Is sleeping more important than working hard?
I’m sure you’ve run into that one friend who’s mindset is that “work hard and no play” means attaining their goal of success. Others look at them in admiration with dilated pupils and think “They are a machine! I admire them.” Deep down inside you probably know better than this. You probably look at them and think, “they look like they’re working hard”, “they’re aging very rapidly with their raccoon eyes”, or even “those saddle bags look like they don’t need coffee, it looks like they have bags of coffee underneath.” What can you do to tactfully help them appreciate that sleep and enjoying life is just as important as work?
Jack will not be a dull boy and hopefully they won’t feel the effects of burnout. A book titled Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, answers the question as to why sleep is actually more important than working long hours. Long projects, multi-tasking, working hard, and getting “stuff done” for long hours equals more productivity; these are all technically an assumption that hard work pays off. This assumption may be an error for organizations and individuals. If creativity and ingenuity are adversely affected, what about an imperfect human being?
Some view rest as “supine”, yes; a negative space where someone is not active. If you’re thinking about creating an excuse for a lot of leisure activities or having a “Netflix and chill” moment then the term “rest” is not exactly what’s being explained here. Replace that term with the psychological concept coined “deep play”. Suggesting this phrase that counteracts that type of “chill” mentality was popularized by the cultural anthropologist, Clifford Geertz. Ambitious people that work a lot still have hobbies that take a great amount of time and energy. Some call these activities “serious leisure”, but it seems to be the answer. Investment of time and energy into another activity (other than a job) has a deeper value. The term “rest” has been clarified. Well, what about sleep? Is that just as important? It’s like asking if clearing the plaque from your teeth or excreting fecal matter is important. Um, yes it is. Sleep actually clears out the plaques and toxins when someone is awake. So if you think someone that stayed up past their circadian cycle and met their deadline to their paper, agenda, or work; could you just imagine this person’s potential when they’ve actually got their beauty sleep? Quoting the last portion of the article:
“As Picasso said: ‘Inspiration exists but it has to find you at work.’ People who have long creative lives, who do really great work for decades, they don’t get inspired and start work. They start work and get inspired. And they do this every day. That was a real revelation.” – Alex Soojung-Kim Pang
Here at The Unsung Post, we sometimes use the saying “Do work!” I guess we weren’t wrong all along. We proudly use the term when motivating our friends, family, and readers to get off their couch with their high and mighty “Netflix and chill” mentality. Whether you want to call it serious leisure or deep play moments, one thing is for sure; stand up, find an activity where you can clear your brain from your job and happily sleep or rest after.
*(This article is not directed towards people with dark under-eye circles in which genetics, allergies, nasal congestion, illness, trauma, or age play a factor. This article is directed towards those that need to “sleep” and need to get their “rest” for their baseline healthy skin.)
Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang is now available at a book seller near you.
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