I can distinctly remember a night a few months ago when I was, surprisingly, all caught up on my emails and had checked every single thing off of my work to-do list.
There was absolutely nothing that still needed my attention. And, as the CEO of a growing startup, this was a pretty rare occurrence. However, instead of powering down my laptop and turning my attention to the remainder of my evening, I started to click around, trying to find some other task to do.
I stopped myself and thought, “Rachel, what are doing?!? You’re done – just enjoy it!”
I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels drawn to the adrenaline rush that comes with being productive. For much of my life, I’ve linked my productivity with my feelings of worth and value. In many ways, my determination and grit has served me well, and has allowed me to achieve things I didn’t know I was capable of.
But, in other ways, my work ethic has limited my willingness to embrace rest and recover, and has often led me to prioritize work over important relationships and life experiences.
Lately, I’ve been thinking about how I can cultivate more synergy between this dichotomy. I’m very proud of the things I’ve been able to accomplish and I also recognize the privilege that gave me a head start. However, I am also learning that who I am at work is only one aspect of my life – a life that is full and complete, with or without the accomplishments I’ve enjoyed.
This is been top-of-mind for me recently as I’ve been preparing to take some downtime for the holidays. I’ve been reading about the concept of active stillness which, as I understand it, is the ability to intentionally embrace rest, stillness, and reflection.
Not surprisingly, the ability to rest and recovery actually results in greater clarity, and heightened productivity once one returns to work responsibilities.
This reframe reminds me that the act of taking down time is a benefit to my company, rather than a detraction.
Here are a few things I’m hoping to accomplish over the holiday season – I’m calling it my “to-do” list.
I have big plans to embrace the stillness and be fully present with my loved ones and myself.
What’s on your stillness to-do list? I’d love to hear what you are looking forward to accomplishing, through rest, the next few weeks.
I’m looking forward to getting back to Mondays with Motivo after the New Year. Till then, I’m wishing you the warmest of holiday wishes and a very peaceful start to the new year.