The Ideal Rhythm of Routine

By: Diana Faison

With only the music of the waves, gulls overhead, and children playing in the sand, I stare into the ocean reflecting on my work and my life.  Many of us have been here, on vacation, taking rare quiet moments to evaluate what’s working and what isn’t in our everyday lives.  Undoubtedly, we want more of “this” in our everyday lives.  But how do we get it?

I’m revisiting Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz’s book, “The Full Power of Full Engagement” and find it even more relevant now than when I first read it.  The mind shift from “time management” to “energy management” is paramount in a world of 24/7 overload.  To equip myself with a new perspective and routine as I return from vacation, I’ve determined four key elements in combining energy management with my goals and aspirations.

1.  Resistance Training.

Loehr and Schwartz have worked with and studied professional athletes who understand that their success is built on a distinct rhythm between high stress and energy recovery.  “Stress is the key to growth.  In order to build strength in a muscle we must systemically stress it, expending energy beyond normal levels.”  The authors go on to say, “we build emotional, mental and spiritual capacity in precisely the same way we build physical capacity.”  Stress and resistance training is necessary, in appropriate intervals.

2.  Reflection and Reconnection

Athletes assess their performance after each event to identify what can be improved. I admit, finding (or making) time for reflection is hard but it’s imperative to assess growth and to reconnect with our core values.  At my firm, our work developing high talent, female leaders is a mission – my mission.  It is a calling for me.  It aligns with my core values and beliefs, and I absolutely love it.  But, throughout my career path I’ve had to assess and correct along the way.

3.  Recovery

After stress, our muscles, and other capacities, need 24-48 hours of recovery.  And, recovery will come, whether we plan for it or not.  Although I have reserved a finite amount of time to return to address business obligations and email this vacation, I have made time for a much needed recovery.  I am walking 5 miles each day, spending quality time with my husband, listening, laughing, and eating great seafood!

 4.  Routine

Unfortunately one or two vacations a year will not get us through to the next one.  We need to practice repeating resistance training, reflection and reconnection, and recovery each week.  We need to define this cycle in our routine.

I urge you to take a few minutes to absorb this concept.  Don’t finish reading and in a fleeting thought make note to give this a try.  Make a plan today.  Schedule a five mile walk several times a week, a regular date night with your spouse, reflection in your room or office for 30 minutes each Monday night, or writing down your goals and values over coffee on Saturday morning.   Work hard, assess, allow time for “vacation brain,” and repeat.  The sweet rhythm of a new routine.