Take Your Rest Seriously

um cara cansado ao volante

I always say that career investment is worth it. It is the best investment one can make. In the scope of what I believe, when I talk about career and career development, I talk about entrepreneurship, job or whatever thing someone has chosen to work.

Unfortunately, no one can spend all their energy on career without living a miserable life. In such situation, it ceases to be an investment and becomes mere of just a waste of energy. It can’t get worse, as it does not help in career improvement.

People Management and Resting Time

Why would anyone have a career? I know because I got into Embedded Systems Development: I wanted to build a video game console. I wanted to understand how they worked. I do believe I have achieved it. Along the way, somehow I started to enjoy managing projects and define how they should be made. I believe we have achieved that too.

Finally, it brings me to this blog and to Autodesenvolvimento (my book, only in Portuguese, sorry): at some point, I started to like people management. Manage the employee overload and motivation might a manager’s activity; standing still and healthy and is an employee task. There is no entity that can motivate someone who is tired and wasted.

In this sense, I think my first act as team manager happened when one of my interns, who had the habit to save every penny he earned at the expense of enjoying his life (and youth), asked me what I thought of this:

I think it’s good to save money, but also good to have joy. Find some balance in life.

I gave him my belief. I later learned that he really bought the idea and started to get more from his achievements, going out to dinner, found a girlfriend and such.

Effort, Payback, Rest

I always advocate that a person should live a good life: when stressed, no one can get all of his capacity. Without getting it all, he may lose a promotion. And this promotion can provide in a very short time entire year worth of economy that was not made due to pleasant activities. Those who worked with me know that I really appreciate this time of rest and joy as an essential part of every career.

People often confuse investment in their joy as waste: living in a nice house, driving a comfortable car, and enjoying a bit of the result of his work, in other words to treat yourself well, it is something that should always be done. Again, it is up to people to put theirself ready to work every morning, so they would be able to give their maximum efficiency.

As always, it is a very personal subject of how much joy is needed. What is safe to say is that regardless of where this target is, anyone who enjoys a bit of its achievements once and a while tends to generate the motivation to grow even more and also tends to win more, as he is usually more motivated than those who thinks they can take an entirely austere life.

For example, rest allows the individual to work better. By working better, he may be able to be promoted, he will gain more experience and might switch to a better area, etc. At some point, this will be reflected in money. Not to mention that the path becomes much more enjoyable…


When I run job interviews, I usually ask the candidates:

Me: What is your major thing to improve?

To look good, there are three answers of “problems to look nice”:

  • Perfectionist
  • Super focused
  • Workaholic

I do not know which one is the worst of the first two, but the worst from the 3 I do know the worst: being workaholic. Workaholics are extremely ineffective employees, who are always spending more time being busy than doing things that matter. They are always behind the schedule with overdue tasks. They are usually complaining and think about their honest reasons to explain why all the things they are doing is urgent (because they are always late) and find that all the efforts of every one else is never enough (only their late work matters).

But the problem of a Workaholic is their thing is to consider as success the amount of overhead they have instead of achieving any solid result itself. They work until later, after all, as workload means success, so they think staying late is more success. There are worn not the next morning and they can’t work effectively throughout the day (they had give up the rest). Then they get more load because they couldn’t accomplish what they were supposed to. And with that distorted measure of success, they feel successful as they are overburdened until the day they drove themselves crazy and on medication.

How are out of time in this crazy circle, you never have time to innovate or to assess whether they are being effective. A workaholic, usually when will assess what concrete he did, concludes that there was very little. Then decides he has to work harder …

Parallel Activities

Big money gains without leaving home with little effort on your spare time.

Of all the diversions, I think nothing is more damaging the search for extra income without effor. First, any extra income equals remunerate the spare (resting) time. That is exactly the great bait: on their free time, the individual does not want to do any effort. He wants to rest.

Then they created these wonderful methods to make money without effort, that is, not to spoil your free time from rest. The idea is that the individual work on something that do not stress him. I can’t believe it is possible. I have a law (one day publish an article about these laws that govern my judgments, I promise):

In the short term, any profitable activity will require effort.

The problem is that these activities that pay for someone’s rest period become a problem: the individual still has his need to rest and exchange his core business or activities for these easy money promises. I know many people offering multi-level marketing products in the working hours. Some lose hours talking about the miraculous wonders of a diet shake. About that cream takes away any wrinkles. They could be selling good products, like homemade chocolate cake (made by themselves) or whatever pie, but diet shakes?

I commented about products to be sold, but the stock market the same thing happens. In the video below, Bastter (an investment website in Brazil) said this about a dentist who decided work wit stocks instead of doing his job. The guy devoted part of work hours to operate as a stock trader:

I’ll transcrypt for english readers the interesting part:

I, I, have seen in this path some absurd things, for example a Dentist that used to earn about R$ 500 per hour leaving his job every day for 1 hour on business hours to work as stock trader. This is that stupid, because of those R$500 by day, there won’t be any chance that he would get that same money as an amateur stock trader.

In short: NEVER, EVER hurt your career because of parallel activities. Mauro Halfeld (who provides Financial Advise on radio) always ends his comments on Fridays with “be sure to enjoy the weekend with your family”. He’s right: you should think about money only when it’s time to do so.

The worst is that this whole thing is sold as “entrepreneurship”. But it has nothing to do with it.

An entrepreneur who often works on his dream and his job in parallel, literally changing his rest period for his dream. But look: he does not make it for any immediate gain: it for its own satisfaction; so it’s an enjoyable activity. That is also noble because the entrepreneur will as soon as possible take all the risk and dedicate himself totally to his project.

I know a good amount of sucessful entrepreneur, however, I don’t know any sucessful people who gets into that of “easy money, no effort”. They are expecting an immediate gain without effort. Before that, they are going to loose their way. They usually end up worse or embittering losses.

What Matters

I always recommend working hard, rest and forget work and aim goals for what will make a person happy istead of what is easy to do. In my interviews, I have being several times on dialogues like this:

  • Me: Do you like this activity?
  • Candidate: I’ve never worked with it
  • Me: I did not ask that. I asked if you think it is interesting.

Do not waste time with what does not helps you to achieve something in life. One person grows, choose something to work with and for many times does not engage into it. It is sad. I do understand that our taste and our goals change with time: skills and underrated talents of one day can become our passion another day. As I said in the first paragraph, I started enjoying more of the technical area and today I dedicate myself to write about career. For those who saw the entire video from Bastter, he suggests that to work, to save, to enjoy your life and to do what you like are the biggest motivators for success. I expand that to sucessful careers. Yes, there are periods of higher intensity as there are periods of lower intensity. Careers are long-term assets, so any strategy should take this into consideration.

About rftafas 183 Articles
Ricardo F. Tafas Jr graduated in Electrical Engineering at UFRGS with focus on Digital Systems and achieved his Masters also in Electrical Engineering on Telecomunications Network Management. He also author of "Autodesenvolvimento para Desenvolvedores (Self-development for developers). Ricardo has +10 years experience on R&D Management and +13 years on Embedded Eystem Development. His interest lay on Applied Strategic HR, Innovation Management and Embedded Technology as a differentiator and also on High Performance Digital Systems and FPGAs. Actually, he is editor and writer for “Repositório” blog (, editorial board member at Embarcados (https://embarcados.com.br) and he is Management and Innovation Specialist at Repo Dinâmica - Aceleradora de Produtos.
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