For many of us, this final week of the year is also the quietest week of the year. Perhaps you are on vacation, or maybe you are the one “holding down the fort” at work, spending time in the office so others can enjoy time off. Even if this week is business as usual for you, it’s likely going to be a bit slower as the year comes to an end. Pay attention to how the space feels this week. And use the extra margin to do two things well: rest and accelerate.
Rest is a challenge when you’ve been caught up in the hustle for most of the year. Spending time doing very little can feel jarring (or even wrong). Challenge yourself to spend at least one day this week doing as little as possible. Notice how a commitment of low-to-no productivity feels. If it’s easy for you, bravo! Recognize how valuable it is to be able to rest well. Strong leaders have a well-developed capability to rest to maintain readiness for when it matters. If taking a whole day to rest is challenging, work to understand why. What false narratives do you have around rest? Why is it difficult for you? Understanding why you are always on the go will lead to a life more in sync with the excelling, resting, and progressing cycles that complement fulfilling progress.
Also, choose one day this week to accelerate fully. Design a day of productivity that allows you to finish unfinished work, clean up or organize in preparation for the New Year, be of service to someone else, or get a jump start on something important that will be coming due. The ability to self-start amidst quiet ensures a positive, intentional launch. Self-direction is a powerful force. Note how this day of designing and accomplishing what you set out to do felt. Recognize what it takes to motivate yourself to total productivity. Pay attention to how having white space and fewer commitments contributed to your ability to do what was more important than urgent.
In the coming year, each of our days will be different. The more we blend days of intentional rest and acceleration, the more we’ll progress in a way that leaves room for joy, connection, and progress. How we spend our days is how we spend our life. While much about life is unpredictable, working on planning our pace is one way to stay ready for what’s ahead in 2023.