When To Break, When To Rest And When To Quit

I’m not feeling too guilty about it, which is odd considering I have in the past.  After a week of running a total of 21 miles I only ran 3 the next.  Part of the reason was travel and the other was the need for a break.  I’m sure I could have fought through it but I didn’t want to risk wearing myself down this late into my run.  I’ve done it before, I’ve been so worried about falling behind that I put myself in a situation when I was weak, short term I might have had gain, but in the long run it has killed me.
Knowing when to break, when to rest and when to quit takes more than just feeling it out.  It means tracking:

  • Margin In Your Schedule:  Eating at your desk for lunch is not consider margin nor healthy.  Margin is the time you might not use before and after an initiative.  Margin cannot just happen, you need to plan for it.  No margin means mistakes.
  • Days With God: Sometimes you need to escape it all.  I’ve struggled with this because Satan doesn’t want me to do it, so excuses like, “I’m too busy.” will prevent me from owning it.  A day with God is a total technology fast and a day away from the office and home.  A day with God is something that needs to be taken regularly, because a relationship with God should be consistent.
  • Physical Health:  If you are out of shape, not sleeping well and eating junk it will affect you greatly.  Our physical health is an area we don’t tend to talk about in student ministry, something I think we should address more often.  Granted we aren’t professional athletes but a tired and worn out body will ruin your productivity.  
  • Relationships: Trust is paramount but it vanishes when there isn’t communication.  Taking time to check in with fellow staff members and volunteers is an important habit to maintain that trust.  Sometimes we get so stuck in the stress of a project that we neglect how we interact with others.

To prevent feelings of burn out, and feelings of resentment in the work place we need to be fully aware of our pacing in certain work seasons.  While we need to push our selves, we need to make sure we know when to hold back.

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