Imagine taking a weekend to rest and recharge and discovering it was the most productive weekend ever. This happened to me. Contrary to what I believed for many years, rest and joy can lead to greater productivity. As you begin this year, put this story in your pocket as inspiration for how you might do things differently.
As a recovering workaholic, I’ve been on a mission to change the way I spend my time. Late last year, after a very full two months, I needed rest. Though my mind disagreed, my body was crying out for rest. While the idea of rest sounded amazing, there’s still part of me that struggles to slow down and freaks out at the absence of doing. Deep down I’ve learned that rest fuels every aspect of my life, yet my mind still attempts to convince me otherwise.
On that particular Labor Day weekend, I committed to surrendering to my need for rest. After I overcame my initial freak-out of having all this space and time with no to-do list, I settled into joy and relaxation. For me, this looked like puttering around all weekend following what my energy felt like doing in the moment.
I sat down Monday afternoon to do some writing and reflecting following the holiday weekend. For whatever reason, I made a list of what I got done (below) – I was shocked to discover that despite my focus on relaxation I actually had a highly productive weekend.
1. Bought plants/pot indoor
2. Cleaned up patio and moved outdoor furniture
3. Movie with the family
4. Made 2 special meals w/ good conversation
5. Did some writing
6. Tried a new church
7. Worked out 3 days
8. Did all the Laundry
9. Ironed all of Q’s shirts
10. Picked up new clothes – Shane
11. Lowes w/ Tom – shelf
12. Wrote 5-part email series
13. Created timeline for product launch
14. Made homemade salsa
15. Took a nap
16. Did some reading
I got FAR more done than I would have if I had started with this list. Starting with a list this long would have felt completely overwhelming. There would have been resistance, and stress. I certainly wouldn’t have felt the same joy and ease I experienced having chosen to focus on a restful weekend.
The best part is that I was completely shocked by everything I had accomplished. It happened effortlessly.
By shifting our thinking and approach to time and productivity, what once seemed impossible becomes possible. I have seen this time and again.
Where in your life could you create more room for productivity by shifting the way you think about and approach your time?