Global leadership and team consulting expert Lawrence Polsky, uses his knowledge of executive performance to reveal the one thing that ensures leaders are operating at their full potential. And it’s something we all yearn to do.
Working yourself into the ground does not a successful executive make. Olympians do not work nearly has hard as the average office worker. Olympians work four to six hours a day, and executives work 10 to 12 hours a day. The human body can only take so much pain and pushing and the muscles need time to rest. In fact, it is during that rest period that their muscle tissue grows, so Olympians are literally get stronger while resting.
The same applies to executives. A well-rested executive is more successful than a tired and overworked one. Here are few lessons that can help you perform your best when the demands are highest:
Schedule time to recuperate:
A key to being more productive is to take breaks. You as a leader should schedule time in your daily calendar to recover from the challenges you face. It could be time for a walk, to call a friend or a short meditation. Setting aside 15 to 60 minutes daily to rest, recuperate and reboot, boosts your energy and performance.
Weekend tech detox:
Every Friday evening until late Saturday or early Sunday, my business partner turns off his computer and unplugs for “R&R&R” time – rest, relaxation and reflection. “To be off the daily grind, opens an all-new world,” he says. “Fifteen per cent of my week is protected from any work, any electronics, anything I would normally do on a weekday. I get so much energy from it.” A weekly tech detox works so well to boost energy and performance that we advise our clients to give it a try.
We recommend business leaders adapt the run-walk-run method advocated by Jeff Galloway, former Olympic distance runner and long -time running coach. Working with over 300,000 runners, Galloway has found that when they push too hard for too long, they can’t sustain it. But if they walk in between, they go farther and further. You can run faster and farther if you run, then walk, then run. In business, this may mean interspersing slower paced work with high-demand tasks.
For most of us, it is hard to accept that we have to learn to go slower before we can go faster. But it is a key lesson of elite athletes that can help you as a leader perform at your best, even in the most challenging times.
Executive team coaches Antoine Gerschel and Lawrence Polsky are managing partners at PeopleNRG.com. The global leadership and team consulting firm has transformed the teams of more than 30,000 leaders in 11 industries in 30 countries on five continents since 2008. Visit www.PeopleNRG.com.