We want to bring the best of ourselves to work. We want to help those we work with perform to their full potential. We know in our hearts that it is not simply about putting in more and more effort. Apparently those who work more than 60 hour weeks are the least productive of all. There is a science to how we rest and restore our energies and creativity.
Four major factors contribute to recovery according to Alex Pang in his excellent book Rest. These are:
- Relaxation – a pleasant and undemanding activity that requires no conscious effort; something we are all familiar with
- Detachment – doing something that makes us concentrate fully on something else, putting our work completely out of our mind. It’s like my doctor brother-in-law who recovers from an incredibly demanding job by flying a plane (where he cannot be reached)
- Control – having the power to decide how we spend our time, energy and attention (such as waking up to a free weekend)
- Mastery – taking part in engaging and interesting things that you do well
Recovery is active, rather than passive. The most creative and productive workers can unplug from the office and recharge their mental and physical energies.
- What do you do to recover your energy? How do you restore your soul?
What habits might help you recover better?