We’re often taught that we need to work through burnout, and that working until exhaustion is admirable. We see this portrayed in movies, music, business, athletics, academia, and in other avenues of American culture. However, the science is clear: working yourself until exhaustion is bad for your body. And when you are extremely tired, you are less likely to be productive. In fact, you are much more likely to make mistakes. Tired athletes are more likely to get injured, and the same rules apply for individuals working in traditional businesses or nonprofits. You need to listen to your body. Taking a rest at the right time can make your life a whole lot easier.

We’re Conditioned To Ignore Burnout

We see it everywhere. The story of the businessman who keeps working for another 30 hours a week after the traditional 40 are done. Or the basketball player who trains for 7 hours a day, even after practice and the games are over. These are the stories that we hear every day in American culture. We get told that these people are the ones who deserve the accolades and success. In short, we’re conditioned to ignore burnout and think that it means we aren’t working hard enough. But you have to put this notion aside in order to really start listening to your body!

Knowing When To Rest Can Increase Productivity

Listening to your body and knowing when to rest doesn’t make you weak or lazy. In fact, it means that you are putting yourself in a position to succeed. Those who get enough rest tend to have higher levels of productivity. And increasing your productivity at work can mean increasing trust with team members and improving your reputation with management. That could put you in line for a bonus or a promotion.

Understanding Your Body Can Also Help Longevity

Knowing when to get your rest can also help your longevity. You want to build a career for the long haul, and that means you’ll need to be consistent for a long period of time. A great way to reduce injuries, illness, and mistakes is to get the rest necessary in order to achieve that level of consistency. Make sure that you are putting your body in the right position to help you for the long run.

Man Taking Rest

Understanding your body is something that takes time. It isn’t going to happen immediately. But over time you can learn the cues and read the signs to get the message that your body is trying to tell you. Being overworked might be glorified in American culture, but it doesn’t lead to better performance. In fact, it can dramatically reduce performance and make things harder for you at work. Learn to get your rest and rejuvenate. At the end of the day, you’ll be glad that you did!