Anyone else have a problem with slowing down? As in, you seem to be incapable of doing nothing?
Shocker, I know. As “lazy” as I can be in certain situations, I have the darndest time finding and allowing myself to rest. Between my real estate business, social media marketing business, my volunteer position, e-learning with my first grader, and momming… I’m exhausted! I know, I know, I could just quit something. But all of these things are too important to me to just give up.
You know the old saying “a body in motion stays in motion…” Yeah, that’s me. If my plate or schedule isn’t full I’m not satisfied or motivated, and therefore not productive. However, if I’m not careful and thoughtful, that full schedule will grow legs and become an overwhelming monstrosity! Insert periods of rest. And it can look like several different things! Finding it in your routine is a bit of a balancing act but once you do it it’s gold.
In my opinion (and I’m no psychologist, I just play one on TV) there are a few different types of rest:
There is physical rest where you actually do nothing. Think sleeping, lounging, the traditional sense of rest.
Then there is mental rest where you’re still active and doing something but you’re allowing your brain to work on something else, something easier or different. Think hobbies, volunteer work… a project that’s vastly different from whatever it is that’s “bogging you down.”
There is emotional rest - let it out! Let the floodgates open and clear your system of the emotional weight you’ve been carrying.
And last but not least, spiritual rest. This would be time alone with God (for my fellow believers) or meditation or whoever/whatever it is that you worship and find spiritual peace. This is less about consuming something as it is practicing and investing in that side of you.
Why do we need rest? It’s our body’s way of recharging. Just like battery operated toys (yeah, I’m in that phase with my boys…) we expend energy throughout the day. Everything takes energy - physical movement to mental trains of thought. All of it. Our toys either need new batteries when they’ve run down, or like us, a recharge so that we can play some more in the morning. According to SleepFoundaiton.org, (Sleep, 2020) a full night of uninterrupted sleep allows the body to complete all the phases needed for muscle repair, memory consolidation and release of hormones which regulate growth and appetite. When this happens we’re able to concentrate better the next day as well as make decisions, engage fully in the day’s activities.
Still not convinced? I found on lifehack.org by author and entrepreneur Kenny Kline a post about benefits of rest as they relate to efficiency at work (Kline, n.d.). 1. You’ll keep your brain sharp - like other muscles in the body it too needs to recover. 2. You’ll become more creative - Did you know that Albert Einstein thought up the theory of relativity while out on a bike ride? 3. You’ll get more done in less time i.e. increase your productivity and efficiency. 4. You’ll make better decisions. 5. You’ll prevent illness - rest helps your body and immune system repair themselves. 6. You’ll catch up on sleep (see the info I shared from SleepFoundation.org)... and lastly, 7. You’ll have time to review and reflect. This gives you time to assess how things are going and make adjustments as necessary, like correcting bad habits before they take over.
So how do you find rest? It starts with good old work/life balance. The phrase or concept is actually one of discipline and practice, much like anything else in life! It’s great to say and throw around, as many companies and businesses do, but actually practicing it is another thing. I am SO grateful to have found a work family that gets it. Our leaders, Todd & Megan Ferrs and Terry Waggoner, are all about intentionally taking time away from work for family or personal development. ESPECIALLY in real estate it is so easy to get burned out. After all, you’re meeting or chasing the needs of others 24/7. It’s exhausting (parents, I’m lookin’ at you! You know what I mean…) So it’s fine and dandy if a business says they value work/life balance but it’s another if they actually practice it. Without it, you’ll never find rest.
Here is how I have found rest throughout my days, weeks, and years…
Make a schedule - whether you work in or out of the home, set limits for yourself. Determine when you’re “on” and when you’re “off”. Then you can create or find margins in your day where some form of rest can be inserted. This will allow you to be intentional about resting AND shed some light at the end of that tunnel because you know when you’re going to get it.
I know many professionals actually start their day with rest, specifically spiritual rest. Personally, this is my favorite time for spiritual rest. Early in the morning, before my kids are up and the “Do Not Disturb” expires on my phone - it’s just me and my coffee and my Bible.
What about mental or emotional rest? Do you like to exercise? That’s a great release for emotional or mental stress. I’ve recently gotten into a kickboxing style of exercise and I know I can fit it in three days a week right before picking up my youngest kiddo. I can burn off any and all frustrations - punch, kick, even scream if I need to - it takes 40 minutes out of my day and then I’m back at it.
Hobbies - when can you fit those in? Gardening? Cooking/baking? Crafts? Any of these, and more, are excellent mental breaks. You’re still moving, but your brain can do something else, something other than work.
Be unapologetic about it - listen, your body, your brain (your family and those around you) need you to rest. It’s how you recharge, reset. So you take it! “But Kate, I work in <insert heavy client facing career here> and can’t afford to take a break throughout the <insert time frame here>.” YES, yes you can and here’s how I do it:
APPOINTMENTS. Clients of mine, if you’re reading this, please know that I love you and you truly are extremely important to me! But without my sanity intact, I can’t help either one of us! So I make appointments with myself, my kids, my garden, my husband, my family or friends… The work will still be there 30 minutes later and I’d bet after a little mental break in my day I’ll be able to tackle said work more efficiently than had I attempted it burned to the wick.
Set expectations - so you’ve made your schedule and now you’re sticking to it, next you have to let those affected by these changes know. Now, I’m not saying share the detailed ins and outs of your day with everyone, use some discretion… but set appropriate expectations with those around you who need to know. They’ll allow it, I promise you. And if they don’t... then that’s another blog post…
For longer periods of rest, let clients know! Let them know from _ date to _ date you’re going to do your best to lay off the phone/email/job but assure them that you’ll respond to everything by _ time.
When I meet a new client I always explain to them that I am a mom, I am an early morning kind of person, that I won’t work after 8 or 9 pm UNLESS we’re negotiating something or it’s urgent. I will if I have to but my family comes first. EVERY. SINGLE. CLIENT. I have worked with has respected this (to those still reading, thank you for allowing me to serve both you and my family at the same time!!) I’ve had to travel to be with family out of state, funerals, babies, sick kiddos, school schedules… every one of my clients has kindly allowed me to step away from the job when life required me to do so - including the rest I needed for myself.
Show up - lastly, be intentional about the work you’re doing. Show up for your clients. When you do that over and over again, when you show your clients how hard you’re working for them, they’ll gladly let you take a day or two or perhaps just an hour for yourself. Now, I’m not saying you should go out there and sing your swan song to them and get sympathy. Rather when you’re “on” you’re on and when you’re “off” you’re off. This is another way of setting expectations with those around you. They’ll have every confidence in you that you’re on top of things when you’re on so much so that they won’t worry when you’re off. How do I do this?
Respond! Reply to every text, email and call. Maybe not that second but within the hour/day… be responsive, don’t leave anyone hanging.
Do what you say you’re going to do. Follow through.
When you’re working, you’re working - you’re not talking about life’s problems, you’re not complaining… you’re going to save that for rest time. You’re at a showing? You’re engaged in that appointment. Likewise with listings, partner meetings, etc.
This goes for rest as well - TAKE THE TIME. If you’re on vacation, BE on vacation. Put the phone away in a drawer. Turn off your early morning alarm. Sleep in. Slow down. Your body, mind, and people around you need you to.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I am an FPG agent and our Social Media Coordinator. One of my side hustles is photography and in my former life I was a meeting and event planner. I’m a boy mom for life and constantly chasing messes (when I’m not breaking up fights!) and truly love serving my community by way of real estate. I get to meet and help so many amazing people around town! It has been an awesome career. Now as the brokerage’s Social Media Coordinator, I get to brag about how awesome our city and people are. Win win.
My husband and I were referred to FPG when we returned home to Indiana. I was drawn to their way of doing business and when I was offered an opportunity to join them the choice was easy! If you’re thinking of a career in real estate, or one with Ferris Property Group, we’d love to talk.
Kenny Kline (n.d.). Why Rest Days are Important for Higher Efficiency at Work. Lifehack. Retrieved September 2020, from https://www.lifehack.org/347808/why-rest-days-are-important-for-higher-efficiency-work
SleepFoundation.org (2020, August 14). What Happens When You Sleep? Retrieved September 2020, from https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/what-happens-when-you-sleep