Let’s face it, most of us have been brought up with the mentality that working hard is the best way to improve our productivity. Many of us were taught to work harder to get a better HSC mark, then work harder to get a better graduate position, work harder to get the promotion…..you get the idea…..
Many people still have leaders who believe that more time working harder at their desk equals more productivity. Now while this thinking was ok 20 years, thanks to neuroscience and sports science we now have more scientific evidence to suggest that is no longer the best way to achieve results and these beliefs need to change.
So what does science tell us is crucial to sustained high performance?
Recovery is the key. Let’s remind ourselves that unless the high performance is able to be sustained it’s actually not a high performance strategy, it’s a high burnout strategy. Let’s face it, what’s the point of a high burnout strategy??
Think about athletes – what would happen if marathon runners trained 42kms at pace every single day? Injuries, fatigue, decrease in speed are all issues they would face. In fact, the same thing is happening to many people in the workplace. Thanks to our “work harder” upbringing we believe that unless it feels difficult we are not performing at our best.
And when was the last time you tried to work on something when you were really fatigued. Did it take you more or less time than it should have? Probably much longer…..So why not get some recovery time and then work on when it’s going to take you less or the same time that it should actually take.
And what do we mean by recovery?
Well that’s different for different people – broadly speaking anything which renews your energy. We don’t necessarily mean “down tools and sit on the couch”…….
For some people that’s going out and doing some exercise or even just switching between other tasks on your to-do list which are lighter and more energy giving. It could mean changing your physical state by going for a walk to do some strategic thinking.
And at the end of the day it could just mean leaving work at a reasonable hour and going to spend time with friends and family who energise you.
So it’s possible to make your recovery time productive as well as energising. Try to see it as an important part of your sustained high performance plan.
And leaders remember……if you reward face time, you’ll get face time. Make sure you reward results and empower your teams to take whatever recovery in different ways to ensure results.
If you would like to know more about how to manage your recoveries for optimal sustained performance, please get in touch today.