Do you feel well-rested, exhilirated and really balanced?
Many of you are shaking your head saying, in some way, that rest just isn’t an option. After all, you are in pursuit of the extraordinary, right? And great things only come when you work really hard, right?
If you take lots of real breaks and replenish your energy, you can be world-class at any activity.
That said: rest– not more work or more luck—may be the thing that your body– and your mind– need to be extraordinary.
I have had jobs where, as you sleep, messages stream in on your phone. You wake to a mountain to-do before you are fully awake. Your whole body is geared toward running on a treadmill of doing. Inevitably, even the people who can “thrive” in this rat race become un-well from it. In one instance I watched an entire group of people pre-maturely age, lose their relationships and even have surgeries to recover from what their chosen work had brought to their lives.
While success is paramount to many- perhaps all- of you, rest is as important to success as action.
Sleep Will Improve Your Whole Life
In February of 2013, Tony Schwartz wrote in the New York Times about the importance of taking breaks. Here are just two of the very compelling studies he sites that make a good case for taking a break:
In a study of nearly 400 employees, published last year, researchers found that sleeping too little — defined as less than six hours each night — was one of the best predictors of on-the-job burn-out. A recent Harvard study estimated that sleep deprivation costs American companies $63.2 billion a year in lost productivity.
The Stanford researcher Cheri D. Mah found that when she got male basketball players to sleep 10 hours a night, their performances in practice dramatically improved: free-throw and three-point shooting each increased by an average of 9 percent. (via NYT. Whole article is HERE)
Moreover- HERE are 5 big reasons to sleep that include your genetic well-being. Yes, your genes will mutate if you don’t sleep enough.
Your Brain Needs To Chill Out
Scientific American published a piece by Ferris Jabr titled Why Your Bain Needs More Downtime. The article explores the scientific research upholding the ideas that even short periods of meditation, breaks from mental rigor and even short naps can dramatically improve your performance as well as the way you function in important ways:
Plenty of studies have established that naps sharpen concentration and improve the performance of both the sleep-deprived and the fully rested on all kinds of tasks, from driving to medical care. A 2004 study, for example, analyzed four years of data on highway car accidents involving Italian policemen and concluded that the practice of napping before night shifts reduced the prospective number of collisions by 48 percent. In a 2002 study by Rebecca Smith-Coggins of Stanford University and her colleagues, 26 physicians and nurses working three consecutive 12-hour night shifts napped for 40 minutes at 3 A.M. while 23 of their colleagues worked continuously without sleeping. Although doctors and nurses that had napped scored lower than their peers on a memory test at 4 A.M., at 7:30 A.M. they outperformed the no-nap group on a test of attention, more efficiently inserted a catheter in a virtual simulation and were more alert during an interactive simulation of driving a car home.
(david azzetti’s photography is amazing!)
Vacations Are Not Frivolous
Eric Wagner wrote in Forbes about why vacations are absolutely essential to your well being. He talks about the vital nature of real vacations to gain perspective and re-boot your life. In fact, many major ideas have been borne on vacations:
“Look no further than the story of Howard Shultz of Starbucks and his desire to stop wholesaling coffee beans and instead sell cups of freshly made cappuccinos and lattes to consumers — just like what he saw during his travels to Italy.” (whole article is awesome & is right HERE)
In the short and long of it, sleep will dramatically improve your health, your creative mind and your sharp reflexes. Naps can boost your memory, lower your stress hormones and give you more precision in your day. Vacations can expand your personal space and allow you to thrive in ways you never thought possible.
These are only short bits of immense amounts of research.
Take more breaks today.
Sleep more this week.
Plan a vacation of you can.
Design a life that supports LIFE not just an abstract concept of SUCCESS.
Embrace your wellness. In the long run, your fulfilling life of wellness will enable you to make far more money and get much more of your message into the world.
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Want to know something? I still have a flip phone. I refuse to give it up. And I keep it specifically so that work people don’t think they’re entitled to send me e-mails that I must reply to immediately. I was assigned a blackberry at my old job, it went off all the time day and night and if I didn’t reply within 5 minutes people would freak out. When I switched positions I got to turn in that phone and it was great. Since my new position didn’t have an assigned phone, the only time people had my number were the people who kept the emergency roster and a few main people. It was pretty extreme – but I drew the line. I’m much happier for it.
Right now I am having a bit of a staycation – my family is out here visiting! And it’s true – while I am having an amazing time, I am already feeling refreshed and ready to tackle a million projects I didn’t have the time for before a break from work and every day stresses!