Do you live to work or work to live? As an independent worker in the gig economy, you may experience a drive to be as productive as possible in order to satisfy current customers, land new gigs and make a living. While productivity can help you succeed, you need a rest day, too. Here’s why rest is important and how you can make it happen.
1. A Rest Day Boosts Productivity
Think about what happens when you work long hours and exert tons of energy day after day. In the moment, you think that overwork will help you get more done, but most likely, your productivity, focus, thinking capacity, and creativity suffer.
It’s no accident that productivity decreases in proportion to the hours you work in one sitting. Your body and brain require rest and downtime to function properly. In fact, you’re more likely to remain alert, think creatively, avoid stress and burnout, and increase productivity when you add a rest day to your weekly routine.
2. A Rest Day Means Stop
To truly count as a rest day, tune everything out and stop for a full 24 hours. Take rest seriously and shut the door to your home office, turn off your work devices, avoid conversations about work, and gain the full benefits of relaxation and rejuvenation. You could even take a little day trip to really disconnect
It will feel challenging at first to give yourself permission to rest, especially if you’re a workaholic or feel pressure to make your gig succeed. But taking a full stop means you get a break from striving, trying and pushing. You honor the parts of you that need to pause, and you give yourself a break to enjoy your life, recognize your blessings, practice gratitude, reconnect with your loved ones, and appreciate nature.
Your day of rest also allows you to nurture and reconnect with your mind, body, and spirit so that you can return to work energized, engaged and focused.
3. Rest Day Includes Balance
Like you make your own work schedule, you get to choose what you will and will not do as you rest. There are some ways you can maximize your rest day and make it more balanced, though.
Consider starting your day of rest with a ritual. Power down your work devices, close your office door and change into play clothes. Or light a candle, take a bubble bath, or prepare a special beverage or meal. These and other rituals signal to your body and your mind that work is over and rest can begin.
Now, you’re ready to engage in restful activities that reset your body and mind. You may choose to sleep, exercise, cook, meditate, create art, or play games with your family. Just be sure the activities you choose are not work related!
Practice mindfulness and stay present as you rest, too. Focus on enjoying each moment. If you do think about work – and you probably will – remind yourself that the project, client or task will be there tomorrow, but today is about relaxing, resetting and nurturing your inner self.
Rest is the secret partner in your success in the gig economy, so make it a priority and schedule a rest day each week.
About the Author: Jennifer Turner writes web content for a variety of clients. As a gig worker, she understands the benefits and challenges of the industry, which is why she prioritizes daily self-care. Find her at WriterAccess.