In 2001 Harvard Business Review published an article called The Making of the Corporate Athlete by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz ( he of The Energy Project) which stands the test of time. I still regularly go back to reread it.
Even if you do not subscribe it is about £4 to download, long, detailed and well worth it.
They outlined in the article a carefully argued comparison between sports professionals and people who work in business. To remain fit to grow, you need to be take care of your whole self, with a focus on your body and specifically with making the time for regular and deliberate rest.
A line that hits home every time is this one:
“By alternating periods of stress with renewal, they learn to align their work with the body’s need for breaks.”
They demonstrate with examples the interaction between the mind and the body to be able to fully engage, to adapt and develop, to grow stronger at what it is you are engaged in.
Fitness means so many different things to different people. Being the right fit for a job, being physically fit, emotionally fit, mentally fit. All of these aspects of Fitness apply to business people. Sure, it is super clear with an athlete and we watch them typically on competition days.
But what about days when they are not competing ( with others) what about when we are not watching, what is it that the top performers do that other performers do not do? And for ourselves, what days are we not competing at least against ourselves?
Rest, reflect, hydrate, take refreshment. That makes sense doesn’t it?
Think about yourself? You know you can only keep going as long as there is a will to do so. As long as you have the mind for it. If you never pause for refreshment, take the time to break out, how can you make space for new ideas, remind yourself of what you know, what is important.
In simpler terms an article this time directly from sport talks about rest. The quote that may mean all the difference to you is this one.
“adaptation takes place during the rest and recovery phase, not during the workout! ”
( you can find the article here )
Still wondering how valid the comparison with an Athlete is? It is used a lot but does it apply really to you?
Competition – sound familiar? Competing for customers? Endurance and maintaining performance through difficult times, like a recession, or training up for a new role? Coaching a good performance out of your team or those you work with? Collaborating with others, building a team? Being in a team? Are convinced yet?
And finally Hydration.
When you are dehydrated even adrenalin will stop helping you after a while.
Working hard, focussing, competing, engaging, collaborating, studying, learning, supporting etc etc, it is all very energising for a while but without the time to rest they all take a natural toll on your mind, your body and your spirit.
Refuelling isn’t always enough you also need to refresh too.
Re Fresh – Get Fresh again.
The ability is there but no time out for refreshment will render you unable to deliver, will fundamentally limit your opportunities for adaptation,development, growth and change.
It will sap your joy, personally and professionally.
What are you doing to build in the regular rest and refreshment?
How are you pausing to maintain long term momentum?
Making Time out a strategy for the long term will pay dividends
Interested in ways to build in refreshment ?
the deadline for applications is May 14th