High-stress needs high-recovery
People usually get the sense that constant movement and an 18-hour/day full schedule, are the factors that define a person as successful. We live in a world where millions of people run a continuous sprint during their day, to prove (to themselves and others) that they are worthy. They have chosen — consciously or unconsciously — only one side of the dipole “movement-immobility”. This way, they are always in imbalance.
What matters more than being in action, is being effective.
Effectiveness isn’t about how many hours you work, but what are your results. Results depend on many factors, such as creativity, ability to concentrate, flexibility, resilience, and more. Of course, if you are lazy and you’re lying on a couch all day every day, there is no effectiveness either. But by focusing only on just being active, you just do things automatically, weakening body and mind, scattering energy that could be targeted and more efficient.
So, instead of just counting hours of work, ask yourself:
- How much further did I get, regarding the case I worked on today?
-Where am I, regarding the target of this project?
-How many of the things I faced today, were concluded with the appropriate response on my part?
Our minds have two basic ways of working; focusing and relaxing. During the condition of focusing — for instance, when you try to learn something or when you work fully alerted and concentrated on something — your mind blocks the condition of relaxation. During the condition of relaxation though, the brain turns on, other — equally important — functions, such as:
-Finding meaning, where you couldn’t see any until that moment
-Synthesis of seemingly dissimilar elements which lead to more innovative solutions to problems
-Processes from which unconventional ideas arise
High-stress and High-recovery
When you work out, you know that your body needs time after the training for the muscles to recover. Your brain and your general inner function need the same. Not only because you need to rest, but furthermore, because the procedures that take place during the recovery time are equally useful and as important as those of the working hours. When you exclude recovery, you condemn your effectiveness to a gradual reduction. Not to mention the consequences on your emotional balance, the internal confusion, the effect on your relationships. You always need to re-balance.
Recovery isn’t just about sleep. It’s about focusing for a while to something totally different than the project you work on or the problem you are trying to solve. You have to turn your mind to a whole different direction, to a subject or/and activity of nonidentical nature. This way, you don’t exclude from your life all the ultra practical brain functions of recovery condition.
According to many studies, scheduled breaks seem to be more effective than random ones. Recovery schedule can be entered in your life not only by dividing the day into zones, but also — if it fits you — by choosing to work in a high-tense rhythm for four days and then, relax for three. Or, to work in a high-stress mode for three weeks per month and then relax for one, in which you don’t think about work, you don’t check your emails twenty times per day, you focus on your hobbies, your walks, your sleep, your garden or whatever you choose. You can only check some basic stuff of your work for one hour daily.
Humans, as part of Nature
During Autumn or Winter, most of the trees drop their leaves, stop producing fruits, stop blooming. It’s not because Nature gets bored or becomes …lazy. It’s because, during that time, necessary procedures take place; de-compositions, reconstructions, and more. Nature returns — after that stage — to full productivity again.
The cyclical course of the processes ends in a break/closure to reach the beginning again within the best possible conditions.
Humans are part of nature and our functions, our experiences — external and internal — make circles as well. So, wanting to keep permanent breathless mobility, is not natural and it’s not effective. The laws of the Universe operation will bring that necessary stage of immobility in another way, whether we want it or not. Balance is valuable.
The constant unconscious and automatic breathless activity, just moves you. Knowing how to keep balance and utilizing the beneficial processes of recovery, transforms you. You discover then, a calmer, more creative and more totally evolving self. The choice is yours.