Small business owners and entrepreneurs are familiar with the saying, “Work hard, play hard.” I believe there’s something missing from that well-known adage. I encourage you to make your 2020 mantra, “Work hard, play hard — REST hard.”
People often think taking time to rest and relax equals unproductivity, when in fact the opposite is true. In order to be successful high-performers and get the best results, we need a balance of work, play, and rest.
Here are the five components of resting hard:
For most high-performers, resting hard is a foreign concept, so don’t worry if this is you! Educate yourself on what it means to rest hard, decide which methods appeal most to you, and start experimenting. Here are a few ideas to get you started: journaling, meditation, breathwork, stretching, yoga, watching a movie, creative/imagination time, walking, hiking, and spending time in nature.
What recharges your batteries? This answer isn’t the same for everyone. Some people thrive on quiet alone time, like taking a walk in the woods or watching a documentary or funny movie. For others, spending quality time with friends or family fills them up and rejuvenates their energy levels for the next round of busyness. Awareness is the first step in empowerment. You need to know where you get energy and what drains you.
3. A Self-Care Routine.
As counterintuitive as it may sound, structure creates freedom.
Hard rest isn’t going to become a regular part of your life without planning. The key is to create a rest routine that is part of your daily schedule. It’s okay to start small. For example, establish morning and night routines that become second nature so you can focus during the day and sleep well at night. You don’t have to go to the gym or do food prep for two hours, or meditate for an hour to get results. Start small with 5 to 10 minutes of light stretching or 10 minutes of journaling, and work your way up to blocking off time on the weekend and expanding your daily rest regimen.
4. Time Management and Boundaries.
Plans are important, but so is sticking to them! Once you have your plan, it’s time to practice making healthy boundaries for yourself. Make a to-do list and a won’t-do list. Your to-do list will be fairly easy: it’s all the things you know you have to get done, and by when. (And now you know to include rest time and activities on that list!) For your won’t-do list, include things you know drain your batteries and distract you from your goals (i.e., needless social media scrolling, negative Netflix binging, online shopping outside of your budget). Also include any events, dinners, or extra projects you need to say “no” to in order to avoid overwhelm.
5. Resilience and Stress Management.
Resting hard allows you to respond rather than react to the many triggers in life and business. When there are tough decisions to be made or the chaos of life happens, are you able to move through those moments and handle them with grace? Having these tools and strategies on hand can give us the space we need to take a step back, not be hard on ourselves, and not be hard on others. It gives us an opportunity to be relaxed and present versus being part of the problem.
If you’re looking for ways to optimize your performance and enjoy life, you will gain a lot from building rest into your routine.
Katy Kvalvik is the creator of the Harmony Method® — a blueprint for work-life harmony — and the founder of Southwestern Empowerment, a company that provides personal and professional development services to transform and inspire today’s leaders. She has been inspiring women and men all over the world to be empowered, lead their best lives, and achieve optimal, lasting results since 2009.