This is my last post before my summer holidays. I will be back with more content on September. With the years, I understand the importance of having time to rest, and recharge my batteries for the next period. Without it, it’s impossible for me being at 100% once I get back to work.
I talk a lot about the pace of changes, how this time asks for adaptability and flexibility, what kind of skills should be developed to better manage people, or the importance of collaboration in dealing with complexity. But anything will make sense if we don’t have time to rest, to do nothing and have fun, to let our mind wander without purpose; in summary, to let ourselves have a time off from duties and responsibilities.
Work smarter, play better
I’m a freelance, what means that taking some time off is a luxury. Even being in a good position to afford it, it still is a luxury. And yet, having this time to do nothing is indispensable, and requires a true change of mindset.
This is why I’d rather prefer this “work smarter, play better” than the traditional “work hard, play hard”. The first put our minds in a place where we necessarily need time to stop and think before going into action. The second pushes us to rush into action with minimal time for personal reflection, which is not sustainable in the long term.
Now, I realize how I took for granted this time off back in the past without making the most of it: maybe playing hard, but not good enough for me. Playing better has to do with listening to my body and my mind and attending their requests. Also with being present and enjoying the effects of having less mental workload. All in all, let my mind rest.
Making room for insights
Burnout is a state of mental, emotional and physical exhaustion due to continued stress in the working environment, and it has a negative impact on performance. Even without falling into being burnout, many of us deal with high levels of stress that affect the way we work and how we perform.
Embracing this time to rest as an opportunity to take care of ourselves is the real change of mindset. We are so accustomed to “having to make the most of the time” that we can be forgetting what it really means.
Moreover, according to David Rock, having some downtime, a time of doing nothing that has a predefined goal, impact positively in our brain performance. When we actively disconnect our task-oriented part of the brain, we let space for a process called integration, in which different elements of our thinking come together, making room for unconscious thoughts. Therefore, there are some advantages in letting our mind wander, unfocused and without a goal.
Either if you already had some time off, or you’re looking for it already, I hope you can have the opportunity to enjoy some time to rest, to disconnect from your daily activities, and take care of yourselves.
See you in September.