Rest

And rest…

rest

Two men taking a break

These words appear everywhere, if you take the time to look for them. There is a moment between the strum of a guitar string, between each set you do at the gym, and between each line of code you write. This is a rest.

Now in music, the rhythm is impacted by the space between the notes. Increasing or decreasing the space between some of the notes, changes the way we hear it.

Currently, there are some popular exercise programs that focus on reducing rest such as CrossFit (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CrossFit). By reducing the rest between exercises the intensity of the workout increases producing improved results. In the same way, if we can reduce the time between practicing our coding skills, we can accelerate our learning.

Reducing the time isn’t always a benefit. The human mind needs a break now and then. Sleep is a big rest but we need small rests throughout the day. Some people like to force this organization of when to rest on themselves using methods such as the pomodoro technique (http://pomodorotechnique.com/). This can be quite effective for getting things done. Like most things you need to practice this technique to master it but it can produce good results the first time you use it. Give it a try.

Your body will tell you when you need a rest. We often confuse this as a call for coffee. Sometimes a quick walk to the coffee machine and back will be just as effective. If the weather is nice, try and get some sun on your face, it can transform your mood. You’ll be much more effective after a short rest. If your feeling adventurous, check out The Energy Project and take back your lunch (http://www.theenergyproject.com/takebackyourlunch).

Your mind isn’t the only thing that needs a rest, your eyes do too. My optometrist friend recommends a 20/20/20 rule. Every 20 minutes, look 20 yards (meters) away for 20 seconds. This will be the equivalent of giving your eyes a stretch. They need it after staring at a screen for so long.

Think about your day as a song, it’s not just one long note. So take a break, give yourself a rest. You will come back refreshed and ready for anything!

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