Last year, I visited a busy business center in Brussels and something struck me when I stepped into the elevator (see picture above). With a small and a lot of resistance, I kept myself from pushing this little button at the right…..

In our society, standing still has a very negative connotation: standing still is going backwards. But is that really the case? Below you can read an article by Janine Naomi Grant in which she emphasizes a good morning routine before starting your day. Even though she gets up very early…  a thumbs up for her morning routine! I’m sure she will start her day fresh and focussed. In addition, the level of cortisol (the stress hormone) in our blood in the morning is relatively high. By establishing a relaxing morning routine, we bring this down. By doing this, we take a much better start in comparison to the mornings when we allow the rush  flooding in immediately after waking up.

This strategy also applies during our working day: visualize your workday as a series of sprints, not as a marathon. With this metaphor we emphasise on taking breaks during the day, during which you can take a glass of water, have a short chat, listen to your favourite song, etc… By doing this you charge your batteries for your next activity. “Work hard, relax hard” could turn out to be a worthwhile and necessary theme for this new year.

This is also one of the fundamental principles in our programs on resilience. It will not surprise you that it forms the basis for burnout recovery as well. Our body is made according to a physics principle: effort is followed by recovery.

How to take this a step further and plan this into your already full agenda:

  • Get up a little bit earlier. Okay, it’s not the easiest thing but after a couple of days, you’ll feel good about it
  • Don’t use your  inbox as your todo-list: this equals mental suicide because your inbox will never be empty. This means your work will never be done. Visualise your todo’s in a notebook (a paper one or an electronic one). Take a look at it in the evening and be happy with the accomplishments.
  • Plan your meeting in blocks  50 minutes instead of one hour. Use the free 10 minutes your created yourself to take a deep breath, to do a mindfulness exercise, to prepare yourself mentally for the following “sprint”.
  • Enjoy the trip in your car or in the train: listen to your favourite music or read the thriller everyone is talking about.
  • Plan every second weekend a free weekend to reload your batteries fully. If possible, make this weekend a digital detox weekend as well….

Love to hear your comments!