5 Ways to Work at Not Working

Enjoyment and fun are different animals. One happens on the Summit of Mt. Everest, the other at Disneyland. Both are spectacular, but leading is more like Everest.

Ease makes leaders feel uneasy.

average effort feels exceptional if you haven't rested

Your best:

Average effort feels exceptional, if you haven’t rested. 

There’s no such thing as giving 100% all the time. 60% feels like 100% when you haven’t rested.

Define rest:

Learning to not-work is hard work.

  1. Rest is not thinking about the next thing to do.
  2. Rest is defining yourself by who you are, not what you do.
  3. Rest comes after you stop feeling anxious or guilty about resting.

5 ways to work at not working:

Arrogance is too self-important to rest.

  1. Develop a ritual or two. Rituals are a form of rest.
    • Walk around and greet people every morning.
    • Prepare for tomorrow before you leave the office today.
    • Rise early enough for quiet time.
  2. Purchase an emergency phone that only a few people know about.
  3. Once or twice a year, turn everything off until silence feels good. It will likely take two or three days.
  4. Practice free writing.
  5. Walk slowly once or twice a week. Meander.

3 ways to work at fun:

  1. Have Disneyland-fun with colleagues and teams. No cell phones. No business. Just frivolous fun. Have the kind of fun that makes you feel guilty because you aren’t working. Fun strengthens connections.
  2. Ask the fun question. “How will we have fun today?”
  3. Hang with people you enjoy. Get away from people you feel you must impress or who need something from you.

Rest – after sweat – strengthens you for the next leg of the climb.

Strength comes after rest.

What does rest look like to you?

How might leaders have fun with their teams?