In my practice, my clients regularly ask me “How do you do it all?”.
For those who don’t know, I am currently doing a BSc in Strength and Conditioning, I work for two other companies (one of which is a very physically and mentally demanding course used to elicit post-traumatic growth called ‘The Special Forces Experience‘), as well as constantly taking new course/reading books on performance development, participating in martial arts, weightlifting & cardiovascular training, then finally operating my own Tactical Athlete Performance Development Coaching Business.
For most people, even one of these things would be enough to constitute a full-time job, but I manage to do all of them.
So the question remains…. How do I do it all?
The keys to success lies in two main areas: Proper Planning & Effective Recovery.
When Planning your day, the most important thing is to write it the night before. That way you know exactly what you need to do right when you wake up, rather than being groggy and coming up with things on the fly. But when writing down your tasks you should focus on a few things.
You Need To Mark Down:
- What is most important to do that day (mark them on a scale of 1-10 in order of importance)?
- When is the best time for you to do those tasks?
- What win can you achieve first thing in the morning to start your day with success?
- Who do you have around you to support with these tasks if you get stuck?
By preparing and planning out your day before hand, you can effectively mark which tasks are the most important to do first, find out where you consistently fall short, learning when you are best prepared to accomplish specific tasks, and finally learning the ever important skill of asking those around you to support you in accomplishing a goal or task.
Next we have the issue of Recovery, because although many people could keep this up for a little while, few have the capacity to consistently perform those tasks without burning out.
For the most part this is because people engage in very basic forms of recovery, they normally will sit on a couch and watch TV. But while this does allow for some physical recovery and much needed daily mind-numbing activity (yes we do actually need this, its one of the reasons we daydream when bored), we tend to overdo it significantly.
Instead we need to focus on proper recovery. I like to break the types of recovery processes into a few different key components.
- Essentially anything that will be any physical task performed at a near maximal effort with the potential of failure. This can include: weight lifting, running, competitive sport, & fighting/wrestling.
- With this form of recovery, the goal is getting thoughts and emotions that you are over-analyzing or are stuck in your head, detaching from them and putting them out into the universe. For most people doing a free thought journal is the most effective tool for this type of recovery. This can include: meditation, breathwork, or journaling.
- Social recovery can include spending time with friends and family. The goal is to be around people that energize you and uplift you. While calls and texts are an okay method of engaging with this, the best way is spending quality time in person.
- Recreational is physical in nature, similar to physical recovery on this list but it has a key distinction, the goal is not maximal efforts. Instead this might be a sport, or activity you do for fun. This should be a form of active recovery, where at the end of the session you feel light emotionally, mentally, and while there may be some physical exertion, you are not destroyed.
- Spiritual recovery is one very few think about but it is vital. Finding connection to something greater is a key part of the human experience. Many use religion as this connection and recovery but it could just as easily be the universe or nature. Find a place to connect and bask in its grandeur.
- For most tactical athletes, emotional recovery is always pushed aside as unnecessary, but the truth is those emotions are still there, you are just hiding them away. Break free from the stigma and find a place to express yourself. Anger, sadness, love, and happiness are always just a step away. Explore these emotions and express them, even if you are alone. It’ll make you feel better.
- Quality relationship connection is a key part of recovery, but over the past few decades we have strayed away from deep connection to something more shallow. Spend quality time without distraction from phones or TV, listen to them as they listen to you, engage with them as deeply as you can. For many, this will be a two-part benefit, helping both their recovery as well as their relationship/sexual health.
- The last one I want to touch on is mindless recovery. Unfortunately, this is the most common form of recovery we have in the modern world, with every phone, TV, and computer pushing it at us constantly. While the brain needs mindless recovery in order to function optimally for most people, they need to reduce how often they use it. If you effectively use each of those other recovery systems listed, you will at most need mindless recovery for one hour per day.
For all people, each of these areas of recovery needs to be satisfied on a consistent ongoing basis in order to effectively recover. Otherwise, you will find a block in your being that you cannot overcome.
By effectively using both proper recovery tools and planning, most of my clients find they are able to significantly increase their productivity and find greater happiness in their life.
If you want a personalized assessment of your stressors, as well as to figure out what recovery tools you would most benefit from, click the link below and book a call with one of our Human Performance Specialists.