Umm, not so fast.
“The Laziness Lie has tried to convince us that our desires for rest and relaxation make us terrible people… In reality, our feelings of tiredness [can signal] to us that we’re desperately in need of some downtime… ‘Wasting time’ is a basic human need.” --Laziness Does Not Exist by Dr Devon Price
Not only that, it’s strategically smart to have downtime—real downtime where you don’t think about work. This creates the space for creative problem-solving and innovation, connecting the dots and coming up with fresh new perspectives.
I get it. I really do. I recently found myself taking time off, but not really. I appeared to rest but really I was berating myself for getting behind on my to-do list. And feeling worse.
It was not exactly replenishing. I guess I felt like I hadn’t “earned” or “deserved” the rest. It’s fine for others but not for me. Huh? Can you relate??
Einstein reportedly slept over 10 hours a day, by the way. And took daily walks. The fact is that downtime often leads to innovation and insight. We KNOW this, but we don't do it.
Does rest = laziness to you? Is that the story you’re telling yourself? And are you avoiding something else maybe? Does it seem safer to stay so busy that you can’t stop and think? Or feel?
If you think these questions don’t apply to you… ok. But if you’re still convinced that you *can’t* disconnect from work, even for a little while, why not? Is this out of fear of being seen as replaceable? Or is it simply that your company does not have systems in place to allow this to comfortably happen?
Does your team feel the same way? If so, something needs to change. There are so many potential solutions out there, there’s really no reason that people have to continue pretending to be robots.
So, instead of asking why you can’t stop and take a breather (because our brains will always try to find confirming evidence for our beliefs, no matter what), why not ask: