When Your Hustle Is Intentional, It Makes Room For Your Rest

February 22, 2016

Coastal Maine Maternity, Newborn, and Family Photographer Tiffany Farley, http://tiffanyfarley.com

Rest. Hustle. Rest. Hustle. 

Honestly, there are times that I have just simply felt really confused about the two.  I feel bombarded at times about which of these should be priority in both my life and business. Whether or not Hustle or Rest is the greater of the two seems to constantly change. Do you ever find that to be true as well?

Hustle sort of became this cool kid’s word in the last year or so. The whole, ‘put your head down, say yes to every opportunity, wake up early and stay up late, learn this platform, learn that system, blog more, blog better, launch this product, start this workshop’…almost as if those who were in need of hustling simply needed the affirmation that it was ok, and that they weren’t alone. That others out there were entreprenuer-ing too, and just as darn exhausted as they were. (I know I have been there.)

Then towards the end of last Fall I started to see less marketing of the hustle, and more on the concept of Rest. Which makes sense since the end game of only hustling is always crashing in a deep, passed out sleep somewhere. We hustled hard. Now it’s time to rest. 

But then I started to feel torn. If I rest, if THAT becomes more important now, will I not lose everything I just hustled for? Won’t every late night with the laptop be wasted if I stop running already? If I unplug from social media from a weekend, will I lose all my followers? Will my inbox just be filled with unsubscribers if I take a vacation? If I rest?

I found myself frustrated in what seemed to be a CHOICE.
It was seemingly a choice of ONE or the OTHER.

You could:

A. Rest- take days outside away from the office, plan family vacations, have shorter work hours, meet more friends for coffee, say no to conferences/workshops/speaking/publication opportunities, delete your social media apps, and all in all be more present with the ones you love.


B. Hustle– do the work, get up early and stay up later, challenge yourself to learn new platform building tools, commit yourself to launching a new product, a new blog series, a new workshop, say yes to every opportunity that fills your inbox, grow your followers, increase your profits, support your family’s finances, and always be one step ahead of anyone else.

What doesn’t seem to be shouted from any rooftop lately- is how to do both well. How your hustle could actually add to your rest, and not take away from it. How your Rest could actually add to your hustle, and not take away from it.

Finally, I have come to find that that balance lies in one single word that I am personally committed to pursuing more and more of….and that word is INTENTION.

What if I propose to you, that intention is actually the key to doing both well. Because I don’t know about you, but I need to do both. If I do not hustle, I will not make it as a business. Being self-employed, running your own financially sustaining business-  is really HARD WORK.  And if I do not Rest, I will quickly burn out, hate the job I once loved so much, and be the worst version of myself to the ones who matter most. I need room for both, together. Not one or the other. And I am finding that in order to not have to choose, I have to plan both with careful intention.

My hustle needs to be intentional. Which means I am looking ahead, and asking myself, why do I run this business? Where do I want to be in 1 year, 5 years, or 80? And what can I work on today that will get me closer to that? And likewise, what will NOT get me closer to that? What are the things that everyone else seems to be buzzing about, that are NOT necessarily a good fit for me to be focusing so much time and energy on? What is my priority today? What is my priority tomorrow? I can’t hustle on everything. I can’t DO everything, or BE everything to everyone. Every single task that I spend time on each day, should fit into my own intentional business (and life!) goals. And sometimes, that means saying no to really great opportunities.

Because my rest must also be intentional. This past Christmas, I intentionally decided I was taking two weeks off at the end of the year. This meant that in the weeks leading up to this vacation, I had to be very strategic about what tasks deserved my time to make this vacation possible. A popular printed magazine reached out to me two days before my vacation was scheduled to begin, asking me to contribute an article & feature that would be incredible for my educational platform, and get my work in front of new potential clients. It was a fantastic growth opportunity for my business. Did it fit into my intentional hustle and get me closer to the goals I set for myself? Definitely. But it also interfered with the intentional time of rest I had committed to.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to contribute something wonderful for this magazine before my vacation deadline. Did I regret not moving forward with the feature? No, because that rest was much needed, and a commitment I had set for myself. Since deciding what intentional rest would look like for me, I have said no to some conference opportunities, while saying yes to others. I have said no to certain travel requirements, while saying yes to others. I have to say no to some of the weekly activities with friends, but I can yes to others. There is finally more balance. 

You see I am finding that when your hustle is intentional, it makes room for the rest. I can’t hustle- hustle- hustle until I pass out from exhaustion and hate everything and everyone. And I can’t rest so long that I am no longer running a profitable business either! I have to make intentional room for both in my every day.

So together as we look at the week ahead, I challenge you to spend some real time asking yourself how intentional you are really being with your time. Is every task on your “hustle” todo list moving you closer to where you actually want to be? Does your schedule this week make room for that intentional rest, so you can hustle smarter- and not harder? 

I don’t know about you, but I don’t think we should have to choose! What about you? I would love to hear your thoughts about Rest, Hustle, and Intention in the comments below! 

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