Rest and relaxation are a gift from the industrial revolution forward. Machines doing our work have helped us achieve more and work fewer hours. I’m not sure the technology/mobile device revolution has helped us work less, but we surely do produce more.
I mean, who remembers using the card catalog at the library to research a paper in college and bringing a roll of dimes with you in case you had to print from microfiche? Google has all but eliminated that laborious chore.
Vacations are not my goal nor are they the source of relaxation because I find that I have to work extra hard to prepare for my absence only to find mounds of paperwork when I return. My vacation is plagued by the background worry that I had forgotten to do this or that.
My goal is to make the day relaxing while accomplishing all of my goals, tasks, or what-have-you. The key to me is realizing when my brain has maxed out at a certain task. Once I have reached that point, I switch the task to something opposite. If I had been reading all day, preparing to write a project profile and I feel that I am in a rut, I switch to accounting tasks and vice versa.
I start drafts when I have the idea, I keep my inbox organized and process work in batches, and I have iCal + good-old-sticky-notes to help jog my memory for due dates, tasks, ideas. I also avoid procrastination. Procrastination is the eternal setup for stress and anxiety. The more you procrastinate, the closer the deadline is, the more you have to put other tasks on the back burner, which become late, etc.
I also believe in taking a time-out whether it is a walk outside at break, doing some kind of brain teaser or puzzle, or leaving the office for lunch.
“It is requisite for the relaxation of the mind that we make use, from time to time, of playful deeds and jokes” ~ St. Thomas Aquinas
“Every now and then go away, have a little relaxation, for when you come back to your work your judgment will be surer. Go some distance away because then the work appears smaller and more of it can be taken in at a glance and a lack of harmony and proportion is more readily seen.” ~ Leonardo da Vinci