Rest, take time out for the things that keep you sharp


Ch. (Col.) William Lovell
USAG Stuttgart

Prior to serving in the Army, I worked for a tree-trimming company. My boss had a simple rule about our work schedule: No cutting trees after 3:30 p.m.; all equipment is serviced and all chains are sharpened before leaving the shop. His rule was not driven by altruism, but by money.

Very simply, 40-plus years of trimming trees taught him that most work accidents, bodily injury and broken equipment happen at the end of the day when tree trimmers are fatigued and their chainsaws blades are dull. By creating intentional recovery and maintenance of the equipment in the work schedule, he increased both the quantity and quality of work while reducing his insurance premiums due to accidents. He could also confidently pick up more business, knowing he was fully staffed with uninjured, well-trained professionals.

There is a real danger in humans doing nothing but work and not taking time for rest, recreation and restoration.

In the book of Genesis, God rested from his work on the 7th day not because he was fatigued or needed a break. Perhaps, like my former boss, he recognized the danger of humans doing nothing but work and was modeling recovery for them by his actions; there is more to life than our labors.

By all means, seek excellence in your job performance. But take time out for the things that keep you physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually sharp.