We are so excellent at working. Let us also be excellent at resting.
My yoga teacher said this once in a class some time ago. I remember being amused by it at the time but the more I've thought about it since then, the more I've come to appreciate the power of those words.
The need to work hard is a concept that I imagine most successful people espouse. And of course, how can you succeed without putting in the effort necessary to do so? However, I think that after some point, the effort you put in isn't proportional to the value you get back. This can manifest itself in different ways: resentment, a drop-off in quality, even the inability to complete the work. Whatever these indicators are for you, it's important to recognize as they're happening and find your path to rest. But then what?
In a typical yoga class, as the class comes to a close, we start to transition into savasana, or corpse pose, which is exactly what you might expect it to be. After this process of resting and resetting, I find that I approach the rest of my day with more joy because of it. And in the context of product management work, there's one thing I always do after my professional savasana, namely strategic planning.
As a PM, there's always tactical work that needs to be done and there's a hit of satisfaction at completing those kinds of tasks. That instant gratification doesn't really come with strategic tasks but these are often the most important projects that a PM needs to make time for, whether that's defining the long-term roadmap, identifying the next big area to focus on, or planning the future teams that will need to built out and their rationale. This is what allows you to make huge leaps forward, rather than taking small incremental steps.
It's hard to get into the zone on this kind of thinking when your brain is focused on completing tactical work but making the time for rest helps cleanse the brain. Then, following that up with focused time for strategic thinking can really help you get to the next level of your product and set the stage for the future.