Two years ago I met a team of Virtual Assistants (VA) from Davao, Philippines. They are quite well-known and well-loved among the VA community. I have friends who will really speak very highly of them, not only because of the high-quality work they do but mainly because of the high value they place on client relationships. They respect and treasure each client encounter.
They’re never late to deliver project milestones. Prompt and prepared in online meetings. Client email was prioritized and business solutions quickly proposed.
Was that the secret? Not really.
In an interview, I asked them what REST does for the team, here are their answers:
- Keeps our brain sharp and creative – our clients hired us to deliver efficient solutions to their business needs. Rest allows us clarity to see the probable solutions needed.
- Improves our ability to remember, learn and grow – our minds need time to analyze and develop information. It cannot be all input, one after the other. We need time to appreciate every detail by “floating” it in the sub-conscious. Let your imaginations play around with new information during rest time.
- Prevents over-fatigue and illness – your brain is like a muscle. Just like your biceps, you need to “un-flex” the brain and allow simple musings and inactivity.
- Offers emotional balance – getting enough rest is like pressing the reset button. Your brain, your body just works better when you give it a rest.
Nothing compares with a well-rested body and mind. Let me offer you a few suggestions to help you take the break you need and deserve. Let’s remember to R.E.S.T. everyday!
REMIND yourself that you need REST. Say it with me, “I need rest”. You’re not a machine, neither are you part of an assembly line that never tires. You’re human. You need to stop and just enjoy strategic inactivity. This is not doing “nothing”, you are resting. Taking that step back to give you the spring you need to move forward.
ESTABLISH a schedule. You need regularity. Either it’s a 10-15 minute power nap, or a full 6-8 hour sleep, make a schedule and do it, build it, defend it. “No” is a powerful 2-letter word to use when a threat tries to steal this precious time. If you’re a parent with small kids, train them to keep the schedule with you. They will struggle but remember you’re the grown-up and certainly the boss.
SET the right condition and environment. Leave your desk, go to another room. Put the phone on silent, dim the lights and get on that comfy couch or bed. Music will help. Try breathing slowly, clear your mind, close your eyes and zzzzzz……
TRAP all distractions. Plan to re-direct all emergencies to a reliable co-worker or assistant. You are not to be disturbed UNTIL your rest time is done. Consider rest as an important part of your work. You can only give your best when you are fully re-charged for the task.