Welcome to Part 2, “Planning Intentional Rest,” in our series, “Habits of a Healthy Entrepreneur.”
Do any of these sound familiar to you?
- Long to-do lists.
- Pushing through till the end.
- Having a too-full calendar.
- Saying yes to too many client projects.
If any of these resonate, you are not alone. Many entrepreneurs have these traits, including me.
Like you, I enjoy my work. However, there comes a time when we all need to stop creating, stop doing, stop producing, and take time to rest.
- Our bodies need it.
- Our creative juices need it.
- Our brains certainly need it.
- Our business can benefit from it.
- Our clients and our families get a better version of us when we are rested.
Author Anne Lamott has a saying,
“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.”
With all these benefits of resting, why do so many of us resist it?
First, resting doesn’t feel productive. The message we often hear from the experts we follow, our social media feeds, and the emails we receive is to go bigger, keep going, keep trying, and move faster.
This message isn’t always true. And without strong boundaries in place, we teach and train ourselves to be workaholics. I know that’s what I did.
Second, we forget how to take a break and rest. As business owners, we do a lot. We have to.
We’re doing all the marketing, product development, service providing, client care, accounting, and even taking on the role of a sales rep. I’m exhausted just thinking about it. How about you?
Especially when we see opportunities for growth and we’re seeing momentum, it is hard to stop. In fact, we often forget how to stop.
Last, we are people pleasers and perfectionists. We don’t want to disappoint our clients, colleagues, families, or our communities. So we say yes – and often to too many things at once.
As perfectionists, we want to get it right from the get-go. So when it doesn’t turn out the way we expect, we push through, overwork, and overthink it until we get it “right.”
People pleasing and perfectionism create mental unrest and take away the time we need to rest and recharge.
What these three reasons boil down to is that we lack boundaries.
Again, ask me how I know.
Defining, establishing, and maintaining strong boundaries in my business are all goals I have to fight for.
It is too easy to cross the boundaries we set. As a result, we get exhausted all over again, and the vicious cycle of pushing through and doing too much starts all over again.
So, how do we create boundaries for rest?
Step #1: Figure out what type of rest you need
We each have a unique set of needs. Since most of us are knowledge-based entrepreneurs, it’s safe to say we all need mental rest.
A good starting point is to check out the links below and take one or both of these quizzes:
Your results may or may not surprise you, and in turn, you will learn more about what types of rest are missing in your daily life.
Step #2: Make a list of restful activities
Now that you know the type of rest you need, it’s time to make a list of restful activities that would help you develop restful habits in these areas.
Step #3: Schedule Your Rest
Now that you have a better idea about the types of rest you need and have a list of restful activities for each area, it’s time to SCHEDULE YOUR REST.
If you wait until you find time to rest, you won’t find it, and you won’t do it. Planned rest is much more likely to happen.
Now make an appointment for rest and keep it. Make this appointment a boundary in your life and business, and fight for it.
It may sound like a simple concept, and it is. But simple does not mean easy.
You need to make rest a habit.
Rest does not need to be a big production.
It could be as simple as stepping away from your desk and having lunch at the kitchen table instead of working through your lunch. Or a mid-day walk outside may be what you need. How does sitting in your favorite chair to read, knit, or journal sound?
Can we make it complicated? Absolutely ;). We are all good at that. But in this case, simple is best.
When you intentionally plan and schedule rest, you will see benefits.
So don’t ignore your need for rest. It’s okay to embrace it and welcome it. The more you embrace this idea of restful habits, the more benefits you experience – and you’ll increase the likelihood of doing it again and again.
Remember, the Sabbath was made for man. Man was not made for the Sabbath (see Mark 2:27).
Here are your next steps:
- Take one or both of the quizzes and find out what type of rest you need.
- Make a list of activities (or non-activities) that would give you that type of rest.
- Pull out your calendar and make appointments for rest.
- Comment below or email me here and confirm that you did it!
Marta Goertzen is an entrepreneur, writer, WordPress Website developer, and nature photographer. She daily explores the trails and beaches of the South Central Oregon Coast with her dogs Oliver & Mochi. You can follow along on their adventures on Instagram. Marta also fully believes that change starts with gratitude and that gratitude can change everything. Find out how with the “Grateful Friday 7-Days of Gratitude Starter Kit”