The Importance of Downtime
By Demethius J - Obsessed With Progress
You should take a break… Seriously. As good as being productive feels, too much of a good thing can ultimately be a bad thing. The lives we live every day are tremendously demanding. Constantly, we are pulled in every direction. Nobody wants to burn out. So give your mind and body a rest, and get in some much needed downtime!
Recently, I took a break from writing. I spent a full seven days not writing a single word. This wasn't by choice. My body demanded it.
Since the beginning of the year, I had been working nonstop, juggling my personal life, my professional life, and my recent writing career. I was getting by eating one meal a day and sleeping for perhaps 2 to 4 hours a night. And then last week from sheer exhaustion, I fell asleep at 7 PM and slept for 13 straight hours. That was my body trying to tell me something. Needless to say, I got the message.
For the rest of that week I kept my activities to a minimum, doing only the work I needed to do, and taking plenty of breaks in between. Although it drove me crazy at times, I couldn't deny feeling better each day. By the following Monday, after resuming my normal schedule, I felt a stark contrast from how I felt before. It made me wish I had paid more attention to those Yin-Yang symbols I see everywhere. Clearly, the ancients knew a thing or two about achieving balance. And in today's world of mass overload, it's probably more important than ever before.
Had my body not forced me to slow down, there's no telling what type of damage I could have done to myself. We've all heard stories about people being hospitalized from overexertion. The body and mind cannot run on fumes. So heed my friendly reminder and take your breaks! Eat. Rest. Dare I say... do something just for fun. It's ok, you're still making progress. Giving yourself time to rejuvenate will give you the energy to be even more productive.
Perhaps it was an ancient who also said, "A smart person learns from their mistakes. A genius learns from the mistakes of others." Be a genius. Learn from my mistake. Take. Your. Breaks.