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As we kick off a new year, it’s a time of reflection, but it’s also a time to look forward. I recently took a quiz about my word for the year. Several years ago, one of my friends started doing this, so I thought I’d join in on the fun. 2019 was the first year I had a word of the year. I remembered it throughout the year at various times — my word was “Love.”

For 2020, my word is “Rest.” For those that know me, they know this is going to be challenging. My type A personality doesn’t sit still for long and is constantly on the go. That said, I believe this is perfect timing for this word in my life. We are all busy and moving forward to improve our lives, personally and professionally. Rest is essential in moving forward and making things happen. It’s only when our brains and bodies are rested that we can perform at our optimum capacity.

Especially as leaders, we need to embrace the idea of rest. It helps us be more creative, more productive, and a better leader among many other benefits. Rest is not just sleep, but also stillness during the day. Take time each day to do things that rest your mind and body. Everyone has different ways to rest, whether that be reading, meditating, walking or reflecting. When your mind and body are at rest, it allows creativity to flow through your brain. As leaders, we need more rest and more creativity in our businesses and in our lives. We forget that resting is part of a healthy lifestyle.  I’m guilty of it too!

Rest creates a better leader and better person all around. When you are rested you are more patient, a better listener, an open-minded learner, less stressed and anxious just to name a few. Think about some of your best ideas or solutions to difficult problems you’ve solved. I would bet that many of those came when you weren’t actually thinking about the idea or solution. You were probably walking or eating breakfast or showering! Your brain needs that time to process the information and then discover that great idea or solution. Even if you aren’t “doing” your job, you probably are subconsciously. That’s a good thing!

Rest is essential for everyone… leaders… employees… children… friends… family members. Memory relies on sleep so the more rest you get, the better your memory is. Rest is part of your overall health, so take some time to rest in 2020. Your business and your health will thank you!

 

P.S. If you want to read more on the topic of rest and its importance, check out this interesting Scientific American article: “Why Your Brain Needs More Downtime.”

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