When I worked with the performers at Cirque du Soleil I found that some of them, with their grueling daylong rehearsal schedule, plus 2 evening performances 5 times a week, were quick to get injured and their recovery time took twice as long as it should have. It also had the ripple on effect of adversely affected other areas of their life when they did not have a system in place to handle the break down. Once we implemented a program of strategies for ongoing rest and revitalization, the performers found a dramatic leap not only in their recovery time, but also in their performance level when back in the training room and during performance. Amazingly, their ability to deliver better results in less time skyrocketed.
You may not be a performer in Cirque du Soleil, but the demands you make on yourself as a leader in business are the same. You too push yourself to a sometimes extreme level to get great results. You too ignore the signs of stress and keep going on when others might stop. This tip is about creating rejuvenation time to keep you feeling energized and vibrant so that you can continue to deliver at a high level throughout the week with out experiencing burn out. The result will be a dramatic increase in your performance in the work place and overall improvement in well-being.
Stay energized and vibrant all week by implementing this one strategy every Sunday:
SCHEDULE TREAT DAYS
One of my dearest friends Rachel is a managing director at a top advertising agency. Once every 4 weeks she has a ritual of turning off her phone, not checking email and taking off to her cottage on the lake for a day where she does nothing but activities that make her soul sing, like playing golf, swimming, and making her home-cooked “treat” meal – chicken tikka masala! She organizes her Treat Day in advance (she sometimes schedules it during the work week if her weekends get particularly frantic) so her staff are available to manage projects that need attention while she’s re-charging. When she returns to work the next business day, she is refreshed, revitalized and raring to go. The benefit of organizing a Treat Day in advance is that you have something to look forward to on a regular basis. You know it is a day filled with all the things that you love to do, and more importantly, only the things you love to do.
Give Yourself Permission to say ‘NO’ to Anything that Does Not Give You Joy
If you have a significant other or children, it is a good idea to share with them your plan so that they can support you, but the idea is that this is a day that is about you nurturing you. From getting feedback from many of my clients who regularly schedule Treat Days- I have found that on your chosen day, partners will either take the time to engage in activities for themselves that they themselves have neglected or they will want to join in to support you and it will bring you closer together as a result. The Treat Day concept may only work for you once every 8 weeks. Or you may love it so much that you decide to do this on a weekly basis. During the 5 years I was coaching Celine Dion and her team at “A New Day”, I was given every Monday and Tuesday off. I scheduled Monday as my treat day where I switched off from the world. I would often go the entire day without talking, or if I needed to communicate with people around me, I would do so through other modes of expression such as sign or writing. No text. No phone. No email. Those 24 hours of silence each week were an absolute gift that kept me sane and able to withstand the demands of my working week.
Think of at least 3 treats you could implement into a day off. Saturday or Sunday works great for most people but choose the day that works best for you. Make a ritual out of putting the treats into practice each week. Your body, mind and yes, even your business, will thank you for it.
Next week look out for my hot tip in this series for combating stress, fatigue, jet-lag and an over-active nervous system.
Also published on Medium.