supports your hormones and immune system in resetting and balancing. It also gives you a chance to shift through all of the thought debris floating around inside your head.

You might be thinking, ‘well that’s what sleep is for’, but the problem with skipping rest prior to sleep is that you’re bringing all of the baggage from the day (week, month, year…) to bed with you. Your mind races, your adrenals are fired up, and suddenly your legs are twitching and you have a headache, or you have to pee, or you’re thirsty, or you decide that you just can’t sleep. Low and behold you wake up drained and exhausted.

Sound familiar? Same.

Taking time to consciously rest and reflect is critical. When you take a step back and just decompress without stimulus, you are making space for all of the chaotic buildup in your mind, body, (and, yes) soul to settle, balance, and disperse.

For example, if you were to take two hours in the middle of your workday to just rest, you would be able to accomplish not only more, but higher quality work than if you just bulldozed through for eight hours (or 12+ hours).

Shutting off the critical thinking parts of your brain and allowing your mind to just wander idly allows creativity and ingenuity to slip in, while clearing out mental clutter. Resting and seemingly doing nothing actually amplifies your cognition, improves your focus, and ignites clarity.

That said, resting is resting. Fight the temptation to turn resting into something active and productive. Meditation is great for a plethora of things, and you can even incorporate it into your rest, but if you see meditation as checking something off a list - don’t do it.

Allow yourself to simply do nothing. Allow yourself to think or reflect or zone out - whatever happens, but don’t turn it into a task. And try to keep yourself from giving into those antsy thoughts about all the things you could or should be doing instead.

Give into rest. Give in to nothingness. Give into yourself.

My challenge this week is to pick a day to do nothing (seemingly) productive to plan nothing and focus on just being. This may include playing with my daughter or reading a book or chatting with my husband (about non-work related stuff).

I challenge you to join me! I know everyone has commitments and maybe one whole day is more than you can feasibly do, but take two hours at least - just for you, to consciously rest and reset.

Send me an email if you’re in and let me know which day you’re picking, then I’ll follow up with you! We can hold each other accountable.

It sounds silly that we need to carve out specific time to rest, but that’s the world we’re living in. This is the life we’re living, so let’s do the best thing for our bodies, minds and souls, and start incorporating conscious rest into our busy lives.

 

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