The 4 R’s

R R R R

Rest – This is one of the hardest things for me to do, as evidenced by this post at 11:00 PM on a work night. I find that I don’t need a ton of sleep every single night, but 4 out of 7 nights, I really need my 7-8 hours of sleep to feel completely refreshed and recharged. Your mileage may vary, but 7-8 hours should be enough. One thing that I find really hurts me is oversleeping to try to catch up. These 10 hour power snoozes don’t help, and in fact they end up making me more tired than before. I’ve found that focusing on the 7-8 hours is enough for me. You’ll find your sweet spot, and once you do, do everything you can to stay in it!

Reflect – I find that taking the time to reflect on what’s happening in my life every few days helps me keep things in perspective and stops negative thoughts before they get out of control. Contrary to what some think, my life is not perfect, I have bad days too. I just try to make time to think about why they’re bad days, and try to make sure I keep those things out of my life as much as I can. Of course some days are easier than others, but taking the time to reflect will at least help understand how you’re feeling, and hopefully why you’re feeling that way. It takes practice, to be sure, and it’s worth it!

Read – I read as much as I can, some for pleasure, mostly for self-improvement. I couple this with some reflection time, and I find that this is some of the best part of my day. You don’t have to read a novel to get away; find a blog you enjoy, an online newsletter that pumps you up, or just an old e-mail from a friend. Think about the words and really immerse yourself in whatever you’re reading. It will help you de-stress and re-charge!

Relax – We all relax differently, some by reading, some by reflecting, some by resting, and some by doing something altogether different. Whatever you find is your most relaxing thing, or is your most relaxing place, make time to do this or get there at least once a week, and you’ll notice a difference in your energy level.

Phil Gerbyshak leads a team of IT help desk professionals in Milwaukee, WI, and finds that sharing his knowledge is a crucial component in his success as a leader and as a person. Phil’s personal philosophy is paraphrased from Tim Sanders’ fantastic book Love is the Killer App: “Share your knowledge, your network, and your love. The rest will follow.” Read more of Phil’s ideas at http://makeitgreat.org

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