⚡️ Today’s Level Up ⚡️
In this edition (part 2 of a 4-part series), you’ll understand the importance of shifting from constantly hustling and grinding to prioritizing quality rest and recovery in order to enhance your professional performance.
In this post, we’ll dig into:
- What’s wrong with the glorified hustle culture
- Why daily rest is so important (and needs to be scheduled intentionally)
- The different types of rest (awake and asleep)
- How to get proper rest and show up the next day at your best
The #1 overlooked KPI costing sellers deals
Welcome to week two of my series on maximizing your success as a SaaS seller.
Last week, I kicked off the series with part one, “Why Planning in the Morning is Costing you Precious Time.”
If you missed it, check it out first to learn helpful tips on planning ahead.
Now, in part two, we’ll look at the second pillar in my personal operating framework called PREP (Plan, Rest, Effort, and Perform), and the number one KPI most salespeople overlook — rest.
The glorified hustle culture
Advocating for rest in today’s world, especially in sales, is often a break from the status quo.
A lack of sleep is worn like a badge of honor inside many organizations.
Reps strive to “hustle harder” and work as much as humanly possible.
However, while sales is a demanding profession that requires dedication, the never-ending hustle mentality comes with high costs.
A study by Occupational Medicine found higher working time to be correlated with a higher corporate position.
However, it was also associated with depression, anxiety, and sleep problems. Cutting corners on self-care to advance your career will only take you so far before it begins to chip away at the characteristics that make you successful (more on that below).
Why is rest so important?
Professional athletes, the best and strongest in the world, understand that rest is necessary. It is not a sign of weakness or laziness but is required by the body to recover, rebuild, and come back stronger.
Similarly, for knowledge workers, like those of us in SaaS sales, to continuously perform at our best, we need to go hard and then rest and recover.
This is where the problem begins, because “go hard, and then keep going harder” is the usual mantra and expectation in today’s SaaS sales culture.
What is rest exactly?
When you think of rest, you may think of sleeping but there is a state of rest while you’re awake that is just as important.
Resting while awake
“Solitude Deprivation [is] a state in which you spend close to zero time alone with your own thoughts and free from input from other minds.” -Cal Newport
Do you ever get an amazing idea while working out, taking a shower, or meditating? The brain has different modes of operation and it works best when it’s cycling through periods of intense focus as well as relaxation.
Resting while you’re awake means being in a state where you are not focusing or actively processing information.
Interestingly, when you give the mind downtime, areas in the brain kick on that are collectively referred to as the default mode network (DMN). The DMN is associated with a person’s ethics, memories, self-perception, and creativity.
Psychologist Scott Bea, PsyD of The Cleveland Clinic says: “There’s some science to suggest that what our brains do when they’re not actively processing information is pretty important.”
During this time, you give your mind space to process the day’s events, reflect on what went well and what didn’t, decide how you can improve, and ensure you are living according to your vision and values.
This kind of thought process helps you see the bigger picture. Further, it helps to rejuvenate you for the next day.
Resting through sleep
Next, there’s sleep. Adults from the ages of 18 to 64 need seven to nine hours of sleep per night, according to the Sleep Foundation.
Why? It’s during sleep that the brain takes care of all the housekeeping needed from the day.
This includes storing new information, getting rid of toxic waste, repairing cells, restoring energy, reorganizing nerve cells as is needed, and releasing molecules like proteins and hormones.
But what does that mean for your performance?
If you need eight hours of sleep per night and you only get four, your body has to cut corners the following day. This may come out in the following ways, according to Rise Science:
- Bad mood.
- Reduced creativity levels.
- Lack of passion in your work.
- Reduced executive functioning.
- Less determination making it harder to hit goals.
- Hindered motor and perceptual skills leading to more mistakes.
- Slower reaction time that hurts your ability to think on your feet.
- Lower immune system functionality leading to health problems.
- Reduced interpersonal functioning leading to a reduction of empathy.
- A drop in moral reasoning that can lead to decisions that don’t align with your ethics.
A person who is overworked and sleep-deprived simply won’t be able to compete with a well-rested individual. This will cost you results and lost commissions over the long arc of a month, quarter, or year.
How to rest and recover so you can be at your best
Now that we’ve covered the dead-end hustle culture, what rest is, and why it is so important, how can you get adequate rest to recover and perform at your best each day?
It starts with ending each workday by planning for the next day. This way you won’t be thinking through leftover tasks after hours. Read more on planning ahead from last week’s article.
Integrate relaxing activities
Once you’re off work, take time to do something that gives your mind a chance to relax and switch into DMN mode. It could be a walk or run, sitting on your back porch, meditating, sitting in the sauna, or a mindless task like gardening or vacuuming.
Scrolling through social media, playing games on your phone, and watching TV aren’t the best activities – so choose wisely!
Then, relax with your loved ones and be in the moment. Don’t check work emails or do work of any kind.
If there’s something you think of to add to the to do list, capture it in a trusted inbox (I personally love the Todoist widget for iPhone for quick capture of tasks to keep my mind clear).
Set a sleep schedule
It’s also important to figure out how much sleep you need and to create a consistent schedule accordingly.
Research tells us that we’re groggy for the first 90 minutes of waking up, so be sure to account for this buffer before any early morning meetings and work backwards to when you need to get up and get to bed the night before.
So if you want to get to sleep by 11pm, this may mean beginning to wind down with no more screen time at 9pm and start prepping your body for sleep by 10pm with a warm shower, turning down the lights, doing some light reading, etc.
Use technology to gain awareness of good sleep hygiene
I’m also a big advocate of the “quantified self” and the use of the data from wearables to make micro gains in behavior.
Just because you may go to bed at 11pm and wake up at 6am, that doesn’t mean you’re getting 7 hours of sleep.
Use the data from these resources to become more aware of your habits and sleep debt so you can make small improvements, knowing what to do and when to do them, all while understanding what to avoid (did you know caffeine stays in your body for 10 hours – yikes!).
Rest is an important key to sustainable success
Making rest and recovery a priority is a key to long-term, sustainable, and holistic success for everyone from athletes to SaaS sellers.
It enables you to enjoy life, recover, and come back stronger the next day, which brings us to next week’s topic.
Now that you understand the importance of planning and rest, check back next week for part three; maximizing your effort.
- Sleep is the #1 overlooked KPI in sales
- Ditch hustling and grinding and prioritize rest each workday
- There are two types of rest to be aware of – awake and sleep
- Plan your rest, integrate it to your calendar, set a schedule, and use the right tools to improve rest and recovery
When you’re ready, here are 3 ways I can help you:
Get the exact system I’ve used to go from earning $200K to over $1M a year in SaaS sales without burning out here. (2,000+ students)
Join a community of Purpose-Curious™ sellers in the Make More Hustle Less Club where we develop a personal operating system together here. (300+ members)
Book a 1:1 coaching session to up-level your performance here. (Limited spots available)