A Good Day’s Work

I love to work. And then I love it when the work ends. What does it look like to put in a good day’s work and then allow yourself the pleasure of rest? I know many people who don’t stop working. They wait till they collapse in exhaustion, and then they wake up and start work all over again.

In graduate school, I remember learning how to survive: the solid eight hour work day. That’s it. Eight hours. Then, you rest. You sleep. You cook a good meal, you watch a show, you take a walk, you go out with friends. As I neared my dissertation writing process, a mentor said that you really only have about four hours worth of creative work available in your brain. After four hours, creativity wanes, fatigue sets in, and it’s so much harder to work. “So stop working after four hours,” he said. I couldn’t believe it. Four hours?

He was right. I accomplished so much in those four hours.

Sometimes, a good day’s work is four hours of focus; sometimes it’s eight or more. But at some point, you close down the shop and you rest.

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