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    Do You Feel Guilty When You Rest?

    John Melley - Monday, February 11, 2013

    In this post I discuss the importance of working hard and also the importance of rest after working hard.

    We had a classic Nor' Easter here in New England last weekend. We had about 30 inches of snow dumped on us in just about 36 hours.

    Ann and I lost power for about 18+ hours. The day after the storm we spent about 4 hours shoveling. Then it got darker and the wind picked up, so we decided to head inside. We still didn't have heat or electricity. The house was about 48 degrees inside. Kinda cold.

    I crawled into bed. Thankfully the electricity kicked on later that evening.

    {Bear with me, this all has a point}

    The next day we went back out and finished the job. It was beautiful outside. Sunny, clear skies. We spent another 4 hours shoveling and clearing paths. The picture above is the front of my house looking up the sidewalk after we finished clearing the snow.

    I was spent. I took a nice hot shower and then rested the remainder of the day.

    I exercise on a regular basis, so I like physical activity and I must admit, part of me enjoyed the shoveling because it is such great exercise. I felt good, almost "clean" from the inside out as I was moving.

    When all was said and done, Ann and I had completed more than 8 hours of fairly heavy lifting and moving. Even though I exercise, I'm not used to that kind of work for that long a period of time. I have to say I am thrilled that I am not in any physical discomfort. No aches or pains. No stiff back.

    But, I am tired. I didn't realize how tired I am until I climbed the stairs up to my studio at the station and then later, up to the administrative offices to collect my scripts and production orders for the day.

    I have a good deal of writing that needs to be done {this blog post included}, my book, some newsletters, some administrative tasks and a handful of freelance projects that are due later this week. I have plenty of projects that could keep me going from now until 11 PM tonight and I'd still have more to do.

    I'm gave myself permission to get out of here as soon as I can so I can go home and rest some more.

    I have learned that pushing through being tired is NOT going to result in a premium performance. Anything less than that is not good for my clients and ultimately my business. Fortunately, I can do that today. I don't have anything that is due tomorrow. If I did, I would have to work to honor those commitments.

    The point of all this is that sometimes we work hard and we don't realize how tired we are. It doesn't take 8 hours of heavy lifting and fighting to stay warm to tire us out. Just the day to day can have a cumulative effect over time.

    Sometimes it's good to stop and do a self-check and ask how you're feeling physically. Are you tired? Are you eating well? If you're not firing on all cylinders ask yourself if you can give yourself a break.

    Half a day?

    You might feel guilty about your "To-Do" List. I know I personally have to fight this. But then you have to ask yourself: "How effective am I going to be right now or would I accomplish these tasks more efficiently and with higher quality if I am rested"?

    I would argue, you'd probably be better off resting for a bit and coming back at it later.

    What do you think? Do you have to force yourself to rest? What steps do you take to recharge your batteries and do you feel guilty when you do?


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