Resting Boosts Productivity

In this article, we discover, through the lens of tennis, how rest boosts productivity.

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“I wonder what your relationship is like to resting? As a part of wellbeing?”

– Jenny Campbell

If you are drawn to Bounceback resilience, that punch-through-the-challenge kind of stuff, it is possible you have a complex set of thoughts around resting; resting boosts productivity.

Resilience Dynamic Model
The Resilience Dynamic®

What is the relationship between rest and productivity?

Whilst you may know it’s good for you, you can’t help yourself but remain busy – even with the opportunity to sit down and take a moment, you end up being busy finishing those ten jobs, or doing stuff around the house or running around after others. 

Being Busy; the Bounceback phase of the whoosh

Our ‘Bouncebackers’ love being busy, and love to be needed. A ‘Bouncebacker’ enjoys the adrenalin of challenge, and loves not being bored. In fact, boredom is a real barrier to rest – when ‘Bouncebackers’ initially stop, it feels like a sudden drop of the good stuff, no adrenalin, no learning, where’s the interest?

The idea of sitting about when so many things need to be done – kicks back in! In the end, ‘Bouncebackers’ love the satisfaction of pulling through somehow, against all odds. It feels just marvellous to ride on the upwards wave of bouncing back. It would seem that the Bouncebackers are not aware that resting boosts resilience! Resting boosts productivity!

My experience of being busy

I often operate in ‘Bounceback’, is that when I am strongly in the grip of this resilience state – which is so very compelling because of the ‘high’ – my whole self is habituated to do-do-do:

  • I need to physically move
  • I need to power through work tasks
  • I need to start new things
  • I need to clean drawers, tidy up
  • I need to push things along, even if they are hard to push.

I definitely lose perspective and so everything falls to that do-do-do mantra!

Even if I am fatigued, and I know it’s good to rest, I can find the transition to be almost impossible. I have little flexibility because I am operating in a black-or-white mode: either I’m on and doing things, or I’m off, really switched off in an exhausted way, or even sleeping.

Too much challenge can lead to a real drain. Fatigue, exhaustion rises, and burnout threatens and may even take over. ‘Burnout’ is a very drained state. It can lead to chronic illness and indeed can feel as the consequences of trauma does. (Reference: Running On Empty by Dr Amy Bradley).

The Lens of Tennis

The realisation that I was shooting myself in the foot sometimes with overdoing it really came home to me when I was playing tennis recently. 

When am I at my best when playing? See the following scenarios.

1 – Play with others who play well and consistently, often better than me

Scenario 1

2 – Playing with others at the beginner level

Scenario 1

3 – Almost got it, but gone too far

Scenario 3

4 – Balanced quality rest needed to match the level of challenge

Scenario 4

So how do you invest in your wellbeing if you are a Bounceback person? The answer lies in High-Quality rest. High-quality resting feels and looks so very different from feeling exhausted and falling over.

High-quality rest feels deliberate and quiet, energy is released during it; it is a productive, creative time, and you can find that ideas flowing. It allows the unconscious mind to catch up, consolidate, sense-make, join dots, connect and surface ideas. It creates a physical and mental alignment like nothing else can. To feel whole, in tune with oneself, paced, energetic, deeply grounded, in flow. 

For myself, high-quality rest is by myself, reading, daydreaming, being still and very quiet. For quite a few hours, more than I have considered necessary before. The result is like I’ve had a mini holiday; it’s an amazing feeling to feel whole and energised.  Resting boosts productivity.

This is my ticket to handling challenges that are longer and deeper than I had anticipated. I give myself longer, high-quality rest, instead of those snatched sit-down-for-5 minutes. 

Does this resonate with your own experience? How will you let yourself get quality rest?

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What do you think – I would love to hear your thoughts and views.

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Author: Jenny Campbell Founder and CEO of the Resilience Dynamic

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