Work's forgotten factor

Most employers use some system to evaluate our work. Annual reviews, performance meetings or something more informal – either way, we get judged.

This is because employers want to make sure we’re working well. That we’re being effective.

But I’d guess that most of these conversations don’t refer to one of the most important things behind effective performance.

Rest.

A Virtue?

“I’m just too busy to take a lunch break.”
“Did you get my email? The one I sent late last night?”
“I hardly ever take my annual leave.”

These are all things I’ve heard in my office over the last few weeks. My colleagues say this stuff say within earshot of their boss as if it should impress them.

In fact, it should worry them.

To judge ourselves above rest is to judge ourselves greater than God. The God who worked six days and then rested.

It’s to believe that we’re indispensable - that the world will stop spinning the moment we put our tools down.

Sleep Sin

God built into us the need for rest for the same reason I give my car petrol. It may go some distance without filling up. But eventually it will conk out.

There might be times we need to work harder, to pull an all-nighter even. But if we make it a virtue to not rest well, we’re prizing the very thing that will bring us down.

Exhaustion. Burnout. Frustration. Depression. A sense of futility. And this leads to anger, a short-fuse, and general grouchiness.

In my house, we call it sleep sin.

When we neglect God’s good gift of rest, it’s not just that our work is less effective. We sin more.

So put the tools down and go to bed.