Recovery MattersAug 02, 2021
It can be really hard to live in the moment, especially when it’s so easy to always focus on the future, the next thing. What’s the next step? Once the to-do list gets crossed off, then what? With so much going on, it can be easy to forget that you also need to make time to recover.
When’s the last time you took a day off, or blocked off your calendar? If you don’t remember, you likely aren’t giving yourself enough time to recuperate and refresh from those big checks off the to-do list, or those big goals you accomplish.
Recovery time is crucial. Without it, you will burn out so much faster. Just like you need to recover from a tough workout, you also need to build in recovery time from a big work or school project.
So what does recovery time actually look like?
It’s really up to you. It could be time off at home, or a work from home day if you are always at the office. It may be a day with no meetings or calls so you can actually get some work done by yourself. It might be giving yourself one free day with nothing on the calendar. Or it may be taking a vacation, or spending time away from work with family or friends. Whatever helps you take your mind away from work or school, do it, and know that it will look different for everyone.
How does recovery help?
Taking time to pause, take a break and unwind mentally as well as physically is a huge part of making progress. It supports your mental health which helps you avoid burnout, decreases your stress and allows you to engage in things outside of your to-do list and the work on your plate.
Recovery can ensure you take the time to properly process what you’ve accomplished, and more importantly, evaluate what worked and what didn’t. Giving yourself time to pause and reflect makes a big difference because you are actually giving yourself time to think about things, not just rushing through to the next step.
The act of recovery can also help you be MORE productive when you get back into the swing of things. You’ll likely be more motivated on the next project, and more refreshed and focused to make real progress on what’s next.
How can you prioritize recovery time?
It can be easy to blow off recovery time, but don’t let yourself off the hook that easily. Prioritize your break time in advance. Build it into your calendar. If you know you have a big event or class presentation coming up, block off the next day in your calendar, or maybe a day later that week to rest and relax.
You can also share your plans for recovery with someone else. When you tell someone you are taking the day off or spending the day with family, you’re more likely to stick to it. That person can hold you accountable to actually make it happen.
If you are in charge of a team or a group, make recovery a requirement! Show that you care about their well-being and want them to get the break time they need. Block off your own calendar or take a day off and encourage them to do the same.
Just like it does for our bodies, recovery time for our mental health matters. Make sure you map out when you’ll take breaks, time off or work from home days so that you can really maximize your time working at your best.
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