April 16 or ‘the day after’: a day most auditors and accountants will consider as the start of their temporary emancipation because the tax deadline has passed. Temporary, however, because unless we shift careers, we will face the tax deadline again next year.
Deadlines, depending on how high the stakes are, normally bring about high-stress situations and long working hours that eventually lead to physical, mental and emotional exhaustion. Deadlines apply to anyone and everyone. Whether our deadlines are imposed by external factors or self-imposed, we face deadlines no matter how young or old we are, and no matter in what industry we work. It does not even matter if we are working for profit or not. Each of us have deadlines to face.
On the day after, on the day the adrenaline caused by the deadline has subsided, on the day we somehow manage to have the mental space to think about other things, we start contemplating on many other matters such as rest, careers and family and personal time. Matters that you may have neglected over the past few months, but feel are important enough that they should not have been neglected to begin with.
When you start thinking about these things when you are still reeling from physical and mental tiredness, consider this word of advice: pause and consider the implications of your next steps, even if you are just thinking about resting.
Rest is important for our well-being. Even God rested after He finished creating the universe. But just as work has parameters such as deadlines, there should also be parameters for rest. We should be able to define what constitutes rest, when can we start resting and until when do we rest.
The problem is that one does not define these parameters for rest. We think we have already rested, but our mind and body do not agree. I remember when I would “rest” by playing video games as much as I wanted. I was not spending time working and I was just at home, but did I get the rest that my self was clamoring for? More often than not, no. That is why, when I reported back to work, I did not feel that my “rest” was enough.
Define what part of you requires rest. If it is your body, stay at home or go to a quiet place, sleep and relax. If it is your mind, engage in activities that will not require you to exert effort to think, like painting or running. Even at rest, we should still be mindful of how we would do it.
Likewise, if we do not define the timetable for our rest, our tendency is to “rest” and be lax at work, even if we still have to complete certain deliverables, or extend our rest, even if we are already back at work.
This would result in us unable to be at our best. Setting a deadline for our rest also sets our expectations: that I can only rest up to a certain date, after which, I expect myself to get back to work and perform at par with how I worked prior to resting. By not setting a deadline for our rest, it becomes more difficult to get back to our previous work level because we are still in rest mode. This rest mode can linger, having an impact on our work performance.
The other important reason for setting a deadline for our rest is this: our mind sometimes plays tricks on us. We sometimes feel that, since we have worked so much over the past two months, we have the “moral license” to rest for the next two months as well. That should not be the case.
Take time to rest, but be mindful of how you rest.
The day after today is the start of a long weekend for most working individuals. May we take advantage of the few days to truly rest our mind and body before we get back to work next week, fully rested and fully committed to work once again.
May we also use this time to reflect on a deeper sense of rest: rest that is beyond mind and body; rest that will not be affected by the daily happenings of our lives; the kind of rest that, no matter what happens, everything will be for our good, regardless of the situation.
May this Holy Week allow us to reflect on what Jesus Christ have done for us on the cross at Calvary; that He died on the cross for our sins, so that we may find our eternal rest in Him forever.
Anton Ng is a Partner of the Audit & Assurance P&A Grant Thornton is one of the leading Audit, Tax, Advisory, and Outsourcing firms in the Philippines, with 21 Partners and over 900 staff members. We’d like to hear from you! Tweet us: @PAGrantThornton, like us on Facebook: P&A Grant Thornton, and email your comments to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, visit our Website: www.grantthornton.com.ph.