Monday morning, I woke up at 5:30 a.m. like I always do, got Alex off to school, went to the gym, came home ... and crashed.

It was so strange:  I was absolute incapable of concentrating on anything.  I just felt exhausted, completely wiped, despite having had 7 hours of sleep the night before.  After staring unproductively at my computer for a few hours, I finally gave in and went to bed for an hour, trying to stifle the rising guilt.  I should be working, I thought to myself as I sank under the covers.  This is so lazy.

When my alarm went off, I was dismayed to find that I was still tired.  I knew I wasn't getting sick, because I felt fine, just exhausted.

Then it dawned on me:  Because of all the travel I'd been doing, I hadn't had a full weekend to myself in three weeks -- and I hadn't had a weekend at home in four.  So, I decided to give myself permission to take a day off.  Like I actually said it out loud:  "Karen, you have permission to stay in bed today."  

And so I did.  I did puzzles.  I read books.  I wasn't completely irresponsible -- I did all the things I needed to do to take care of the house -- but after I did them, I crawled right back into bed.  I didn't respond to work emails, or do anything that even vaguely had a deadline attached. It was glorious.  And then I made sure to get a good night's sleep.

And as a result, yesterday, I was so refreshed, I got more done than I had in months.  I even rewarded myself with a little photo walk around my neighbourhood during the golden hour.

My travel schedule will continue to be insane for the foreseeable future, but I think I've learned a lesson this week:  I'm giving myself permission to do what I need to do to make sure I'm okay -- including scheduling entire days off if I have to, even if it means a long day the day before.  

I think I'm finally figuring out that ultimately, my productivity might just depend on it.


Soundtrack:  Be in yo self by Theo Parrish