Sounds easy, but we so often take it for granted. Being busy can be seductive, having lots to do, people to see and places to go is great. But there are always comes a point where its just as important to recharge your own batteries. As the saying goes you can’t fill someone else’s cup if yours is half empty.
There’s also a darker side to this as well. Sometime when things aren’t going well, we have had a shock or a trauma its tempting to just throw ourselves into something else as a distraction. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Idle hands are dangerous and throwing your time and energy into something productive is a great way to put your time to good use. It keeps you focused and helps create those small wins you need to get through the day and take pride in. As long as it’s not purely a distraction that prevents you from facing your problems and really dealing with them.
The biggest challenge I find is that once your stuck on that wheel, you cant see the forest for the trees, you’re so frazzled with everything you need to do , you don’t stop to consider if the way your doing it is really getting you the best result or being completed in the most effective way. The problem being that you’re just plugging away, from task to task to task and don’t see the forest for the trees. There are times when this is necessary to get a job done, but its not a permanent approach to life.
I need a way to explain this and it reminds me of a story that I love and I think makes the point brilliantly.
“There were two woodcutters, they were often at loggerheads over who chopped more wood. One day, they decided to hold a competition to determine the winner. The rules were simple—whoever chopped the most wood, would be the winner.
The next day they started chopping. After an hour Peter suddenly stopped. When John realized that there was no chopping, he thought: “He must be tired already!” And he continued to cut down his trees with double the pace.
15 mins later Peter returns. John was starting to feel weary, but an hour later Peter stopped again. So, feeling motivated, John continued with a smile on his face.
Every hour, Peter would stop chopping for fifteen minutes while John kept going. When the competition ended, John was confident that he would be the winner.
To Johns surprise, when the results were announced, Peter had actually cut down more wood. How? “How could you have chopped down more trees than me? You stopped every hour.
Peter replied, “It’s simple. Every time I stopped, while you were still chopping, I was sharpening my axe.”
It sounds simple, but in his tunnel vision and fixation with winning John completely overlooked this simple fact. Taking time out not only lets you focus, in the long run it probably means you don’t work as hard and get a better result in the end.
Whatever it is, a day in the house with a good book or movie, a break from social media, going for a run or joining the gym. While it may seem these things take time away from a hectic schedule, they may actually be the thing that helps you get closer to your goals quicker and with a little less stress and frustration. You just have to take the time to make time for yourself. So, how do you wind down, what works for you?
Say Hi to your Family, Tell them you love them and for now…It’s Goodnight Jonboi