Rest is the Special Ingredient in Career Life Fulfillment

The seventh habit in Stephen Covey’s classic bestseller, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, is called “Sharpen Your Saw.” Covey writes:

“Allow yourself to grow by maintaining a balanced program in the four areas of your life: physical, social/emotional, mental, and spiritual. Take time out from production to build production capacity through personal renewal of the physical, mental, social/emotional, and spiritual dimensions.”

I cannot emphasis enough the power of rest. In our fast-moving culture, we can easily forget that rest serves us by creating sustainable energy in our personal and professional lives. I encourage you to create time to rest, meditate, and/or be in nature. This “time out” will be the source of your creativity and deep satisfaction. It will also cultivate the personal renewal Covey speaks of.

I often work with my clients on how to slow down. They are always appreciative to learn that the miracle in slowing down is you will actually get more done and spend more quality time on what you care about and matters to you.

You may be thinking: “Great, Michelle, I agree to slow down, but how do I do it?”

Here is what I suggest. First, look at your personal values. Values are not morals or ethics, they are what uniquely matter most to you. You can track your values both by what satisfies and t upsets you. If you find yourself getting angry or frustrated about something, it is an indication that you or someone else is violating your personal values. They are an excellent roadmap to decision making as well as how to spend your time.

Value examples:

  • Family
  • Connection
  • Spirituality
  • Simplicity
  • Making a difference

Once you are aware of your top 5 to 10 values,  take a look at your schedule. First, just observe your calendar and notice what is working and what is not. Where are you spending time doing things that drain you rather than enliven you? Take those things out. Then look at where you can add rest. Where can you add white space?

Maybe you add an extra 30 to 60 minutes of sleep each night. Maybe you add putting your legs up the wall, a restorative yoga pose, once a day for 5 minutes. Maybe you commit to no phone time on Saturday or Sunday. Maybe you start meditating for 5 minutes at the start of the day.. Maybe you even schedule in a 10-minute nap every afternoon.

It does not matter what you choose to add in as long as it is restful and calms your nervous system. I cannot emphasis enough how much important this is. Please, let yourself REST, RESTORE, and REVITALIZE. It will serve you deeply in mind, body and spirit.

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