Columbus, OH

Columbus Author Explains The Importance of Rest

Kyle Smith
workingPhoto by Nick Morrison on Unsplash

Are you tired out? Maybe you're even exhausted. If so, there's no shame in that. I recently spoke with Columbus author Jake Wells about this very topic. Jake is a productivity author and knows his stuff, so I was excited to chat with him. Here is a summary of our conversation.

Why do you think we keep pushing so hard and trying to do so much?

Great question. Mental load is real. Mental fatigue is real. And most of us try to ignore both. We often do too much. We rarely do too little. And if for some reason we are not doing much at all — maybe depression or some mental health issue is in the mix — we absolutely need to rest.

We might even need to ask for help. But doing more and pushing harder is likely not the answer. Without taking breaks, we break as well. It’s that simple. We are human beings, not robots. I hurt, you hurt. I bleed, you bleed. It’s time to embrace the fact that more does not equal better. More is just more.

Wow, I love that. How do you know if you need a break or if it's just being lazy?

You know in your gut if you are being lazy. In many cases, laziness isn’t the issue. It’s something else. It’s likely that you’re tired. Or maybe you’re lacking clarity. One of the main reasons we put things off is because of procrastination. Sure, sometimes we are being lazy. It’s easier to watch Netflix than it is to workout. It’s easier to sleep in than it is to get up and write. No doubt. But there is often more at play. You are much smarter than you realize. Your brain is brilliant, so we procrastinate for a reason.

If you’re always tired, you’ve got a serious issue that needs to be addressed. You need more rest — and I’m not talking about just sleep. You need more rest.

If a friend told you, “I’m going to run a marathon every day,” you would say that’s crazy, right?

But that’s essentially what we are doing. We just don’t call it a marathon. We get on the treadmill and never stop running. Being really busy all the time is not a badge of honor. And drinking more coffee is not the answer to all of these problems. Believe me, I’ve tried. It just temporarily masks the need to rest. The good news is you know what you need to do.

Can you elaborate on that?

Sure! When you want to do what matters most to you, by default you are being focused and intentional. You'll have more momentum and clarity when you do those things. Compare this with running around trying to do as much as possible. Do you really think you can “do it all?” You know you can’t. You know you need a break. It’s okay. You can admit it.

Recharging your mental energy is something we all must do. And yet we put it off. We act like we are robots. Remember, you’re a human being, not a human doing. So you need to intentionally pause and rest. If you don’t, you won’t keep going. You’ll get sick. You’ll produce lower quality work. You’ll get cranky and irritable and stressed. Want permission? Here it is. (Although you didn’t really need it.) Self-care is not selfish. Go take the break you know you need.

Wow, what was incredible. Thanks so much, Jake, for your insights. I personally feel more focused and ready to take action. Do you need a break? (I know I do!)

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I write about writing, productivity, creativity, and much more.

St. Louis, MO

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