How Are You Achieving Rejuvenation for Peak Performance?
When was the last time that you truly took a mental break from work? Many of us in North America are now getting out our calendars to gear up for summer vacations, so it's timely to discuss how we use our "downtime" to enhance our ability to excel in our businesses and our workplaces.
The book The Power of Full Engagement, by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz, 2003, uses an enlightening analogy from their studies of world-class athletes. They remind us that muscles are grown most effectively by stretching beyond the limits of comfort and then allowing them to recover. Alternating activity with periods of rest is a training method used by elite athletes throughout the world. To quote Loehr and Schwartz, "The key to expanding capacity is to both push beyond one's ordinary limits and to regularly seek recovery, which is when growth actually occurs."
What are you doing to ensure optimum stretch AND recovery of your mental muscles?
Looked at this way, it's not that difficult to buy-in intellectually to this principle. It makes sense that our creativity flows best when we are refreshed. It's logical that our ideas are more focused when our minds are sharp. We know that we are better able to "pour it on" in times of crisis when we have energy reserves to drawn on. So what gets in our way of acting on this principle?
Somewhere along the way we started to equate being available to our customers, clients and employees with being "responsible" and almost "noble". We joke about our workaholic tendencies with an odd sense of pride.
I have certainly caught myself in this game. The light bulb went on for me when I looked at how my behaviour matches my values. It has been helpful for me to ask myself, "How am I modelling the success that I want for my clients?" and, "Is this really what being responsible looks like?"
When the pressure is on, it's easy to slip. We need anchors to hang onto that are core to us, not a list of "shoulds". Compromising our vacation and recovery time can compromise the integrity we model with our employees and our colleagues (let alone our families and friends). Integrity might be one of your anchors.
How might your own values help you stay committed to the practice of rejuvenation?
Clearly, running on fumes doesn't cut it. The demands of today's businesses are too high and customer expectations too great. We owe it to our businesses, our employers and our customers alike to be functioning in top form. We owe it to our employees to rely on them in our absence. When others take vacations, we need to show respect for the value of disconnecting from work. And we particularly owe it to ourselves to build in recovery, so that we can be our most creative and highly contributing selves when we get back to work.
As you look ahead to summertime?
What action can you take today to be accountable for building rejuvenation into your plans over the next 3 months?
Susan Edwards is President of Development by Design, a Business & Leadership Coaching and Human Resources Consulting firm. Her Coaching clients are high potential leaders and profitable business owners who are redefining the terms of their success and taking their impact to a new level. She consults to Fortune 500 companies and smaller entrepreneurial organizations who are also committed to creating extraordinary impact with their customers, employees and shareholders. One of the niches of her practice is supporting new leaders and senior professionals in successfully transitioning into new organizations and "clearing the 90-day hurdle". She is authoring a self-coaching workbook to support people in effectively navigating this transition. Visit Sue at http://www.development-by-design.com
Need To Stop Worrying?
I once worked with a woman whose zest,joy and enthusiasm lit up the room [and it was a big office!]
Stressed? Relax Right Now with 5 Super-Simple Stress-Busters
Stressed? Relax Right Now with 5 Super-Simple Stress-Busters
What is Stress?
Stress is an interpretation of an event or circumstance which is understood to be a threat. It can be any force or pressure put on a system (living or nonliving) which may result in a need for the system to adapt or change. Stress on human beings is like a rubber band. You also stretch to meet the environment around you, the demands of your lifestyle, and the pressures you put on yourself. If pulled too far, stress manifests itself in real conditions mentally, physically, and emotionally. Like a rubber band breaks when stretched too far, human beings have a breaking point too. The secret is to learn how to handle stress in your life and avoid becoming over-stressed.
Dont Be a Worry Wort!
Everyone worries. As bothersome as it is, worry isn't all bad, and can actually work for you. Worry can give you a jolt of energy, spark your creative thinking, and help you to meet deadlines. The trick is to keep worry under control and these tips will help you do that.
Stress Managment and Mastery: Break the Rules!
Of all the sources of stress in our lives, faulty emotional rules are one of the most debilitating. These faulty emotional rules are typically ingrained during childhood and become a part of how we live. Because they are largely unquestioned, we rarely stop and consider how they might be influencing our lives. If unchecked, these rules can even run our lives.
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Planning Stress Management
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As tools for change are discussed, one tool - that you might not have thought of - attains a unique status. That tool is WORRYING. Yes, worrying. Most of us wish we worried less. But worrying might be a good thing, not necessarily bad. It's a brain mechanism that weighs alternatives. Even though by definition worry is one of the processes that weighs possible outcomes and consequences (usually with emphasis on the negative), nevertheless it's a decision making tool.
Understanding Your Stress Levels
In order to understand stress better, it is a good idea to understand that there are different stress levels. These levels vary in the form of stress they take and they can often provide an indication of how to treat the stress. Furthermore, there are tests available that can help people understand their own, particular brand of stress and, with this knowledge, they can also understand themselves better. Then, with this information, a complete stress management method can be constructed. So, when you examine your own stress, keep these stress levels in mind so that you can come to grips with yourself and learn the proper methods for keeping your mind balanced.
Keeping You Stress Free!
We function at our best when we are free from stress, relaxed, confident and focused. Feeling the adrenalin flow and achieving a deadline by the skin of our teeth may be exhilarating in the short term but as a way of life can be detrimental to both health and happiness. Stress has a habit of creeping up on us very slowly. At first it may just show itself in low-level irritation and then possibly some sleepless nights and eventually a feeling of being out of control, time off work and, if unchecked, some form of serious illness.
Shit happens. I know this to be a fact, because I read it on a t-shirt. ;-)
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To be a safe and predictable person for those around you at work and at home, it is essential that you are able to maintain your composure when you feel like your 'buttons' are being pushed. This strength will help you to achieve your goals in business as well as your goals for your personal relationships.
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Life would be so wonderful if it weren't for other people. Let's face it, people will upset you. They will say things that will hurt your feeling.
Dialing M For Mindfulness
Looking for mindfulness? Who ya gonna call?
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