Take Rest

Take Rest

There is something comical about writing this post today after writing about how I’m a bit of a machine. I fell behind this week, and it coordinated with a time that my family needed me to take rest. So instead of posting a blog post yesterday that was extremely close to being ready, I took that rest.

I know that there are so many reasons to keep pressing on that gas right now. Budgets are tight. People are on the chopping block. The fact is if you keep giving into that without leaving some time to recharge, you will burn out. And that means you will not be able to do any work whatsoever.

If you read that and are saying, “Not me,” I really hope it isn’t. But working seven days a week at all hours tends to catch up to everyone. It’s better to protect against that burnout rather to hope it never comes.

So I’m giving you some reasons to take that rest and permission to take it this week for your own well-being.

Your family

We came home yesterday from my daughter’s gymnastics lesson. She had killed it, and I was so excited. We stopped to get a treat to celebrate her trying her best at every apparatus. Meanwhile, I was finishing that day’s blog post in my head. I was just a bit behind because we had spent the weekend with our North Carolina family, but there was plenty of time to get everything done.

Then we got home… As I was about to pull out my laptop out to get to work, my daughter’s little arms reached for me. I picked her up and it became clear that she needed time with me rather than her usual independent playtime. So that’s what we did. That blog post can be finished properly next week and I can catch up on everything else while my daughter naps.

You can’t always schedule your family’s needs. My Type-A personality wishes you could, but you just can’t. Rearranging your day to be responsive to them may have some short-term issues. However, in the long term, your work will be better since you won’t be trying to do two things at once and you’ll be carrying around less guilt. Less guilt is good for your soul and of course better work will make your organization happier.

Your brain

I used to be a workaholic. I always had my laptop open or my phone going, so I could constantly check in on every little thing happening on social media for clients and for my knowledge of trends and new tools. There was no time to think, and consequently, many of my ideas were simply regurgitations of something someone else had already done. The fact was that I was running on empty with no plans to rest and no idea there was a real problem.

Then I started crocheting. If you’re asking what crocheting has to do with resting, for me it had a whole lot. With both of my hands occupied, it was near impossible to be fiddling with a laptop or phone. And if I was, it was because a pattern was on the screen. My mind was also focused on what I was doing and not whatever was going on over in social media world. Taking a breath from all that allowed my brain to freely work in the background as I tried conquering stitch after stitch. I became more creative simply by logging off from time to time and letting my brain wander on its own.

Being responsive to your fans is great. Learning is also great. But not when it is all you’re doing. I’m not saying take up crochet, but find a hobby that will take you fully offline and takes some concentration. I promise you that you will be surprised what your brain does in the background when you’re not constantly doing your job.

Your life

My job has been my personality more times than I would like to admit. Whether I was hitting my goals determined my moods and all I could talk about was what I was doing professionally. “Boring” and “annoying” are probably nicer descriptors than I deserved.

In the real world, you don’t want to be around this person. They can’t really connect with others, except those who are in their industry. That means they end up in a bit of an echo chamber. How does that translate in the social media world? Well, my job as a community manager is to get people to want to talk to me. I could still manage it, but I definitely ended up not as effective as I used to be before I was bitten by the social media bug. People want to talk to real people who can relate to their human-ness. If you are losing touch with being a human, you are eventually going to lose the ability to get fans to talk to you.

So I started indulging in the things that were very me. Music, dance, books, etc. The more I would take time to do the things I loved, the easier it was to be the happy person behind the account my clients needed, because I am actually a happy person. I am surrounding myself with the things that are uniquely me, and I’m not just pretending that I’m doing them. I’m actually engaging in them. And I can talk to others about those interests and lots of other things as well, which means I have loads to use as a community manager. Very few people would call me boring now and I’m a little less annoying. I’m much easier to be around because I’m more relatable.

Take rest

I’ve painted a pretty rosy picture about getting rest in some form. It’s not always this perfect, especially if you have been going and going and going. I know I was in that place with a full-time job and my side hustle going at the same time. When I finally quit the full-time job and made my side hustle full-time, all I could do at first was sleep for a couple days before I could really get into what needed to happen. If that’s where you are, it’s okay to do a full-on reset, and then come back to take these mini-rests like I do.

Otherwise, try to prioritize what matters right now before you need that full-on reset. Taking rest throughout your working life will make you stronger, more creative and better at your job. Just give it a try and see what happens.

How are you taking rest? 

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