Happy Labour Day! Are you working? Thinking abour work? Or taking a last day off before the onslaught of work and the busy season ahead? Or maybe a bit of all of the above?
Labour Day’s origin’s go way back in Canada to 1872. Traditionally it was a day to advocate for and/or celebrate workers’ rights. Back then, there was great effort to campaign for worker’s rights to have a 9 hour day.
Hmmm. Times have changed. Labour Day is now a chance for one of the last hurrahs’ of summer. And 9 hour work days?? What are those? Increasingly most people are experiencing the blur of work and life lines. The dividers we once knew no longer exist. We check our emails on our smart phones while on the dock at the cottage? Tuck in a few hours of work on Sunday (or holiday Monday) before the ‘official’ work week begins.
While traditional paradigms of work-life balance have changed, we still need to take a stand for our own ‘sense of balance’ and in that I mean balancing our energy, mojo and time for stuff inside and outside of work.
For myself – my approach tends to be a blend. I often do a bit of work on ‘days off’ and squeeze in ‘life time’ on ‘days on’. But according to Dr. Greg Wells, a scientist and ‘extreme human physiologist’, we need to pay attention to recovery more so than the ongoing ‘balance’.
I heard Wells speak at the Canadian Conference on Positive Psychology. Wells who works with Olympians and elite athletes skyped from London just as the Olympics were about to start. He was reporting for the CTV news network.
Wells said one of the things Olympians and high performance athletes do really well that contributes to their high performance is they know how to recover well. In their training they stress themselves continuously to reach new heights. But most importantly, they know how to recover better, faster and for more sustaining performance.
Recovery is actually a strategy in itself. You don’t have to be an Olympian to incorporate this into your life. We all can benefit from learning to recover better and faster from stress and demands of our work (and life). This will not only improve our capacity for greater performance in work and life but we’ll boost our mojo and wellbeing.
Try the 1,3,2 Principle: Most of us will agree that the demands of work and life these days make it difficult to achieve a ‘balance’ each day/week/month so instead make sure you build in ample ‘recovery time’. Wells talked about using the 1.3,2 principle. This is about building in time to completely unplug from work.
1 hour (minimum) of total recovery a day
3 full days (minimum) of recovery a month…preferably continuous, not separate
2 weeks (minimum) of full recovery a year….preferably continuous, not separate
Recovery activities may look different to each of us. The key is to completely unplug from work AND be intentional in creating a meaningful recovery strategy to build into your days/month and year so that you truly do refresh, rest and rebuild your resevoir of energy.
So on this Labour Day weekend, as you face the oncoming ‘busy season’, take a moment and ask yourself what your recovery and resilience strategies will be? And how can you put the 1,3,2 principle into action as you dive into the new season?
Here’s to resilience, energy and mojo in your work life in the coming season!
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