I almost forgot that it’s Friday! Being on vacation has messed up my schedule…and I’m loving it. It also segues nicely into this week’s Jacifesto:
After you finish something, hit the brakes.
This rule is about taking some time to enjoy (and reward yourself for) an accomplishment. I’m the type of person (and I’m sure I’m not the only one) who has the natural tendency to always rush from one task to the next. And, there is nothing wrong with being driven, but sometimes I need to hit the brakes on my life so I can acknowledge I’ve accomplished something.
“Hitting the brakes” is purposeful rest, not accidental laziness. It is making the conscious decision to take some time to enjoy your accomplishment before moving on to the next task/adventure/chore.
This last couple weeks are a perfect example of this rule in action. I spent the first 2/3 of May racing around trying to accomplish things for school, packing, moving, and just working, working, working towards finishing a bunch of things. I got all the tasks done and I did them all very well, but I started writing a “to do” list on my laptop while I was the train to Connecticut. Only after thinking to myself, “Jaci, you are exhausted, take a friggen break already,” did I hit the brakes, close the list, and watch “Bethenny Ever After” on iTunes.
I’ve been on vacation for the last week or so and it’s been amazing. I’ve needed it. I needed to just enjoy that I’ve actually accomplished something. I got through my first semester of graduate school with great grades, I was elected student president of my program, I’ve survived a stressful few months, and I survived living with strangers. All pretty big accomplishments for me.
Vacations aren’t the only way to hit the brakes, you can also take smaller breaks, like rewarding yourself an extra-long bubble bath or an afternoon at the movies after writing a paper you’ve been dreading. You deserve a moment to be happy with yourself before you dive into the task on your list!
The “brakes” can and will recharge you (if you truly allow yourself to enjoy them) so then you will charge in even harder and stronger than if you didn’t hit the breaks. Breaks can also cause you to be more driven if you know there is another one waiting for you – knowing there is a little reward at the end of the task can help motivate you to finish. The sooner you get it done, the sooner you get to stop and enjoy your life for a minute.
How have you “hit the breaks” lately. What do you do to reward yourself for your accomplishments? Do you struggle with the idea of purposeful downtime?