Preparing Versus Recovering
Phew, That Wiped Me out!
At least three of my clients have told me recently about occasions when they've done something big -- a workshop or an event, and they've been exhausted, or even become ill, and been forced to take more time off after the event than they'd planned for. They didn't have that thing we call 'resilience'.
Or did they...?
What could you have done to better prepare for it?
I asked each of them.
That question seemed to floor them. They each paused before answering. One client told me,
Well, I planned some time off in the week following.
And another said,
I made sure I wasn't travelling the week before, so I didn't have as many long days.
I was still puzzled,
No, I mean—specifically—how did you rest your body so that you were as ready as possible and on your absolute top form before your event?
This question was met with silence each time I asked it.
Rest Before, Not After
Most of us are used to resting after a big event. We work like crazy, we do 'whatever it takes', and we accept that we'll be tired afterwards.
But we've got it the wrong way round. Top performers do something different...
An athlete, let's say a marathon runner, doesn't train hard right up to the big day.
He or she tapers down the training, and they take time off before the race. It’s part of their preparation, part of what creates their best performance.
So why don’t those of us who work in more intellectual occupations do the same?
It's so ingrained in us that action creates results that we don't think to do this when it comes to our work (or even our social lives.)
We think it's OK to go flat-out and then rest afterwards.
And, sure, we do need to rest after. But we also need to rest beforehand.
The Art of Success is Preparation…
A marathon runner who trains right up to the deadline is more likely to tire, to be injured, to run a slower time, than the one who is rested and relaxed, and who's body is fully prepared for the endurance needed for the 26.2 miles.
If you still need convincing, ask yourself this question: who do you think bounces back to training more quickly and with more ease...? The one who trained right up to the event or the one who prepared by tapering down?
I’ll leave you to consider the implications for yourself!
Slow to Win
This idea of slowing down to prepare applies just as much to social occasions as it does to work and business events.
Slow down so that you can be more successful, not less; rest, so that you can enjoy what you do (or win if we're continuing the marathon metaphor!)
Whatever you have coming up in the next few days or weeks, you still have time to wind down and take a little time for yourself so that you can show as the most relaxed you—and the bonus is that you'll be all set for getting back into action sooner than if you work right up to the deadline.