When the entire generation of working professionals is struggling with long work hours, competition, and other work-related stress, the importance of sitting back and relaxing becomes even more important. Recently, when Infosys founder Mr Narayana Murthy made a statement about how India can catch up with advanced nations of the world, he said, “Unless we improve our work productivity, we will not be able to compete with those countries that have made tremendous progress… I request that our youngsters say – This is my country and I want to work 70 hours a week – exactly how Germans and Japanese did after the Second World War.”
The statement invited strong reactions on social media from people across the board. Is this the only way to increase productivity? Aren’t we denying them rest which is important for enhancing productivity? Aren’t we creating a generation of morons? These are the questions that we need to answer, as a nation, and as a citizen. What use of technology and productivity when working professionals are struggling for work-life balance? With this mindset would they be productive enough? Will WE be a happy nation? Certainly NO!
We often read articles about productivity and time management etc. which is misinterpreted most of the time as we feel that these concepts are to encourage you to be productive 24/7. They exclaim, “But how can I be consistently productive?!”
But I want to make a point that you do not need to be productive all the time! It is important that we recharge our batteries by taking ample rest and then proceed on our work journey, this way we will be more productive!
What is rest? What happens when we take rest? What is our body’s response mechanism?
Rest is any behaviour aimed at increasing physical or mental well-being. It can be active, such as going for a walk outside, or passive, such as taking 10 minutes to sit down and breathe deeply. Regardless of how you choose to rest, these daily behaviours can help you recover and recharge from physical and mental effort.
“Respect your body when it is asking for a break. Respect your mind when it is seeking rest. Honour yourself when you need a moment for yourself.”
By allowing our bodies time to recover, rest helps prevent injuries and improve overall performance. It also aids in muscle repair, reduces inflammation, and supports a healthy immune system. Additionally, rest helps manage stress levels and lowers blood pressure, contributing to a healthier heart.
How does rest give us energy?
Sleep specialists believe that the last of them—known as deep sleep or slow-wave sleep—is the main time when your body renews and repairs itself. This stage of sleep appears to be the one that plays the greatest role in energy, enhancing your ability to make ATP, the body’s energy molecule.
- Get sick less often.
- Stay at a healthy weight.
- Lower your risk for serious health problems, like diabetes and heart disease.
- Reduce stress and improve your mood.
- Think more clearly and do better in school and at work.
- Get along better with people.
“Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer.”
Sometimes, particularly when you have a lot of work, your mind and body are defeating you, and you want to rest but cannot. This is a very difficult situation to be in. Now you need to plan your work in such a manner that one day you do nothing. Just switch on your laptop only at 6 PM while in the morning, you are down like a cat, wriggling. And then meditated on the floor, being stroked by the sun. After which take a walk along the coast!
Finally, gorge on some sumptuous lunch and sleep like a log to make the most of the day. This way you save a lot of energy for productive work. Because when you are rested, you can complete tasks three or more times faster than if you were not rested. Therefore, I am asking you, “It is enough to be constantly tense! Stop trying to be productive 10 hours per day!”
“Sometimes the most important thing in a whole day is the rest we take between two deep breaths.”
As goes the saying, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy,” So do not get upset when I say do not work but work judiciously and make the most of your life. If you want to learn how to work less but to do more, you will have to learn productivity. So, we got back to the beginning… After all, I suggest learning to be productive again. But I emphasize that I suggest you learn it not so that you plough like a slave 24 hours a day!
“Wisdom is knowing when to have rest, when to have activity, and how much of each to have.” — Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Stop trying to be productive every second. Sometimes you can be productive for only two hours a day, but these hours give you the biggest results!
So be happy by not compromising on rest! Happy HO!