Have you heard of a recovery coach? Not for rehabilitation after a surgery, but a person whose job is literally to help an athlete’s body rest after strenuous activity? LeBron James, one of the most prominent proponents of rest, literally has someone on his personal staff just to help him rest and recuperate. He prioritizes rest, recovery, and health over just about anything else he does. He knows what it takes to perform at his peak, particularly as he ages. It’s not just about training your body to get stronger and better but, knowing when to rest and recharge it.
While you might not be able to afford a recovery coach, you absolutely need to know the benefits that rest and recovery can have on your work, your family, and your physical longevity. As a manager and a leader, you are constantly trying to get the best out of your employees for the betterment of your business. And believe it or not, if you tell them to take a break and you’re not doing the same, you might be sending the wrong message about rest to your employees. Here are five reasons why rest is so important to you and your company.
1. Provides an example for your team
Look, we know that all things must come into balance. You can’t work without rest, and you can’t rest too much and be an effective leader. But, the more intentional you are about rest, the better your employees will rest too. They will take their cues from you. When they know the times to turn on the steam and the times to back off, you’ll increase your influence as a manager AND get the best out of your team.
2. Provides an opportunity for your team to showcase leadership
Ever wonder what happens when you take a break and your team keeps going? Someone has to make a tough call, or step in and lead the others. When you’re not there, others have to step in and step up, and that’s one of the best things you can give your team. Give an employee an opportunity to lead the other employees in your absence. You may even find the next great manager you didn’t know was already there!
3. Provides you an opportunity to think deeply
Clearing your head isn’t just a tactic when you’re faced with a difficult problem. When your brain spends too much time on one task, it can cloud your thoughts and drive you nuts! When is the last time you talked about something other than your job? When’s the last time you read a news article about a current event and discussed it with a coworker or spouse? Resting keeps you sane and gives you the space to think differently and more deeply.
4. Allows you time to recover
Even machines have to rest for the next payload. Parts need a break so they can perform at their maximum. The same is true for you. Take time to recover, not just the usual way, but REALLY recover. Sit by a lake and watch the sun go down. Turn off the TV an hour earlier and get some much-needed sleep. Recovery will do your body and your brain wonders.
5. Allows you to refocus on what’s important
All of us get caught up in the grind. While we most often identify with our jobs, it’s not the most important thing (or it shouldn’t be!) in our lives. Your family needs you to take a break. You need to spend time just being you and not your position or your title. Go fishing all day and be glad you didn’t catch anything but sunshine. Get your head out of the clouds and refocus on what’s important. The last thing your company needs is a half-rested version of you. Give them your all by calling a timeout and resting!