• Coasting it not quitting or being lazy
  • Coasting at work is necessary for mental recovery
  • Use downtime to dial things down but keep pace
On really crazy weeks, your day is filled with back-to-back meetings, urgent overlapping deadlines, endless conference calls and an email inbox that’s blowing up. Your 8-hour workday is actually 12 hours long.

You feel like you’re playing the whack-a-mole game where your attention and effort are only going to the most immediate thing that pops up.

But this week is different.

It’s not one of those fucking hell weeks filled with complete chaos where you’re just trying to keep your head above water. This week has been normal, even calm and peaceful.

You actually feel like you’re in control of things. You’re not having to juggle a million things all at once. You don’t have to work through lunch every day and you actually have easy evenings to yourself.

You can dial things back from the all-out sprinting pace that you had to maintain during those hell weeks. You can actually work at a normal pace for once.

In fact, you’re dialing things down even further and going at a much slower pace.

Your email responses are more thoughtful and complete. The Powerpoint deck isn’t rushed and riddled with errors but put together more cleanly. You’ve got time between calls and meetings where you can even do a little cyberloafing to relax.

But, there’s a part of you that feels a little guilty about doing this.

We’re here to tell you that you shouldn’t feel guilty - at all.

Why You Need To Coast At Work Sometimes

There's a reason coasting at work is often seen as a negative thing. It connotes a lack of effort, and anyone who's ever worked hard to get ahead doesn't want to be associated with slackers or tagged as worthless workers.

We’ve all been told that we need to bust our asses hard all the time if we want to get ahead in life. And, that’s true to a certain extent and in some circumstances.

But what if we told you that it's okay to coast sometimes?

In fact, taking a break every now and then can make you more productive in the long run. You can actually do more with less stress this way. This is why there are times when coasting is exactly what you should be doing.

Here's why it's okay to take it easy at work sometimes.

Running at 100% All The Time Is Not Sustainable

Our minds and bodies are not designed to go all out all the time. Anyone who says otherwise is full of shit.

Take a look at professional athletes. They’re not going all out 100% of the time. They operate in cycles and patterns of work and rest. They know and value the benefits of this.

The animal kingdom is the same way. All animals follow a natural cycle of activity and downtime. Lions aren’t chasing prey 24x7.

This same principle applies to office workers too.

You can’t be working on multiple projects all day long nonstop for weeks or even months at a time without any breaks. You’ll just burn out. It’s not sustainable.

You have to disconnect from work and leave all the bullshit behind or else you’ll wear yourself down to nothing.

Coasting Is Essential For Mental Recovery

Just like exercising, you need to take a breather every once in a while at work.

When you’re cranking on a big project or an urgent task, you’re working your brain at full capacity. It has the ability to keep up a fast pace but it can only last for so long.

The brain is like a computer processor and it can be over-clocked and run hot. It can sustain it for some time, but eventually, it’s gotta slow and cool down.

This is why you must coast between tasks and projects. It gives your brain the time it needs to rest and recover. This is key to managing work stress and ensuring that you don’t crash and burn.

This study from the Conference on Human Factors shows that taking breaks during key transitions at work helped mental recovery and improved overall performance.

Coasting Allows You To Rest While Keeping Pace

To be extra clear on this, coasting is not quitting. Instead of full-speed running, you’re now at an easy jogging pace, maybe even walking.

This is what coasting is. It’s keeping pace with the work you need to do but not over-exerting yourself. You’re not falling behind but your not aiming to deliver everything ahead of schedule either.

It’s all about just keeping pace.

When things are slow, you have the opportunity to reduce your speed too. It’s an alternative to getting ahead, which is good too if you want to create a buffer for future coasting.

The slower pace allows you to get the mental recovery you need while also keeping up with your work. This is a great way to rest your brain so that when things start going sideways and shit hits the fan with other projects, you’ll be ready.

Coasting Lets Your Mind Flow More Freely

When you’re in the zone with work, your mind is so focused on the tasks at hand that nothing else matters. You get into a rhythm and a deep flow state of mind that you lose track of time. Sometimes, you might even forget to eat.

During these hyper-productive sessions, you’re banging out work like crazy. You feel like an unstoppable machine.

And while this is all good, one of the compromises is that you block out much of the free flow thought that happens during off-peak downtime. You have fewer chances of those “aha” shower moments.

With coasting, you bring back those serendipitous moments.

Coasting allows your mind to not be so locked into a specific task. It can wander off to new or totally unrelated thoughts. And it’s this lack of boundaries that lets your mind discover new ideas - like maybe lunchtime side hustles for extra money.

Don’t Worry It’s Okay To Kick Back Sometimes

We all know that work can be demanding and overwhelming as fuck at times, especially those weeks where it feels like the world is imploding into you.

During those rough days at work, you can’t give in. You’ve gotta keep your momentum when things get fucking hard and fight your way through to the other side.

And when you do make it across the finish line (‘cause we know you will) and the frantic madness is over, you need to press pause on life and coast for a bit.

There's no shame in taking a coasting break. It can actually help improve your productivity in the long run.

So don't feel guilty about coasting at work for a few days or even a couple of weeks. ‘Cuz you just know that shit’s gonna get crazy again real soon.

Feel Better,

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