Rest More, Work Less

I have a philosophy that there are two sides of life. Work and rest. Yin and yang. At least this is one way I look at my life, and I think you can too. Whenever we aren’t working, we are trying to rest. Whenever you feel rested, you often feel energized enough to start working again. At least this is how it should go.

The issue is, that we often focus much much more on the work aspect. We wake up early during the week, caffeinate ourselves once we wake up, overeat at lunch due to exhaustion, barely work through the afternoon with coffee and carbs, only to go home and read email until we have to get up in 6 hours to repeat the process.

We live in a society based on working harder and longer even if we don’t get more out of the work. Our society gives so much value to the one side of life, that we practically ignore the other half. Nearly nobody puts enough effort into the yin even if it is half of the equation!

So, since I love putting things into quantitative values to make them easier to understand, let’s do that again with this example. If…

x = work

y = rest

z = productivity

We can assume that x + y = z. Also, we need to ask ourselves what productivity gives us. This may be obvious, but let’s just define it real quick. If we are more productive, this means that we use our resources with more efficiency. These resources of our lives are things such as time, money, and energy. So if we increase our productivity, this means that the resources that are used to be productive must also be increased. Meaning that…

productivity = large value

and we also know that…

productivity = time + money + energy

With this in mind, don’t we want to make the most of our time, money, and energy? Don’t we want to maximize the value of our precious resources? In that case, we need to keep in mind that…

time + money + energy = productivity = work + rest

thus…

time + money + energy = work + rest

As we all know, we want as much time, money, and energy as we can to enjoy our lives as much as we can. Maximizing these resources maximizes our ability to enjoy life to the fullest (at least in our society) any way we wish. But what our society doesn’t understand is that there are two parts of the equation. We can’t maximize our resources simply by focusing on work. We need to maximize our rest as well if we wish to create the largest value in our life resources possible!

This is easier said than done, at least in my life it is. You need to find out what ways you can relax, unwind, and rest. You need to find out what makes your body and mind feel best.  You need to search for the solution to keeping yourself happy, both physically and mentally. So why not start focusing on your yin now? Why not turn off that phone and stop looking at email until 11:00pm? Why not eat a healthier breakfast? Why not go to yoga tonight? Why not go to bed earlier? Seriously, why not?

Don’t wait for some drastic reason like a stomach ulcer, heart attack, or falling asleep at the wheel to convince yourself to rest a little more. Focus a little more on your health. Focus a little less on work. Focus a little more on the other half of the situation. Focus on the big picture. Because if you don’t focus on it now, you’ll be giving up years of productivity, meaning that you will lose out on so much time, money, and energy. And with that loss of time, money, and energy, we won’t get the most out of our lives.

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