I have to show up.
I will power through.
A day is wasted if I didn’t make something out of it.
I must get the work done.
I’m going to struggle through it.
I know you’ve heard those voices in your head. I hear them too. The idea of powering through to get the job done is a narrative about overcoming challenges. I believe it is really inspiring and sometimes useful, although not sustainable.
We’ve been there, committing to something and channeling all the energy we have left to finish a project. Some people call it giving the 110%. That might work for a crucial deadline but not for a lifestyle.
I like to see resting as part of my creative process. If we think about the creative cycle, the eureka moments happen when we are out of focus. We first collect all the material our brain needs and then give it time to actually process it. That will never happen when we are DOING STUFF all the time. And that is why resting is so important. It is the way we allow our brain to do the other half of the job.
If we change our narrative to integrating rest into our creative process, would we be more defensive about our nap times? Maybe we would avoid packing our day with meetings because the outcomes after an excellent 30 min break are more significant than the Sync meeting. Perhaps we even create a sleeping regimen of 8 hours despite how tight our schedule is.
I’m not talking about being lazy or hacking our lives to do the bare minimum. I’m talking about integrating resting time in our creative process with the intent to be more productive.