“It is a very good plan every now and then to go away and have a little relaxation… When you come back to the work your judgment will be surer, since to remain constantly at work will cause you to lose the power of judgment.” Leonardo DaVinci
A few years ago my son Brian and I had the opportunity to participate in a workshop being conducted my Dr. James Loehr. Our take away from the workshop was that stress is not something you need to sustain a vital quality of life. Yet the big “AHA” was that the other side of stress called recovery is the neglected part of learning how to live a balanced life. Having this balance between stress and recovery in life keeps people fresh and energized in high stress jobs. Dr Loehr who started his career as a performance and sports psychologist, says “any elite athlete will tell you, just working hard won’t get you into top physical or mental shape. To improve endurance and performance, an athlete must push past their comfort zone when working out and then, most importantly, let their mind and body recover. According to his Stress-Recovery theory, when athletes push beyond their comfort zone or experience high levels of stress there is a tendency to not think clearly and be prone to injury and burn-out. Just as important, without a recovery like a vacation performance declines and demons appear. This is why vacations are so important for personal renewal and reflection.
That’s all well and good, I hear you saying. But what does an athlete’s training routine have to do with being the President of theUnited States? Needless to say the President’s job where work is at least 60 hours a week and you are on call 24-7, travel can be exhausting, decisions are being made hourly that impact many people, juggling crisis after crisis, meeting and mourning with parents of loss soldiers, and trying to find time to be a good husband and parent of two daughters and squeeze in a make-up Basketball game or two a week. The President is not training for a NCAA championship game or the US Olympics but his job or an executive job according to Loehr requires you to be as fit if not more so to stay on top of your game and function at peal performance. your life. And it’s not a sprint, my friend. It’s a marathon that, with any luck, will last for several more decades. And the truth is that the same regimen that putsAmerica’s athletes in top physical shape-exertion followed by recovery-can help you improve your performance at work, restore your zest for life, and help you greet every day with the optimism and energy to do your best.
As a professional and executive coach, I frequently hear the same complaint from many of my clients: there just isn’t enough time in the day to meet all the demands being made of them. While there is a need to manage time, remember the most successful person in the world has the same 24-hour day that they you do. The difference according to Dr. Loehr is learning how to recovery and manage their energy so you can perform at peal levels.
According to Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz, in their book The Power of Engagement the key to peak performance in life and in work is to balance the stress/recovery ratio in four key ways: physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
So let’s give the President a break and wish him the best on his vacation so that he will come back rested and fully engaged in his job.