Optimize Schedule? Check. Improve Performance? In Progress.
I know optimizing my schedule is only a portion of what I can do to help ensure I make the most out of every day. When I hit the Green Zones I referred to in my post last week I need to make sure I take advantage of not only those high-focus times, but the most out of my Red Zones as well. But I think I might be getting ahead of myself.
I re-read (aka re-listen) to books I've consumed in the past to help reinforce the actions I've taken to improve my work. One such book is "Peak Performance: Elevate Your Game, Avoid Burnout, and Thrive with the New Science of Success" by Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness. Its a pretty quick listen (about five hours) and really drives home a couple of good points for me. First, Stress+Rest=Growth.
(Note: I'm not endorsing Keith Edwards [I'm not sure who he is] but I really liked this graphic I found online and wanted to make sure I give him credit. )
This equation is simple I know but something I need to be reminded about on occasion. Stress here is defined as the good type of stress which you try to achieve with exercising to increase your physical or mental strength, but to balance it with the right amount of rest. An over-exercised mind is the same as an over-exercised muscle resulting in burnout. Instead of forcing myself to do what needs to get done during those Red Zones, I take these as opportunities to rest. Mental rest is different for everyone, but mine is actually physical exercise. If the weather is nice I'll head outside to enjoy some fresh air, and if not I'll head to my elliptical or treadmill in the basement. How is this mental rest? I turn off my phone! It removes the temptation of answering a call or checking texts and email, so I can take these moments as opportunities to just breath and recharge my batteries.
The second point I took from "Peak Performance" is a quote from Vince Lombardi: "Practice doesn't make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect."
No, the quote didn't just stick with me because I am a die hard Packer fan (topic for another blog post). Anyone can practice at something for random amounts of time, for a random amount of days and you'll improve, but the likelihood of achieving your goals in this manner are slim at best. So what do I do? I take full advantage of those Green Zones to not only accomplish what I need to for my clients each day, but to also improve upon all of my skills needed to succeed in my chosen field.
My question for you is - what is your favorite way to recharge to make sure you don't burnout? Either mentally or physically? Leave a note in the comments below!
See you soon!