Resilience – A way of getting good quality rest

I recently read ‘Rest, Why You Get More Done When You Work Less’ by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang. Which I can highly recommend.

The whole book resonated with me as one of the foundation stones for building resilience is pausing and resting to increase effectiveness and productivity.

Resting is a period of time, it could be a few weeks of holiday or a few minutes of ‘me time’, we spend away from work to recharge our batteries.

Let’s face it. We all know we should rest, we intend to rest and many of us don’t rest often enough, and when we do rest how many of us switch off totally from distractions?

One of the biggest ways work distracts us from rest is via the mobile phone and other portable devices. A little while ago I realised I was in the habit (note that word ‘habit’) of regularly checking work emails and social media… even when resting.

How about you, have you ever watched TV or a film and found your hand casually wander over to your phone and before you knew it you’d had a quick peep?

I’d go for a walk to relax and periodically I’d look at my phone. Not to look at something useful such as a map but work emails and social media. There was no need to, I’ve never known anyone need a motivational speaker in an emergency and besides if someone did need me in an emergency they’d call or text me.

I decided to do something about it. I run a business on my own with no staff so I have to check work stuff even when resting for long periods, like when I go on annual leave. So I set myself some rules especially when on holiday. In the space of two weeks I allow myself to check emails and business social media FOUR times. I’m only allowed to use the phone for photographs, maps, looking up information for my holiday and emergencies. In other words if it wasn’t anything to do with work I could do it.

During my last holiday I almost managed it. But, I was still proud of myself as I only looked at the phone with my business hat on SIX times.

It was the most relaxing holiday I’ve had for years.

But something really weird happened when I returned home and back to work.

I checked my work emails and social media less, much less, even during work hours and even less during leisure, social and resting time. I’m not sure I’ve totally cured my ‘addiction’ but I’ve noticed I’m feeling more relaxed.

What work distractions can you eliminate, or at least eliminate as best you can during your periods of rest?

You don’t need to go cold turkey as I did but you do need to be mindful of how often you’re doing work related tasks during rest time and then bit by bit reduce it.

Try this scary exercise. Next time you’re resting, which might be going for a walk or watching a film, take your phone with you but switch it off. At least, if you can, switch off all notifications you might get which are work related. Be in the moment and… rest.

See how far you get. Let me know how you get on.

Sorry, must go now, I’ve got to check my emails ;)

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