Destress for Success
Americans wear their stress proudly, like Girl Scouts sporting sashes covered with hard-earned honor badges. Some folks enjoy genteel sports like croquet or curling, while many of us prefer competitive sleep deprivation, boasting about how few hours we've slept to equally exhausted colleagues over the office cubicle walls (these days you'd be lucky to have a cubicle).
A top executive in New York's publishing world recently exited her throne in the proverbial ivory tower, with one headline screaming that she was "officially stepping off her treadmill desk" after 16 years. Who wouldn't be exhausted?
Sadly, this scenario is all too familiar. Has working those 60-hour weeks with no overtime garnered you that coveted promotion? Are you spending quality time with your spouse, your children, or even, gasp, yourself? Probably not.
Science has proven over and over that the human mind needs downtime to recharge. We cannot generate ideas, creativity, and energy without rest from pressurized deadlines, assignments, and responsibilities. How successful can you be without these essentials? Follow these four simple guidelines from Your Best Edit to regain and recharge your professional mojo:
1. Shut Down to Power Up
These days, everyone is attached to their devices 24/7, and there are no worse offenders than those of us who are workaholics. Every ringtone, ping, and vibration is another call to action that needs to immediately be attended to. Detach, put down the phone, turn off the computer, and give yourself at least 24 hours per weekend to stop answering calls, emails, texts, and responding to social media. The world will not come to an end.
You'll be shocked at how much time you have when you're not staring blankly into a screen all day. The world is full of color, sounds, and scents that cannot be duplicated on your Fitbit or smartwatch. Enrich yourself with real life, and you will be amply rewarded.
2. Plan to Do Nothing
If you don't schedule in time to do nothing, you won't have time to do nothing and burnout is right around the corner. Not an elegant statement, but all too true and a very simple, yet powerful concept. Schedule a nap, block out a couple of hours to read a book on the porch, or try meditation without any interruptions. Give yourself the gift of nothing and you won't be disappointed.
3. Up Early and Out
The more you get out of your time off, the happier you will be. Wake up at the same time as you do for work, go out in the sunshine, and begin your day early. Every hour counts. The extra time you give yourself to relax will multiply those positive sensations and feelings.
There really is a big beautiful world beyond the office or your laptop. Don't get trapped by the feeling that you are indispensable and needed by your clients 100 percent of the time. Give them boundaries, and you'll be rewarded with their respect and free hours to do whatever you want. What a concept!
4. Discover Fun Again
No one can argue that recess is bad for children. Find your adult playground and let loose. Charge your senses on a mountain hike, run on the beach, play with your dog, take a painting class, or bake cupcakes. Do not look at your watch, let go of schedules, and give yourself the gift of time. At least once a week.
Impossible, you say? No, it's not. It is essential to be happy, to succeed in your professional life, and to manage all of the stresses of everyday life. Let go, and you will be compensated way beyond a robust bank account. Not to be too woo woo, but create a time account instead, and fill it with whatever brings you joy and fulfillment. Those cubicle walls can't hold you back now.
Your Best Edit offers students superior professional coaching and editing for college admissions essays, personalized resumes and social media profiles for job seekers, and business content for professionals, creatives, and entrepreneurs.