My doctor is constantly telling me that I do too much. Yes, I’m getting things done and I’m being productive in life, but she thinks I’m run down. As does my mother. She tells me how bad I look every time she sees me. Which is more often than my doctor. We’re not good at being subtle in my family, so she will straight up tell me that I look like hell. I have never been one who thrives on little amounts of sleep. Yes, I can do it for a few days in a row, maybe even a week, but I inevitably crash. And hard. Our bodies (and our brains) are designed to get 7 or 8 hours of sleep a night. So why do we deprive ourselves of sleep?
In order to be successful, we need to do certain things – like rest. If you don’t, your mind will suffer and so will your work. So take it from an expert of spreading yourself too thin and get some sleep!
The Creative Brain Flows During Rest
You need to stop thinking for a few moments in order for your brain to rest. You will notice that you’re full of ideas after a long walk or attending a live show. Your brain needs that rest. Maybe this is why kids always have so much energy? Are their brains constantly resting? You need to stop or slow down in order to get those creative juices flowing.
Don’t Insulate Yourself with Like-Minded People
You won’t get far in life if you surround yourself with like-minded people. Being around people in your industry might be good for networking, but it isn’t for your ideas. I used to attend a conference that was “adjacent” to my area of specialization, but it was removed enough that I was in new territory. I always came away with some really interesting thoughts and ideas. You will get away from the same information over and over again and tap into new ways of thinking.
Rest Kills the Nerves that Kill Your Presentation
Have you ever bombed so hard during a presentation because you were nervous? It happens to everyone, but it happens more often to those who don’t rest. People trust calm people. I try not to get worked up as it’s my job to present a calm and steady approach. But I can’t do this well if I haven’t had enough rest.
Your Brain Doesn’t Work on Low Sleep
Your brain makes mistakes if you haven’t slept. You forget things. You might even misread or mishear things. How are you supposed to be successful if you can’t remember what you’re supposed to be doing? I travel a lot for work, and I have a hard time remembering where I need to go or what I’m even doing when I get there. And it’s usually after I haven’t had a good night’s sleep.
You Need to Zoom Out, Then Zoom In
If you have spent the last two days banging your head against the wall trying to figure out why things aren’t working out – walk away. And maybe that walk might mean taking a few days off from the issue to figure things out. If you step away from work, you will start to see the bigger picture of what you’ve been doing wrong.
Nature Brings Perspective
Part of your rest should involve spending time in nature. We take their lives so seriously—the way some people live, you’d think they believe they’re immortal. Spending time in nature reminds you how small we all are in this whole giant universe and human timeline. That has a very calming effect that can make you stress the small setbacks a bit less.
Travel Brings Perspective
Other cultures often have ways of looking at things that we could really benefit from. A global mind is a successful one. The more you travel, the more you can put your finger on the pulse of humanity…as a whole. You can be in touch with what people around the world (not just in your community) respond to. That certainly puts you ahead of the game.
Depression Doesn’t Birth Success
If you’re not getting enough rest, you can get depressed rather easily. This is usually because you’re also not spending time with friends and family. We need relationships and connections to get the hormones and brain chemicals we need for our survival. Without those, you will feel depressed, which will cause you to struggle to succeed.
You Need to Communicate With Your Audience
Whether you’re an artist, business owner, or salesperson, you need to be in touch with your audience and customer base. You don’t learn what people want and what people respond to by reading books or surrounding yourself with other business owners/salespeople. You learn what people want by spending time with them.
You Need to Clean Your Home
We all have to do it, so why not put this as part of your rest time. No, you’re not sleeping, but it’s mindless enough that you don’t have to do a lot of thinking. And it can be very therapeutic for your mind. When your home (or office) is in disarray, it can feel like your life is. I know that’s how I feel almost every weekend. And every weekend I take the time to declutter my house.
You Need to Make Better Meals
If you don’t take a break to clean you probably don’t take a break to grocery shop and cook, but you should. There’s no way the food from that drive-thru or vending machine is giving your brain the nutrients it needs to stay strong, alert, and creative. Take the time to make wholesome meals.
You Need to Know What the Competition is Up To
You might be working away like a little busy bee, entirely unaware of the fact that somebody else is doing the same thing as you…or has already accomplished it. Take time every week to stop working, sit down, and read a bit about what’s been happening in your industry.
You Need to Tend to Your Home Life
You can’t neglect your personal life. Your partner isn’t going to wait around for you to have time for a relationship. You are both in this together. If your partner decides to leave you because you’re neglecting him, you’re going to be devastated and that’s going to make your life difficult. Plus you both need that time to cultivate your relationship. Make a date night and stick to it.
You’ll Work Faster When You Get Back
After working nonstop for a while, your brain just slows down. It takes you longer to process information, to type an email, to gather your thoughts and have a logical conversation. If you rest, you’ll work faster when you return.
You’ll Be a Better Decision Maker
If you aren’t rested, your decision-making skills take a hit. All your hard work could be for nothing if you hire the wrong assistant, go with the wrong investor, or invest in the wrong thing, all because you were sleep-deprived.
I am telling you all of this because I truly believe it. I woke up at 4:30 this morning and got right to it. My day won’t end until 8 or 9 pm. I will likely fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow, but you can understand where I’m coming from with this. Take some time for yourself. Take time for your partner and family. Rest is extremely important when it comes to being successful in whatever you choose.