Whether within your project or your regular work life, you must have periods of forced rest.
An athlete might have a routine of going to the gym six days a week. Every Saturday might be their conditioning rest day. Even with a regular weekly workout routine, that athlete should also occasionally impose a forced, and out-of-routine rest on themselves. It could be that they take two days off one week. Another option could be to force themselves to do a workout at half of the full resistance one day. No matter what they do, the forced rest should be out of routine, and significantly different.
Having a forced rest helps you be more effective for a few reasons:
- It ensures that you get broken out of a rut. You are more creative if you take a break. A regular rest routine is good, but if your schedule is too predictable, the rest itself becomes part of the project schedule and work.
- It helps you see the world in different ways. Breaking out of functional fixedness is important. Looking at the world from a restful place helps you see ways of doing things that you wouldn’t before.
- It helps you rest while there is time. Like a bear who eats to prepare for hibernation, resting now can prepare you for a busy season where you are not able to rest. We all know that there are seasons where we will have to push harder. Taking a forced rest before these seasons can help you gather energy for when they come upon you.
Consider how and when you should force yourself to rest. Are there people in the project who need to have forced rest? How can you lead others to take a rest before they need to?