How To Double Your Productivity: A Case For A Dedicated Day Of Rest

I am a much disciplined person when it comes on to pretty much all areas of my life- okay, all areas of my life. I don’t have a perfect life, but I tell you, it is darn near close! (true story!) The past 10 years I have done some pretty deep “inner world” cleaning and no word of lie, I am seeing the incredible results in my physical world- relationships, career, money, spirituality etc.   I usually get a lot accomplished in a day without feeling overwhelmed or unduly taxed for time.

Recently, I made some human resources changes in the company that saw me take on more of the day-to-day operation on top of my responsibilities as president of the company- yikes!  I was feeling squeezed, though I had not changed my daily routine of morning devotion, twice daily journaling and 60 minutes of exercise before starting the work day. This is followed by 15-30 minutes of meditation throughout the day – sometimes (time allowed) in 15 minute chunks or mostly in 5 minute chunks throughout. The day is wrapped up with night time devotion and spiritual reading before going down to sleep for the most peaceful and restful sleep.  I thought this was a pretty together way of managing one’s day and hence productivity! Alas, I was feeling squeezed, more and more.

One Sunday 3- months ago, I decided after church I would spend the rest of the day in complete rest.  This was not the kind of rest where I am watching television, reading the newspaper, puttering around the house or yard or visiting people. This was a deep spiritual, re-juvenating, re-creating rest. I read the various books I would read to build my spiritual pillar, I journaled by reflecting on the week past and the work I did, both professionally, socially and as a mother and wife. I had time to look back and ask myself what it all means. Am I truly doing what I am to do? Am I doing what I say I intend to do? Then I took the most beautiful sleep. Woke up and spent the remainder of that glorious Sunday in an absolute state of true rest.

The Monday after my first day of true rest, I went into the office and was amazed at how much work I got done by 12:00 noon! There was still half the day left and my To Do list was virtually done!  Long story short, this level of productivity has been like this for me for 3- months now. In fact, I would go as far as to say, I have doubled my productivity! This I did by taking one day out of the week for true, meaningful rest.

Note: In order for me to have a true day of rest every Sunday for the past 3-months, I have spent time on Friday evenings and Saturdays to prepare the meals for the week, get the laundry done and any other necessary housekeeping tasks. I do this because I find when Sunday rolls around I know I can truly rest without worrying about getting these things done.

I would love to hear from you about this experience of mine. In fact, I challenge you to set aside a dedicated day of rest every week and watch your energy, productivity, mental health and overall well-being skyrocket!

In health and success,

Phyllis Reid-Jarvis, MPH, RD, CDE, ACC

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