Do you ever struggle to rest?
Sure, we’d all enjoy a free vacation. But what would you do on that vacation, say, on day 4 of 10?
I’ve found that most people who are type-A, producers, drivers, have a hard time resting. I don’t mean sleeping (though that could sometimes be included). Type-A’s probably sleep too well – my wife often counting to 20 from when my head hits the pillow to when I’m snoring. I mean actually unplugging from their brain’s constant “on” setting and disconnecting completely.
The real problem is, there isn’t just one button to turn off.
There are about 30.
We’re constantly creating, managing, and revising. Our entrepreneurial spirit is looking at the next horizon, and our eyes are keen to spot new opportunities. Even when we’re “not” working.
In our creative lives, we have to switch off the:
• It’s fun to make something from nothing.
• If that person can do it, so can I.
• If no one else is doing it, I will.
• My previous idea worked, so this one could be even better.
• If I fix this right now, it will increase value longterm.
For most authentic drivers, we also carry deep senses of accountability and responsibility. Our creative impetus is linked to strong emotional triggers.
In our ethical lives we have to turn off:
• My value is proportional to what I produce.
• If I’m not doing something I’m being lazy.
• If I don’t work hard my household will suffer.
• I have a deep sense of loyalty to my employer; I can not fail them.
• I have a deep sense of loyalty to my employees; I must be there for them.
I am far from the authority on exactly how to switch everything off (very open to concise, wise council from experienced leaders), but I’m learning.
Things that have been convicting me and subsequently empowering me to turn off my “systems”:
• My longterm success is dependent on my present-term health.
• Things can wait.
• People need me more than projects need me; prioritize people accordingly.
Before you tell a type-A they should take a break, think through their lives a little before offering what appears to them as flippant advice. They do want your help, they just need it accurately and in context.
One of the most practical steps I’ve committed to recently – at the request of my wife and the example of my senior pastor – is turning my iPhone off at 6pm. My wife needs it, my kids need it, and I need it.
At home I’m also trying to work less and play more.
It’s not just a vacation we need, it’s a well-managed life where all the buttons get turned off in sequence before we hit the beach. ch: