How often do you dive into your day, your week, your month, full-steam-ahead and then work to fit in some necessary downtime to recharge your emotional, intellectual and physical batteries? It’s the American way right? Work hard and recharge – rinse and repeat! But recently I heard a sermon that got me thinking perhaps we have it backward. Instead of plowing forward, head down, pedal-to-the-metal all day and then coming up for air, taking a needed break, maybe we need to reverse things. Maybe our bodies work best when we focus on getting the rest we need first and then charge forward from that place of being fully energized.
Think about it. When does your day start? At 7 am? 8 am? No, your day started at midnight. That’s when a new day begins. What are you doing at midnight? Hopefully, sleeping – resting, giving your body and your mind the rest it needs to be productive, to function at a peak level.
In the Bible, the first chapter of Genesis, where we read about God’s creative activity in designing the known physical world, each day is not described as morning and evening, but rather evening and then morning. Each day started with what we think of as the resting period, evening, followed by the activity period, morning.
So as you think of ways to maximize your productivity and your creativity, instead of planning out all that you have to do and then figure out how to fit in some rest time, flip that scenario. Plan your rest first and then schedule your day to follow.
Perhaps you have seen the illustration of trying to fit marbles and sand into a glass jar. If you pour in the sand first, there is not enough room in the jar to hold all the marbles. But if you fill your jar with the marbles first, then pour in the sand, that sand can fill in all the spaces around the marbles and both fit nicely into the jar container. It’s all about priorities – what you put into the jar first.
Schedule your rest first, and see if your working hours don’t become more energetic and productive.