Want to Reach Peak Performance? Pause and Rest.

Tegla Loroupe

Tegla Loroupe

Endurance athletes can attest to that time earlier in their career when they trained long and hard, but repeatedly fell short of goals.

Eventually they found an unlikely answer: they needed to rest and let their bodies recover. 

The same is true at work.

Time away from work makes us sharper, more insightful, more innovative and creative as we try to solve complex problems. Pound away day and night for too long, and you lose that mental edge. Your thinking gets soft. You start to autopilot.

So give yourself permission to take a break.

When there's nothing urgent happening at work, take a few hours in the evening or on the weekend to NOT check your e-mail and social feeds. Establish an understanding among colleagues, and then trust that someone will call if something urgent happens or needs an immediate response.

Katya Andresen, SVP at Capital One and the former CEO of Cricket Media, recently noted in a blog post about the importance of pausing that even Kenyan distance runner Tegla Loroupe, who trained 120 miles per week (190 kilometers) and was the first African woman to win the New York City Marathon, took Sundays off.

There’s a great lesson in there. Here’s to hoping you can take some time off this holiday season to rest and refresh before we jump into 2019.