I don’t love to gamble, but there’s a good chance that you don’t have ‘recovery’ scheduled into your weekly work calendar.
It’s also a good bet that there is room for improvement in your productivity. For example, I consider myself to be fairly productive, but I am always looking for ways to become more efficient, or to produce better quality work.
Recovery and productivity go hand in hand. Today I’d like to share a little bit with you about what has, and has not, worked for me in this realm so far.
Whenever I fail to schedule recovery into my daily & weekly planning, it comes back to bite me.
An obvious example is with physical training. If I skip recovery work (mobility, tissue work, static stretching, etc.) to ‘save time’ for too many days because ‘I’m busy’, then my body will answer back my busyness with a painful, nagging strain, soon. Since I enjoy pushing the limits of intense strength training, I have learned to simply make recovery a non-negotiable part of the training time. It is part of the workout. It is not to be skipped.
In addition to the physical, you can push yourself too far mentally and spiritually as well. All three ultimately have a breaking point. Your body, mind, and soul all need time to recover.
For example, like you, I like to work. I work a lot; sometimes, too much. My wife and kids might say more than sometimes. I know what it’s like to push those limits and work sixty, seventy, even eighty hour weeks.
Such efforts can be positive, but only up to a point. They also have a cost. At some point something, if not several things, such as your relationships and stress levels, will start to suffer. And those will manifest into physical symptoms as well.
I’ve started to notice that I have an internal ‘stopping point’. It doesn’t happen every day, nor always at the same time.
I sense this stopping point as follows: my body will tell me that if I go further, I will not be performing my best work.
It doesn’t mean that I have to stop work immediately. It just means that if I keep going, my return on productivity ‘investment’ will begin diminishing the more I push it.
Soon after this stopping point, it’s time to move on to other things that are not work, such as exercise, family, nutrition, or recovery, to name a few.
The key to be able to have a good sense for this kind of thing is to regularly practice being in tune with your body, and open enough to hear it.
There are many, many simple ways you can implement regular recovery practices into your work week.
It can be as simple as adding one 4-7-8 breath cycle somewhere into your day, which takes a total of approximately three minutes.
Or, it could be simple taking a ten minute walk away from everything at a certain time, so that your brain gets to ‘recharge’ for a bit.
Those are two easily accessible ways to start. There are others. My recovery modalities include a daily meditation practice, QiGong (usually barefoot on my front lawn), lots of physical recovery work that I mentioned above, and more.
You don’t have to start practicing QiGong on the train platform. (Yes, that was me.) You just have to make it a point to start stopping once in awhile.
The other side of the coin is that whenever I do make recovery a daily priority, just like anything else that I prioritize, it gets done – and it gets done well.
It leads to tangible, increased gains, whether those be in the gym, or at my sales desk. I do measure both.
I’m almost forty (next week), and, I finally have a pretty good understanding of what I know, and what I don’t.
There’s not very much I know for sure, with absolute certainty.
One thing I do know is that investing regular, but relatively small amounts of time into recovery practices will provide you great returns on your time.
Your productivity at work ultimately supports your long-term goals and dreams, so, take care of them.
And, Happy Thanksgiving!