The apostles gathered around Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught. He said to them, “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. Mark 6:30-31 NRSVCE
It seems logical that the longer we work, the more we will accomplish. But experience tells me it isn’t so.
In my last job, I handled the preparation of monthly reports explaining the period variances of revenues and expenses. I had a tight deadline. I had to wait for the month-end close before I can start the report. I had to finish in a day to submit early morning the next day which is the due date. Most of the time, I had to come early to start work early and at times I had to stay a bit late. That means I had longer work hours on the day before the deadline.
One such day in the late afternoon, I experienced a sort of a mental block. I just felt like my brain was not functioning at all. I couldn’t explain the variance of a certain expense. I knew the ins and outs of that certain expense but I couldn’t see the cause of the variance. Feeling so frustrated and useless, I decided to just finalize the report very early the next morning.
The next day after a night’s rest, when I tackled the problem, everything became clearer and easier to explain. I just needed to rest my brain.
After that experience, I decided not to overwork my brain. So I seldom stayed late at work. The quality of work you accomplish diminishes after a certain period of time. The work usually turns out useless and so the efforts you exerted were just wasted.
What I experienced was mental fatigue. I believe it could be worse with physical fatigue. One should not be working too long in a day.
There is a reason why we have day and night. We need to rest at night. We need to get enough sleep to recharge ourselves. We would do well if we rest a while after working hard. When we insist on continuing to work just so we could finish more, we are not really accomplishing more.
Take a break from your work every hour or so. Go refresh yourself with a drink of water and rest your brain. You will be more productive. And you will preserve your health.
All work and no rest will wreck your health. Jesus, the great physician, knows this well and advised His disciples to rest awhile after a hard day’s work.
Come away and rest awhile.
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