Ever since I started my business years ago one of the main “motivational” messages that people kept repeating is the importance of work – hard work to be specific. I would hear various iterations of the need to work harder and only sleep for a few hours a day to ensure that you could fill up your time with working on your business to ensure it succeed. I recall thinking that not only did it sound counter-intuitive but also unhealthy to prioritise work to such an extent that rest, the one thing we need in order to recalibrate almost turns into a dirty, guilt ridden concept. But despite thinking this, of course, I was influenced to some extent and started to put my work before my capacity to rest and relax. However I had a wake up call when I realised that at one point I was working myself into exhaustion. It was just not healthy to work so much, or look for work to fill up time in order to appear busy. Even something as importance as getting sleep was being discussed as though it were a bad thing – getting too much sleep meant that you weren’t working hard enough and afterall, all those celebrity entrepreneurs we admire have the same 24 hours as us so what’s our excuse? The excuse is that sleep is critical for a healthy lifestyle and also…actually there should not be any need to explain why we as human beings need to sleep in order to rest. Rest shouldn’t have to be seen as a radical act but capitalism has forced us to recognise that perhaps it really is.
Getting enough sleep. https://t.co/WHV0baatSu
— Ronke Lawal (@ronkelawal) November 23, 2017
You can’t sleep when you’re dead because you’ll literally be DEAD.
Sleep while you’re alive please, you might even stay alive for longer when you do. pic.twitter.com/jfPw1kKFbe
— Ronke Lawal (@ronkelawal) August 28, 2019
I recently read a great piece on the Washington Post which really resonated with some of my own feelings on the importance of rest, especially as a Black woman in business.
“Black women have been groomed to overachieve. We know how to boss up and get it done. So it’s about reprogramming the idea that it’s weak to say you can’t do more.” – Amber Cabral
This piece and my own learning and reprogramming over the years have taught me rest is essential and non-negotiable. In this video I discuss the importance of rest and why we need to prioritise not stigmatise rest in