“If you get tired, learn to rest, not quit.”
Simple advice that’s not always easy to execute. When we’re tired, frustrated, or impatient it’s easier to quit than it is to take a restorative rest. But that’s not how you drive success. Hard work requires energy, and important work requires time. Give yourself rest when you need it so you can stay the course through to completion, no matter how long it takes. Rest, don’t quit.
Hey Michelle Cederberg here. I was scrolling through Instagram this morning, as I often do, and I came across this meme that got me thinking. It’s by Banksy, an anonymous street artist and activist who is based in England and he said, “if you get tired, learn to rest, not quit.” I thought it was a really interesting reminder for three very important reasons.
1) These days our need for instant gratification means if we can’t get results quickly, we quit. And usually too soon. But, worthwhile work sometimes needs more time. Take a rest, don’t quit.
2) The busyness of our lives today – full schedules, the interruptions, constant digital noise, the go, go, go – ensures we’re often more fatigued than we want to be, so we will go into important work operating at less than optimum. I’m sure you know what that feels like. This of course increases the likelihood that we will tire out before we’re done, and instead of taking a rest, we quit. Which slows progress and ultimate success. Which brings me to number three, which I think is probably the most important point.
3) If you want to do great work, your body and mind need regular breaks to restore. And we don’t take our breaks anymore. We skip our coffee breaks, we take our lunch at our desk, we don’t get enough sleep… but we need to rest. It’s how we work. It’s how your body works.
You need to learn your body’s fatigue cues, and rest. Here’s a few ideas:
First, give your grey matter a break every 90 minutes or so. Your prefrontal cortex, most of your brain actually, is a massively energy hungry organ. It represents just 2% of your body weight, but it sucks upwards of 30% of your energy in the form of sugar. If you don’t take a regular break, your brain gets foggy and your productivity declines.
Next, when you take that break, go tech-free. Add in some movement and some fuel because then you also provide a break for your body, which is super important if you sit a lot.
And finally, at the end of the day, prioritize sleep. It’s when your body and mind restores from the stress and fatigue of the day. While you sleep, your body releases proteins that repair your cells. The brain’s glymphatic system bathes your grey matter in fluids that get rid of all the toxins from that day of heavy thinking. Watch the videos that I’ve linked you to above so you can learn a bit more about those benefits.
If you get tired, learn to rest, not quit. Listen to your body, and if you’re too busy to rest, it’s exactly when you need to rest. Share in the comments how you rest best. Share this blog with someone who needs a reminder, and sign up below to my other channels so you can stay in the loop. Keep crushing this week.
I’m Michelle Cederberg reminding you’ve got one chance to live this life. And I say, Dare to Live it Big and dare to rest on your path to success.
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