The Importance of Rest and Play in Achieving your Career Goals

Nowadays, many jobs are not as the dreamed activity planned at the beginning of the career. Actually, it’s a way of keeping the bills covered. When talking about achieving career goals, usually the conversation is dominated by the sentiment of working insanely long hours, sacrificing elements of your personal life, and hard work in general.

The ideas of rest and rarely play if ever, come up. Despite this, cultivating these two skills in your life is crucial ins meeting your career goals.

Cultivate Rest

The best way to be intentional about cultivating rest in your life is by having a strict sleep routine. Ensuring you get up at the same time every day is a good place to start – don’t worry too much about what time you go to bed so long as you wake up at the same time every morning.

Some psychologists have seen anxiety and depression reduced to sub-clinical levels in their patients who simply ensure they get up at the same time, whatever time that may be.

It may be difficult to persist in getting up at the same time each day you sleep poorly or go to bed late and want to sleep in later the following morning.

Stay Consistent With the Routine

However, the best thing is to stay honest and consistent with the routine and let your body figure it out over the next few days.
Once you have taken hold of your sleep schedule, cultivating rest in other areas of your life can be attempted as well. You don’t have to take time off to add a little rest to your life. There are many opportunities to make your life a little more restful while at work. Learn to take short breaks throughout the day.

Take Breaks

Even thinking to overdeliver instead of overpromising doesn’t matter what shift hours you work. Don’t try to be a hero by constantly skipping your meals break or going without bathroom breaks. If at all possible, get up and walk around for two or three minutes every hour.

If you use a computer, take a two-minute break from the screen every hour or so and rest your eyes. If you get overly frustrated or upset by a certain task, take a break from it, work on something else, and check back in with it later.

Don’t feel guilty about taking these little breaks. They are likely to increase your productivity and assist you in meeting your career goals in the long run.


While the concept of play is usually reserved for children, playing is simply defined as an enjoyable activity that is done for fun rather than for any gain. It’s a time when you can stop taking yourself so seriously and let loose a little bit.

It’s a time for rest and relaxation. Play can come in the form of spending time with family, trying out a new recipe, taking a walk, exercising, reading (for fun, not for work), watching a movie or TV show, or any other activity you may find enjoyable.

Play is just as important as sleep for your health. While sleep is important, it is not often that sleep will bring you joy. The play has the benefit of inspiring creativity, helping you control and understand your emotions, reducing stress, and providing opportunities for socialization.

Humans have a biological need for play. When working on the same task for too long, there comes the point where you just can’t do it anymore.

The main benefit of play is avoiding burnout. Not taking time for play means only work. It is doubtful you can find any type of work meaningful or meet any significant career goals if you have to do it all the time with no breaks or time for play.

Neglecting the need for play is to deny yourself all the meaning there is to be found outside of your everyday to-do list.

Don’t Deny Your Rights.

We recognize the need for play and rest as a society with the two-day weekend. Even before unions and worker’s rights were as established as they are now, factory owners and merchants put up little resistance to their worker’s demands for two days off per week as they found it actually increased productivity.

Don’t deny yourself the benefits of play in an attempt to meet your goals more quickly and rise through the ranks in your career – it will more than likely backfire on you and bring the opposite result.

Bottom Line: Find Joy On Your Job

No matter your values or goals, it is unlikely there will be much overlap between your daily to-do list and the things you find joy in.

Take time for joy and rest in your life. In many careers, there is intense pressure to work, work, work all the time. Don’t fall victim to this trap! Take time for proper play and rest, and you will likely find yourself surpassing your peers who fail to take time for proper self-care.

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