November 29, 2010

Why do we feel so guilty about resting when we are tired? Most of us get too little sleep. We pride ourselves on getting by with “only” five or six hours of sleep. Medical science says the average adult needs seven to nine hours of sleep. Physical trainers talk about the importance of getting plenty of rest to help muscles heal. Remember when we were young enough to have mandatory naps? Small children get cranky and misbehave when they are tired, and are put down for a nap. Why do adults have such difficulty in admitting the need for rest?

I think the answer is actually simple: wasted time, and guilt. These are two branches of the same tree. So often, time is spent doing meaningless tasks or in mindless entertainment. One more hand of solitaire or ten more minutes of “Grand Theft Auto” on the compute, another hour of TV. Suddenly the day is gone, we’ve already been up twelve hours, and we find ourselves trying to rush through tasks we should have done earlier when we should be going to bed. Why? Because we feel guilty about wasting so much time. This is a never-ending cycle. What do we do about it?

First, we have to recognize the need for rest, and GET SOME! No matter what else we may (or may not) have accomplished during the day, there is nothing to be gained by trying to play catch up. We just dig deeper into the pit. Take control of the situation and go to bed! The next day, start fresh and really think about what needs to be done, then do it. After you have rested, you will find yourself making better decisions. “A tired mind equals tired results. You must rest your mind and your spirit to achieve greatness.” John Di Lemme (Quote #171)

After we have had our rest, we need to examine our time. Really analyze where our day goes. I’m embarrassed to admit how much time goes on non-productive activity in the course of my day. Write it down; keep a pad and pencil by you and jot down your activities. This is like keeping a food journal when starting a diet, and is a sure-fire way to focus on your time management (or lack thereof!). When you know what you are doing, you have a much better idea of changes and improvements you can make. 

In order to implement necessary changes to get better control of your time, a planner of some kind is essential.  I like a paper planner I can carry with me, and access everywhere.  It’s possible to write down appointments as scheduled, make note of necessary tasks for certain days, reminders of when library books or projects are due, or whatever is needed.  A paper planner will never crash, or be unavailable due to a system failure, unavailable signal or system update.  However, the important thing is to use a planner of some kind to set a frame work for your day.  You may not get everything done every day, but I promise you will get more done, especially the important things.  Then, when you lie down for that nap, or get into bed at night, you can relax and get the rest you need, and feel good about it.


One Response to “Rest”

  1. Lynne Keane said

    Thank you for reinforcing the obvious but I personally lose sight. I called a friend on my way home and she was lying down. Now she’s got her second wind. I love weekend naps!

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