Relaxation Day isn’t about guilty pleasure, it’s about reenergizing our bodies and minds so that we can successfully pursue our goals. Pushing harder doesn’t make us more productive. Instead, when we try to get everything done but forget to take care of ourselves, we risk derailing our focus.
We sometimes have to be reminded that people are not machines – our energy isn’t infinite. If we want to run efficiently and at maximum productivity, we have to take time to recharge. When we’re worn down and running on fumes, the four thieves of productivity are likely to strike.
How Strategic Renewal Helps Us Handle the Four Thieves
Harvard recently quantified how much money companies lose on an annual basis due to poor rest. The grand total was $63.2 billion a year. Luckily, our energy is renewable. Just as the sun’s rays recharge solar cells, rest and relaxation refuels our bodies. The idea behind “strategic renewal” is finding the best way to use rest to maximize productivity. When we rejuvenate ourselves, we prevent the four thieves from creeping in to swipe away our productivity.
How do the thieves take advantage of our rest-deprived state?
Productivity Thief #1 – Inability to Say No
Relaxation is impossible if you’re always running around trying to fit as much as possible into your schedule. When you never say no to the things that don’t really matter you’ll never have time for much-needed rest.
Steve Jobs famously said, “Focusing is saying no.” Look at it from the angle of what you’re getting when you say no to the things that don’t really matter. You’re getting back your time to focus on the priorities like getting enough rest to run on all cylinders.
Productivity Thief #2 – Fear of Chaos
Chaos happens when you’re focused on your ONE Thing because other areas of life aren’t put on hold. However, when you’re well rested and mentally alert, you are better equipped to find creative solutions and handle whatever the world throws at you.
This is where power naps can come in handy. When you’re beginning to feel frazzled or overwhelmed, take a 20-30 minute break. Research has shown that power naps can help increase creativity, which can help you cope with chaos.
Productivity Thief #3 – Poor Health Habits
When we aren’t in good physical condition, there’s absolutely no way we can achieve peak productivity. The importance of getting a good night’s sleep, having a healthy breakfast, exercising, power napping and meditation are too often downplayed, yet they are all important aspects of strategic renewal – and necessities if you plan to attack your goals at a high level.
Productivity Thief #4 – Environment Doesn’t Support Your Goals
Does your environment support relaxation? Has your bed become another workplace? Just as you need your environment to support your ONE Thing, you also need a space that is all about relaxation. Tony Schwartz of The Energy Project advises that people create a “renewal room.” This is a quiet space that is designed to support relaxation of all forms – sleep, meditation, etc.
Giving yourself a breather and putting emphasis on what your body needs isn’t selfish or indulgent. It’s a necessity that makes handling everything else much easier. While we can’t add more hours to the day, we can focus on increasing our energy so we make the most of every minute we have.