Want to Maximize Performance? You Need a Rest Routine.


By Katy Kvalvik

you’ve been following the old “work hard, play hard” mantra and still finding yourself overtaxed and overwhelmed, you’re missing one crucial component: you’ve got to rest hard, too. If you really want to maximize your work performance, play performance, and general well-being in all areas of life, you need to build in rest time.

The 5 Components of Resting Hard


For most high-performers, resting hard is a foreign concept, so don’t worry if this is you! Get to know resting hard. Educate yourself and gather information to start experimenting. Find out which methods appeal most to you and start there. Here are a few ideas to get you started: journaling, meditation, breathwork, stretching, yoga, watching a movie, creative/imagination time, walking, nature, beach time, mountain time.


What recharges your batteries? This answer isn’t the same for everyone. Some people thrive on quiet alone time, like taking a walk in the woods or watching a funny movie. For others, spending quality time with friends or family fills them up and rejuvenates their energy levels for their next round of busyness. Awareness is the first step in empowerment. You need to know where you get energy and what drains you.

A Self-Care Routine:

As counterintuitive as it may sound, structure creates freedom. I once had a client who came to me with a single request: He didn’t want to be stressed. When we took a closer look at what that meant to him, it became clear that he equated planning things to stress… yet his free-for-all schedule was keeping him constantly stressed out! Once we were able to create a structure for him, he was finally able to relax and enjoy his workday, play time, and down time.

Create a rest routine for yourself that is just part of your schedule. It’s okay to start small. For example, establish a morning and night routine that becomes second nature so you can focus during the day and sleep well at night. You don’t have to go to the gym or do food prep for two hours or meditate for an hour to get results. Start small with 5 – 10 minutes of light stretching, yoga, or 10 minutes of walking and build from there.

Time Management and Boundaries:

Plans are important, but so is sticking to them! If you find yourself grumbling about that part, remember my client whose lack of time management was the key source of stress in his world.

Once you have your plan, it’s time to practice making healthy boundaries for yourself. Make a to-do list and a won’t-do list. Your to-do list will be all the things you know you have to get done, and by when. For your won’t-do list, include anything that distracts you from your goals (i.e., social media, Netflix binging, online shopping). Also include any events or extra projects you need to say “no” to in order to avoid overwhelm.

Resilience and Stress Management:

Resting hard allows you to respond rather than react to the many triggers in life and business. When there are tough decisions to be made or life gets chaotic, are you able to handle those moments with grace?

  • Work with your body, not against it: Understand how your body restores and repairs itself mentally and physically. Set yourself up for success by planning ahead for meals, self-care, and exercise.
  • Keep it simple: Make this your mantra for life. For example, if your food routine is complicated, your experience of it will be stressful.

Rest hard and see the positive effects on your performance and your life. It’s what I like to call “slowing down to speed up.” Achieve more through rest.

About: Katy Kvalvik is the creator of the Harmony Method® – a blueprint for work-life harmony – and the founder of Southwestern Empowerment, providing personal and professional development services to transform and inspire today’s leaders. She has been inspiring women and men all over the world to be empowered, lead their best lives, and achieve optimal, lasting results since 2009. Visit www.SouthwesternEmpowerment.com and www.KatyKvalvik.com.


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