26 Topics, Rest, Serenity Project

Serenity Project 19: Intentional Rest

I’ve been curious about the quality of my leisure time for a while. As a writer with a full-time job and  several fitness goals, I’m busy. But, hand on heart, I have plenty of discretionary time to work on projects that interest me, take care of the house, and to relax.

My sense, however, is that I use leisure time poorly, either not drawing a clear enough line in the sand that work is stopping and fun is beginning, or by allowing my free hours to slip away with non-reviving activities.

Serenity Project 19: Intentional Rest

Are you like me? How many of these do you do?

  • Watch television while doing something else, such as working on a laptop or tablet?
  • Get sucked into web surfing and before you know it, an hour has gone by?
  • Take a nap but wake up so sluggish, the afternoon feels wasted?
  • Feel too tired to do anything except slump in front of a TV show you’re not really interested in?
  • Eat lunch at your desk or in the car?
  • Stay up too late because you’re too tired to actually go through the steps of getting to bed?
  • Have nothing “fun” to relate to others on a Monday morning, just chores and errands?

I planned this topic long before I read Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less, but this book contains plentiful examples of the boost in productivity we experience when we take a good quantity of high quality rest. Longer and longer days are not the answer!

So, for the next two weeks, I’m cracking down on the habits listed above and plan to notice – really notice – how my leisure time is used. I’ll be developing  a set of too-tired-to-do-anything activities which feel more nourishing than mindless screen time. I’ll be reminding myself of the opportunities for Joy Every Day and of Treasuring the Twilight before bedtime. I’ll be taking a lunch break every day and, at any given moment, aiming to be clear whether I’m in productive or recharging mode.

Will you join me? If you’d like to stop the blurring of work and play and feel revived by whatever rest time you have available, I’d love to hear your thoughts.


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4 Comment

  1. Reply
    Jean | DelightfulRepast.com
    September 18, 2017 at 8:55 am

    Oh, Pauline, I’m so looking forward to more on this project — though I might need you here, in person, to crack down on my bad habits! When I do, on rare occasions, sit down for lunch I always think “I should do this more often.” Then I slip right back into grabbing a spoonful of peanut butter and calling it lunch! Can’t wait to see what you come up with for too-tired-to-do-anything activities.

    1. Reply
      Pauline
      September 18, 2017 at 9:15 am

      Hi Jean, OK, great to know you are up for this and keeping an eye on me! My fear is that this topic is a bit hard to measure and that my goals here might not be very “SMART”. But I’ll keep you posted!

  2. Reply
    April J Harris
    September 26, 2017 at 10:30 am

    Pauline, this post really resonated with me. We aren’t getting a lot of leisure time in because both my husband and I just keep working all the time. Then when we do, it feels like it’s just another thing to tick off the list. I’m definitely going to join you in being more clear about being productive or recharging! Thank you so much for sharing this post! Sharing on Twitter later today 🙂

    1. Reply
      Pauline
      September 26, 2017 at 12:46 pm

      April, if it’s any comfort, I’m finding this topic really challenging. Maybe I need to put on a special hat or something when it’s “relax” time! Otherwise, yes, tasks just seem to sort of blend…

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