39th edition: The art & science of restful productivity
What babies, athletes, and a Cancer “thriver” can teach us about nurturing ourselves—and our best work
Happy Wednesday, I hope you’re having a wonder-full week.
Mine has been filled with nostalgia following a friend’s wedding at a “secret garden” style venue featuring a ‘90s DJ playlist.
The bride was my closest friend from Dawson, a pre-university college I attended from ages seventeen to nineteen. Because in Quebec—unlike the rest of Canada—high schools bid us adieu once we finish grade eleven, so we need somewhere to go before we join the rest of the world as age-appropriate university students.
Celebrating a new milestone with old friends was a great kickoff to the Canada Day long weekend—and it continued on a high from there.
Keep reading for more details, along with three gems I want to share with you.
🍼 Babies are the grand champions of restful productivity
In January, I found out I had a nephew en route when a hockey puck exploded with blue powder in the middle of a frozen lake—the most Canadian gender reveal ever.
Now, the little guy is finally here.
I met him on Sunday, a mere four days old, and will forever cherish holding him for the first time—not to mention the second and third since I couldn’t get enough—he even smiled at me.
Besides melting my heart with his cuteness, my nephew is a reminder that babies are the grand champions of restful productivity.
Author and Cancer “thriver,” Nalie Agustin, first opened my eyes to this in her book, The Diary of Nalie. She shared an inspiring account of how she stopped thinking of herself as a thirty-two-year-old woman resembling someone much older, as though she were “brittle, weak, and about to wither away,” and began thinking of herself as a newborn baby who needed to “eat, sleep, cry, poop, and be loved,” to get stronger.
“This is my rebirth,” she proclaimed.
There’s so much wisdom in Nalie’s baby analogy. I encourage you to draw on it next time you’re feeling tired or burnt out.
Remember, you’re not withering away—you’re being reborn. That’s something worth celebrating.
🏆 Practice like a champion—and rest like one
Babies may be the most natural champions of restful productivity, but athletes are the most intentional about it out of sheer necessity.
“Every single [athlete] will tell you that to be the best at what you do, you have to be resting and recovering as well as you are working.
And it would be preposterous to think that you could just keep going and going […] and not have a recovery period. It's impossible."
—Entrepreneur Alexis Ohanian on business advice from wife Serena Williams
Whether your craft is writing, course-building—or whatever else—it’s important to take breaks. To maximize your learning and development, you have to be as intentional about being off the clock as you are about being on.
Block out time in your calendar to rest (bonus points for outdoor time)
Summer goes fast for those of us in the northern hemisphere—but it goes especially fast for those of us in Montreal, where Winter equates to record-breaking cold. To make the most of it, I’m planning my first “staycation.”
Ever since my first job after university, I’ve prided myself on skillfully maximizing my time off to cover as much ground as possible. Short weekends away, long trips overseas—you name it, I’ve done it.
Now, after ten months of grinding to get my “solopreneur” business off the ground, I’m looking forward to relaxing in my home city. Fortunately, there are plenty of art and music festivals on, not to mention an array of pop-ups, fitness classes, and more—stay tuned for my summer bucket list.
CHALLENGE: Create a “local bucket list” of your own and set time aside to do leisurely activities with the people you care about. You’ll come back reinvigorated.
Thank you for reading, I appreciate you being one of my first 205 subscribers.
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Have a wonder-full week,
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