Nutrition and business – how much do they have in common? This week on So Here’s My Story, Jodi and Eliot talk about the importance of taking a break, in nutrition, and in business.
Why is that important for business?
In nutrition or in business, there is a level of performance that yields results, and a level that means almost identical energy output, with diminishing returns. It is often better to take a week off and come back at full focus than to continue to work in a capacity that isn’t working. It’s important to play strategic hooky. So why don’t we?
There is almost universal buy-in on the smaller part of that picture – we know we get our best idea in the shower or walking the dog because of the mental break. But where people tend to get off the boat is making it strategic, because that seems like an abdication of responsibility.
But everything – from yoga to nutrition to exercise – has built-in ebbs and flows, and it is in the rest period that you actually gain the strength. It is counterintuitive, but it’s in the period of not doing that you actually make the leaps forward.
Everyone tells the story of the lumberjack stopping to sharpen his saw, but when the rubber hits the road, most people don’t have the courage to actually live that story.
It’s even more insidious than “that’s how we’ve always done it” – this is perfectionism, and this is pride.
Perfectionism is not a quest for the best. It is a pursuit of the worst in ourselves, the part that tells us that nothing we do will ever be good enough. — Julia Cameron
When they do studies, people are often completely mentally exhausted, and also completely unaware of their cognitive degradation. By the time you are feeling exhausted, taking a break is the most important thing you can do, but it often feels like the last thing you can do.
Your brain is not meant to run marathons; it is meant to run sprints. If you build a routine and schedule your downtime, it makes it strategic. You also need to set up your company culture to value clarity, and not penalize people for seeking it. Not stopping is often a point of pride, and that value can be very misguided. Taking a break can be the most responsible thing you do.
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