Many of us face times where we believe to achieve our highest potential, we have to push ourselves to the extreme limits continuously. We are suppose to physically push ourselves to the brink of exhaustion, and then do it again with a quick surge of a 5-hour energy. I read a great analogy in a new book I am reading called The way we’re working, isn’t working.
” Think for a moment about the Indianapolis 500. The driver who wins that race isn’t the one who drives the fastest the longest and most continuously. The winner is the one who drives at the highest speeds when he’s on the track but also makes the most efficient pit stops along the way to refuel, change the tires, and make mechanical adjustments and repairs.”
Author Tony Schwartz goes on to explain that for us to work at our highest potential and with the most efficiency, we need balance. Every time we exert energy, we must refuel.
Tony has done consulting for many companies, but the most incredible examples of his success would be how he implements this type of balance into accounting firms during peak tax season, where work days can easily get up to 12-14 hrs.
“We taught teams of E&Y accountants to work instead in more focused, efficient ways for ninety minutes at a time and then take breaks. We also encouraged them to renew intermittently throughout the day. Many of them began taking off an hour in the afternoons to work out at a nearby gym, an unthinkable option before we launched the pilot. When they returned to work at 4 or 5pm -a time at which their productivity typically began to diminish dramatically-they consistently reported feeling reenergized and better able to focus. Because they were able to get more work accomplished in the later afternoon, they were often able to leave work earlier in the evening. The result was more time to relax at home and more time to sleep, which allowed them to return to work the next day more energized and better able to fully engage.”
What do you do to keep a healthy work-life balance? Exercise? Meditation? Read? Make sure you dedicate times throughout your day to refuel and you will find the benefit in your work quality. Remember this isn’t a sprint, so gear up to win the long race.