I constantly read books, or more accurately listen to books on Audible, to continually learn and improve my performance. My most recent book is “Peak Performance: Elevate Your Game, Avoid Burnout and Thrive with the New Season of Success” by Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness.
Some key things they talk about in this book is getting enough sleep and/or rest, deliberate practice when our energy is primed for it, and struggle is good and productive. But, the one point I wanted to focus on in this blog post is taking deliberate breaks to improve your productivity, resting.
Resting – Just Taking a Walk
Your creative insight usually comes at rest, such as on a walk, in the shower, or after a nap.
It comes when your mind is at rest and on the other side of things.
Have you ever worked and worked to solve a problem, then give up for the night to get some rest, and the solution pops into your mind the next morning? That’s probably happened at one time or another to all of us.
These authors contend that effective breaks increase productivity. Perhaps a 10-minute break every hour would help us work more effectively and creatively. They suggest taking a walk as an especially effective rest break.
Work Smarter, Not Harder
Americans have been trained by our society to work long hours without question. But, perhaps we’ve gotten that wrong? Especially when we’re tackling something hard.
Just walking outside and breathing in some fresh air changes my perspective. These are simple solutions that we can apply to our daily work lives. When you feel stuck or not seeing the progress you expect, step away from the problem for a time. Take a nap, get a good night’s sleep, and see if the fresh perspective doesn’t move you forward again.
PRACTICE LIKE A PRO
One of the things these authors mentioned was the discipline top athletes bring to their career. They work hard in practice, day after day, week after week, year after year.
But, another thing you see top athletes doing is taking a break just before the big competition. Again, this rest component helps them hit it hard to win the competition. The practice and the rest are important to the final result.
I don’t have this all figured out, but I found the arguments offered in this book compelling, so I’ll be trying some of these practices out in my work. You should read this book for yourself though, because it sure made me think.
WHAT ARE YOU READING (OR LISTENING TO} NOW?
I jumped from this book into “The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck” by Sarah Knight. Unfortunately, she uses that curse word SOOOOO much, I just wasn’t getting her message, so I’m putting that one away. My next book is “Presence” by Amy Cuddy. Stay tuned for another book review in coming weeks.