O P I N I O N
Rest: What is it good for?
I f you answered “absolutely nothing,” this article is for you. If you resonate with the following sample of my last Tuesday, then this article is definitely for you. Taking a break and letting your mind wander can bring a fresh perspective and the extra boost you need to make it through the day a happier, healthier you.
Last Tuesday I got to work early to make the following day’s deadline, only to find 20 emails in my inbox (that were sent after 7 p.m. the day before). While skimming through emails, a colleague dropped by for advice on their project. I hadn’t quite finished answering their question when my phone rang – a client wanted an update on their project and to see if it could be done a week sooner. Trying to rearrange my team’s schedules, I glanced at the clock and realized I was five minutes late for a meeting. All of this in my first hour in the office, and I hadn’t even had my coffee yet! Sadly, I’m sure this example rings true for many reading this article. The rest of the day didn’t get any better, so I ended up staying a little late and then signing in again after having dinner with my family so I could try to finish the work I had actually come in early to do.
Somewhere along the way, work culture has equated busyness with success, and rationalized that the longer you stay busy the more likely you are to succeed. Also true, while you’ve probably heard about the dangers of burnout, you don’t know how to quantify it (and besides, that’s a problem for other people, not you). What exactly constitutes burnout, and how many days of long hours is one day too many, varies from person to person. Instead of focusing on how to walk the tightrope of your own personal limits, try instead to interject rest into every day – make it a best practice. Studies have shown that people are more creative and do better work when they’re well rested. The quality of the time they spend working is higher than that when they’re tired and worn out. As architectural and engineering professionals, this should have obvious benefits as the quality of our calculations and drawings
See MEGAN CHANG, page 12
THE ZWEIG LETTER JULY 13, 2020, ISSUE 1352
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