Having grace for ourselves

8 09 2016

I wrote this recently for our work intranet… people seemed to appreciate it so I thought I’d bung it on here too…


When I was at university I studied Mathematical Sciences (essentially Applied Maths), this meant an awful lot of contact hours plus countless problem sheets for when you weren’t in lectures or tutorials. In short, if you weren’t on campus you always had some work over your head that you knew you should be doing. When I graduated I didn’t really know what I wanted to do, but one of the few things I knew was that I wanted my evenings and weekends back – definitely no further study or graduate schemes!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge advocate of going the extra mile, of hard work, of giving one’s best, but at the same time I’m also a huge advocate of looking after ourselves, of letting ourselves look after ourselves. I truly believe it’s important to have a good work life balance, to take lunch breaks, to log any overtime done to make sure time is taken back. I believe it’s an important element of health – physical, mental and emotional; it’s not laziness, it’s self-care.

Not only that, I think it makes us better employees. I can definitely bear witness that working through lunch means I’m pretty much useless all afternoon, which is why unless there is something very urgent or important on, you will always see me take a full hour break. That one hour vs the three in the afternoon with decent productivity is a good balance! If we keep doing the extra without taking time to rest, we risk burn-out.

Of course there are exceptions. In January this year I was in this office until 10.30pm for a major data pull, which was important at the time, (and I made it home just before the Indian takeaway closed!), as long as it doesn’t become a regular habit.

We’re told in the Bible, by God, to rest on the Sabbath, Jesus himself rested – what better example could we have?

We need to have grace with ourselves to let ourselves look after ourselves.

rest

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