Invest in Rest

Invest in Rest

A couple of months ago I read an article on Michael Hyatt’s blog about how our society values achievement but completely undervalues rest. I’ve been thinking about that a lot since then. I think it’s true. Do you invest sufficiently in rest-time or do you think you’re too important, too busy or simply too awesome to do so?

I get a lot of inspiration from nature – my garden tells me most of what I need to know about living in a better balance. If we keep planting the same crops in the same soil without giving it some rest, variety and nourishment it will eventually yield very little. We humans work in the same way. Holidays provide us with the potential for that renewal, and its important to seize that opportunity.

4 tips for better rest

We need to invest in rest every day, not just for 2 weeks of the year. Here are a few simple things to try to build a little more margin into your life:

  • Go to bed earlier. While we may be able to survive on very little sleep for a while, eventually are reserves are (literally) exhausted. Its healing and restorative powers are huge – so it’s odd that so many of us attempt to minimise it.
  • Disconnect. We’re becoming a slave to the omnichannel 24/7 digital world. Get real – it will survive without us for a while. Get into the discipline of no screens for at least an hour before bedtime. I’m also a strong believer in leaving the smartphone downstairs at night. Do you really want your phone to be the last thing you say goodnight to and the first thing you say good morning to?
  • When at home, BE at home. I work from a home office in the garage. However when I finish my workday I try really hard (not always successfully) to leave it behind and not be working through the evening. When I used to have a regular commute, I would use a trigger point on my way home (Winchester Station in my case) to switch my brain from work mode to home mode.
  • Put less on your todo list. I try to capture everything that I intend to do in my task management system. However at the end of each day I prioritise the 3 or 4 things (only) that I will strive to accomplish tomorrow. I try to do this at the end of every work day (means your subconscious works on it overnight for you anyway, and saves time the following morning). By trying to have a discipline of putting fewer things on the list I give myself a chance of having a successful day. If you prioritise 30 things on today’s list you’re already doomed to failure. Did you know the word priority didn’t have a plural until the early 20th century?

In times of intense change it’s easy to deprioritise rest – I’ll sleep when the project is done. That’s an error. While it may sound counterintuitive, a regular investment in rest might be just what you need to get more done!

Learn More at the Change Maker Summit

On April 4th I’ll be discussing this and other matters around the essential skills of a Change Maker with Simon Phillips (AKA The Change Man) at the first ever Change Maker Summit – a free online webinar series. Angie Beeston (small business expert) will also join us and we’ll be discussing “the # 1 Skill of a Change Maker” which will include our perspective and tips on how we get more of the right stuff done during our days.

The Change Maker Summit will be a week of interactive webinars filled with new thinking, new opportunities and new strategies you can use immediately. The Summit will focus on all the aspects of change that are critical in today’s fast-changing and demanding world – including change management, skills, wellbeing, motivation and leadership. Whether you are responsible for implementing change at work, in your community or in your own life, this free event is for you.  There’s never been a Summit like this and we’re not running another one until 2017, so register now to reserve your place NOW….it’s FREE!



  • Simon Hardaker

    Great suggestions Pete; I especially like the last one about to-do lists. Saw this video too about focusing on the big things in life, not the niff-naff and trivia (but still having time for chocolate!)