I’ve missed writing. I mean writing for the sake of writing. Blogging and all that. One of the things I’ve wrestled recently is doing something ‘recreational’ for the sake of it. I’m not writing about this for the first time. I’ve vowed not to make this ‘mistake’ before. But, yes, you’ve guessed it, I’ve done a Britney Spears: Oops I did it again.
(In case you don’t know what a Britney Spears: Oops I did it again, check it out here.)
We all have times when our work demands a little more. Moments where we need to put in a little extra effort and time. Different people have different stamina.
We’ll always wrestle with discerning whether we’re stretching for growth or the opposite. It is not an issue of balance. Balance is a myth; this is about managing tension.
Sometimes the healthier thing to do is push harder. Growth for ourselves and our enterprises often depends on it. In those instances there’s a fine line between wisdom and stupidity.
Push too hard and, like with our bodies, a ligament is torn. Shy from pushing a little more and miss out on the opportunity to advance. Stamina is not developed and there is no significant growth.
So, why am I singing, “Oops I did it again”? Well, I might have crossed the fine line: stretching to rip a ligament and not to get stronger. This isn’t to say there hasn’t been any gain. Learning has happened. Wins have resulted.
Many demands call for prioritising. Those demands also call for extra effort and time. The challenge is that while pursuing the pressing, down time gets crossed out from the diary.
I think I’ve just become aware of another dynamic for downtime and ‘recreation’. It is not only about creating space and making sure it happens. The other dynamic is being able to change it. That is, contextualising downtime.
The way I adjust other areas of my life in demanding times also applies to downtime. When there are more than usual pressing issues, I should morph other activities that refresh me. Find a way to do some version of them. Perhaps not cutting out rest completely but including it at shorter intervals.
During those extra focus time, I need an extra charge. It is a challenge and seems counterproductive to think rest is necessary for progress. It is dumb to think that we can do more without rest. The opposite is true: our output diminishes without rest. It is still worth remembering the definition of rest.
Understanding rest is critical. Knowing how to recharge is not enough; it is important to act on it. This includes adjusting to changing circumstances and demands.
I write another note-to-self. Definitely like a few I’ve written, over and over. Oops I did it again…
Do you sometimes wrestle with similar tension I’ve shared about?