Taking a break from an activity can increase your desire to do that activity. It sounds counter productive, but resting can increase your productivity as well.
“Stop Being So Disciplined”
I was away for a weekend vacation with my family recently and while I was away, I didn’t do my normal morning routine, which includes getting up early to meditate and write. I didn’t set out to deviate from my routine, it just kind of happened.
While on vacation I received an email from The Write Practice called “Stop Being So Disciplined” that talked about the importance of rest and it completely resonated with me. What I find interesting is that every Sunday, Joe Bunting of The Write Practice sends out an email on the same concept: rest is important.
I read these every time I get them, but for whatever reason the post I read while on vacation had more meaning to me and I took the advice he gave deep into myself.
I think it was the term “disciplined” that impacted me when I read it because I have become disciplined in recent months. I had become disciplined to my craft as a writer and set up a routine around it. Joe said that we only have a “limited supply of discipline” and resting restores that supply. I realized that I had been resting this weekend from my writing practice and it was a good thing. I needed the rest in order to keep going.
So for the rest of the vacation, I decided that I wasn’t going to try to write and I would “rest” from writing in order to restore my desire to write. And it worked!
By the time we got home, I couldn’t wait until the next morning when I could get back into my normal routine. I couldn’t wait to get up early to meditate and write again.
Going forward, I’ve incorporated rest into my writing practice so that I don’t get burned out from writing all the time and to help restore that good, creative writing energy by taking a short rest.
The Importance of Rest
The point of my long-winded story is to share with you that you too need to incorporate rest into your life and the activities you do. My example is writing, but yours may be different.
It sounds counter productive to take a break from an activity in order to increase our productivity, but it’s true and I now see the light.
In fact, other people have talked about the importance of rest:
- Finding Rest is Essential to Creative Inspiration by Jeff Goins
- How to improve your writing in one counter-intuitive way by Jeff Goins
- The Lost Practice of Resting One Day by Leo Babauta of Zen Habits
I hope you use my experience to incorporate rest into your routine. See the value in restoring your limited supply of discipline so that you can approach your craft/work with renewed energy and purpose. I challenge you to incorporate resting into your routine in the next week. Come back here and share your experiences.
Do you have experience with the power of resting? What has been your experience?
Please share in the comments!
Photo Credit: ucumari (Creative Commons)