When to push yourself and when to rest?

An important skill in life is knowing when to push yourself and went to rest. So the question is “How do you know when to do which one?” The key is to make sure you are pushing yourself to begin with.


Giving yourself a break can be an excuse to not improve or to just feel comfortable with not doing anything; maybe for fear of failure.  It takes zero effort to say you NEED a break from (fill in the blank).  But that one statement can superficially alleviate you from holding yourself accountable to do the work to improve.  It’s the common fallacy of mischaracterizing a “want” as a “need” to justify other suboptimal behavior, like buying a nicer car than you can afford because you NEED a car to drive to work.


By committing yourself to (and following) a consistent program, you will create a baseline that will help you listen to your body and mind and actually make a reasoned determination about whether you want to stop because something is hard or because you have overexerted yourself.


In order to progress we have to be comfortable being uncomfortable.  Top performers don’t take breaks just because something is difficult or time consuming or frustrating.  However, there is an optimal level of stress, beyond which more effort can cause diminishing returns.  At this point a break can be just what you need to elevate to the next level.  This is a classic “less is more” situation.


But you’ll never know when you reach that point if you haven’t established a baseline of consistent effort through a program to tell the difference.  That’s why consistency is better than perfection and value is in the journey not obtaining the goal.