Copywriter Wanted? Ensuring Your Rest and Rejuvenation

by Gabe Arnold


Are you tempted to place the ad, “Copywriter Wanted”?

The burden of writing your own content is wearying and the fatigue takes its toll on business, family and health. With the growing value of spinning words for online marketing campaigns and the increasing number of platforms you MUST engage, you and your staff are taxed to the max.

But, each time you are poised to hire a content writer or outsource this valuable marketing strategy, you shrink back. The guilt creeps in and the questions arise.

“Who knows this company as well as I do?”

“I can write so why pay someone else to do the work?”

“What we have is good enough”

You have the skills. You are capable. Certainly, you can squeeze a few more hours out of each day to just do it yourself.

Harness those superpowers for just a moment! Please consider another perspective. Trying to be the master of the universe, even your company’s world, negatively impacts your focus, creativity and productivity.

So, put away your superhero complex and understand heroic acts take forms other than balancing the world on your muscled shoulders. In reality, muscles grow and strengthen best in between use, in times of rest.

Yes, rest. That four letter word uttered only in moments of complete exhaustion or perhaps your dreams (if you have time for sleep at all). The term experienced in the two minutes between the time your backside hits the subway seat and an all-too-urgent text begs for your attention.

Are you ready to click to another more productive site?

Pause just a moment before you click. Read further, and you may be convinced that rest is your most productive state. And, indeed your superhero status remains intact because you deliberately take breaks.

Starved for Rest

Technology and our collective drive to do more, do better leaves sound philosophies of living lingering in the past. Days which long ago breathed easily the rhythms of activity and quiet now struggle to catch their breath at all.

In a society where I can instantly reach you seven days a week, day or night, the line between work and rest easily blurs. Furthermore, the convenience and flexibility of working from home or remotely threatens to obliterate this line altogether.

Statistically, a significant percent of U.S. workers spend more than 40 hours per week on the job. And, as is likely evident, combined with at-home responsibilities, these figures drastically cut into time for recreation and rest.

Perhaps you have experienced the raised stress levels which arise from job-related factors such as work demands and hours. And, depleting your health, absenteeism and low productivity result.

Furthermore, shifting U.S. work day hours disrupt your natural rhythm of daylight activity and nighttime sleep. The resulting drowsiness and fatigue raise your risk of accompanying health issues such as sleep disorders, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity and more.

Finally, these negative outcomes result whether your job requires hard physical labor or the knowledge work of sitting and thinking. Both drain your physical and mental stores.

As a society, we are collectively starved for well-intentioned rest.

Productivity of Rest

Yet, often the mere idea of stepping back and the concept of rest make us feel lazy. After all, it is counter-intuitive to think that those who rest get more done. But, consider for a moment that those who work longer do not necessarily work more efficiently.

The truth is that the to-do list never ends. More work always arises. However, get this: Rest actually increases productivity. Yes, taking time off from the tasks at hand improves the odds of accomplishing them.

Wait! There’s more! Creativity and innovation also improve. And, enjoyment, job and life satisfaction increase. Plus, the negative health impacts of job stress decrease.

In fact, the practice of rest proves powerful and significant enough for Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, author and founder of The Restful Company, to describe it as “work’s partner.” Intentional rest, according to Pang, reveals new perspectives and formulates insights by giving our subconscious an opportunity to engage.

Now, we must be cautious. A wise friend always reminds me that an object in motion tends to stay in motion, and an object at rest tends to stay at rest. Keeping this scientific principle in mind, too much rest threatens to undo our efforts.

However, constant motion wears parts out including human parts. So, in this regard, we are talking about well-timed and well-purposed rest.

How to Capture Rest

In the busyness of the modern work environment, perhaps you have forgotten how to rest. At a minimum, perhaps this discipline feels uncomfortable and awkward.

Hang in there. All new practices require time to assimilate into schedules and lives as well as thought patterns. But, once you are practiced, my guess is that the obvious benefits will keep you coming back for more.

So, what does deliberate rest look like in busy lives?

First, let’s be clear that rest is defined as time not spent working. Therefore, other activities and relationships become part of the definition. Sleep and being still, while important components of rest, do not complete the picture.

Second, the measure of an activity’s restfulness lies in its ability to reduce stress and fuel the body and brain. With this in mind, exercise becomes an important means of rest. Side note: Research the link between success in business and athletic accomplishments for inspiration.

Now, let’s get to it.

Break It Up

According to Pang, the greatest productivity occurs in the rhythms of dedicated focus and mind wandering. Being intentional to bring these alternating concepts into every part of your day boosts creativity and productivity.

To take breaks from your focused efforts throughout the day leads to a bit of structure and planning. Let’s face it, once the day gets rolling, you tend to roll right along with it. And, the world’s penchant for busyness leaves little motivation to stop and smell the flowers.

Particularly as you begin to incorporate rest, reminders prove useful to your success. Use technology for good by accessing apps or Fitbit alarms to alert you to get mentally unfocused and physically moving from time to time.

Find a colleague, a friend if working remotely or a family member when working from home to join you in your quest for rest. Dogs with their love of play and need to walk make perfect companions in your efforts as well.

Make It Happen

  • Break every 25 minutes (according to the Pomodoro Technique) for five minutes to complete a set of jumping jacks, get an energizing snack, read a few pages of your favorite novel or let your mind wander.
  • Take a walk around the parking lot or with your dog to clear your mind.
  • Consider a walking business meeting for privacy, efficiency and innovation.
  • Supplement every two to four hours of intense focus with a physical activity.
  • Catch a quick snooze in a quiet place. Be sure to set an alarm!

Restful Days

The U.S. government supports no federal law requiring paid sick days. Yet, days of healing and rest prove beneficial to the workforce. How then can business owners or individual employees build in days of rest?

Using personal and sick days as appropriate offer times of healing and rejuvenation. Left unused, these built-in opportunities benefit no one. Rather than associating guilt with these times off work, a mind shift to appreciate their value to your success needs to occur.

Furthermore, weekends or at minimum one day per week set aside for the purposes of rest prove a good return on investment. With unending lists off the clock as well as on, be cautioned to intentionally plan rest into these no-work days rather than filling them with more tasks.

If, as I once did, you believe that you cannot afford to lose a day each week and still manage your workload, think outside that box. Let me assure you that time proved this a myth to me. A day of rest increases productivity in the other six days. And, this approach proves far more enjoyable.

Make It Happen

  • Find a hobby that pulls your attention as much as work and engage in it.
  • Set one day a week aside for non-work pursuits. (Yes, one per week.)
  • Plan a day trip to somewhere close you never get to visit.
  • Grab a friend and do lunch, golf, visit a museum or simply walk.
  • Take advantage of time for sheer inactivity.

Getting Away

Of industrialized nations, the U.S. remains the only country without a legally mandated annual leave policy.  In fact, in several countries, this vacation is paid. The importance of concentrated time off again places this responsibility in the hands of business owners and employees.

Planning vacations and leaving work behind balances the busyness and fills our stores of creativity. For careers like doctors and attorneys which offer minimal control over work schedules, weekends and vacations become critical in supporting rest. These opportunities for “deep play” as Pang terms them offer restorative power.

Consider vacations eight days long to maximize the psychological separation from your job. Pang believes the pleasure level peaks about this time. And, limit or eliminate (even better) work contact through text, email, Skype or other technologies to fully realize the break.

Dividing vacations into shorter excursions throughout the year helps extend the benefits of rest. Unfortunately, one long vacation leaves you with nearly a year before another significant spell of rejuvenation.

Make It Happen

  • Plan a long weekend staycation sleeping in and touring local attractions.
  • Spread trips out over the year as possible.
  • Use the vacation time allotted by your company.
  • Take a sabbatical to hole off in a hotel or favorite cabin.
  • Include both family and solo vacation time to refresh fully.

Sweet Slumber

Buying the myth that sleep is optional or that those who need less of it earn honor badges belonging to the strong and successful sets you up for burnout and decreased productivity. And, no, that is not all.

Incredible restoration and more occurs while you sleep. Failing to maximize this time of rest incurs physical and mental repercussions. In each of the four stages of sleep, valuable work takes place.

Check it out:

  • Heart rate slows and blood pressure drops to rest and regulate.
  • Cardiovascular health is promoted and risk of disease decreased.
  • Blood flows to muscles and tissues to promote repair and recovery.
  • Energy replenishes.
  • Human growth hormone prompts growth.
  • Hormones which help the immune system fight infection increase.
  • Appetite hormones regulate, blood sugar levels stabilize.
  • Risk of obesity and diabetes lowers.
  • Memory and learning pathways are boosted.
  • Problem solving and creativity improve.

Enough evidence of the value of sleep?

Seven to eight hours per night on a regular basis proves vital to stave off the negative outcomes of sleep deprivation. In other words, catch your zzz’s and your working daylight hours benefit.

Make It Happen

  • Keep regular sleep and wake times.
  • Set your environment for dozing with no electronics, darkening blinds and quiet.
  • Improve time management skills to avoid late night hours if possible.
  • Incorporate naps especially when night sleep proves limited.
  • Avoid work shifts longer than eight hours.

Shout It Out! “Copywriter Wanted!”

Clearly, strategies and policies need to be adopted to address the issues of long work hours impacting the health and well-being of the current workforce. And, advocating for these types of actions proves honorable.

However, in the meantime, the responsibility falls on the shoulders of business owners and individual employees to integrate rest into the rhythm of corporate and blue collar days. Yes, you and I are responsible for taking the breaks we need to succeed and encouraging the same in those around us.

And, done well, this feat is worthy of donning that superhero cape.

So, to free time for needed rest, post that “Copywriter Wanted” ad, defeat the foes of guilt and questioning, and hire the hands needed to make your business content soar. And, in doing so, grant your staff and yourself a rejuvenating break.

The reward? Creativity, focus and productivity gains.

If you prefer a method with a bit more assurance than an open ad, give us a shout at Copywriter Today. A free consultation awaits you to discuss how our experience offers you rest.

P.S. Please comment below as to how this article helped you or in what ways you pursue rest amid busy working days.
 
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