Work when you work. Rest when you rest. And get rid of everything in between.
As simple as that sounds, I’ve found it to be incredibly helpful in my life as a leader. So many times I would make it to the end of a day, be absolutely exhausted and completely unsure of what I had accomplished. Or worse, sometimes I would be completely sure I had accomplished absolutely nothing.
I wasn’t getting anything done because I was resting when I should have been working. I would take personal phone calls. I spent a lot of time on Facebook, Twitter, reading blogs or surfing the web. Personal conversations with co-workers that start with a quick hi but somehow turn into a 45 minute review of your entire weekend were another trap. Or there were the times when I was just too tired to concentrate. Any of that sound familiar to you?
I’m not saying all of those things need to go. If you never have personal conversations with co-workers, people are going to assume you aren’t very nice! But I am suggesting they should be limited. You’re there to do a job – so, get after it. Work.
If you do that, you’ll actually be able to rest at the end of the day. And that’s the other place where I would get myself in trouble. I wasn’t at the office, I was technically done for the day but I still wasn’t really resting. I was chronically checking email on my phone. I was taking calls from the office or texting people from the office with random things I forgot to mention during the day. I was mentally outlining sermons. I was thinking through meetings I had coming up even though I was allegedly watching a movie with Laura. It was a mess – I was doing all of the work I should have been doing during the day at night when I should have been resting.
Ever feel like work and rest are blending together into one giant, chaotic swirl in your life? Then maybe it’s time to get really focused on working when we work and resting when we rest. You’ll be amazed the difference it makes.