I’ve learned something over the past month. I don’t like to ramble about myself but I felt this one was necessary. This is for all the hyper-productive people out there. We get up early, work, exercise, clean, bed on time, the whole package.
I thought I was resting. I mean I only got maybe an hour or three of artwork done on day job days, 5-6 on weekdays. I got plenty of sleep, exercised daily but still had a ton of time to relax. And I did relax. But I wasn’t actually RESTING. Let’s talk about the difference and why it matters.
My general schedule went: Wake up early, 1hr exercise, 1hr artwork, 7hr day job, rest of the night to work, clean and/or relax. Not bad right? I really wasn’t doing much. And frankly after my day job I’d be super unproductive so cleaning and work were often saved for the weekend.
First change: I just said I was unproductive after the day job right? But mentally I knew I was just fine and I expected myself to work after I got home. And I’d feel bad when I didn’t. So I’d try to cram more in the morning but one can only get up so early! So I ditched that expectation. Instantly I felt better and actually produced more work and had more energy than before.
Second change: I exercised every day. It wasn’t high impact so I didn’t need a break right? But I also looked the same from when I started a year before (and on and off before then). Guess what? Even with a medium-intensity workout, the body needs rest to enact the changes you’re making! So I went to a strength-building workout 3 days a week. I still can’t fathom how working out less is better, but I can literally feel the mending happening as I rest an extra hour in the morning (not necessarily sleep but rest).
Two changes. That’s it. Last weekend I took one day off to rest and clean, then I drew a record number of pages the following day!
Moral of the story: Sleep and good food are vital. But so is rest, mental and physical. Not just hanging out and relaxing but genuine moments of rest. Cutting back is scary but I’m more productive after doing so!