In this previous video, I talked about prioritising your work, and while that’s important, it’s all too easy to forget other activities that are just as important – the things you love to do outside of work.
When we are busy we all too often postpone the things that give us joy. Whether it’s time with your family, walking the dog, reading a book, going to a gig, or maybe getting drunk with your friends! It’s important to remember that these things aren’t just activities that help nourish your emotional well being, they are also necessary to sustain high performance. You will respond better to stress and your performance in the long term will start to elevate.
How you spend your time out of work is what enables you to sustain your performance at work over the long term. Your emotional and psychological recovery should be part of your long term strategy.
Here are my three tips to prioritising the things you love doing (your time ‘off’)
Reframe your mindset
Be honest with yourself and look back over the last two to three months. Do you feel like you’ve spent as much time as you’d like doing the stuff you love? Do you have hobbies that you neglect? How about exercise or sleep? Have you spent enough time with family and friends? If the answer to those questions is no, is this a consistent trend?
I’m sure you’re busy, but if you rarely prioritise the things you love, now is the time to acknowledge how important these things are to you. Shift your mindset away from simply working harder and acknowledge the essential nature of recovery time.
Identify what you love doing most
If I was to ask you to list the top five things that give you joy, what activities would make that list? Spend a few minutes writing down no less than five things that reliably give you joy or a sense of energy, balance or recovery.
Spending time with people is often what make us most happy. For me joy also comes from writing music, playing the guitar, and producing music in the studio. I find it so immersive, it’s an activity where time and the outside world just disappears. Surfing is another thing that, although I can’t do as frequently, has a similar impact on my well being.
What are your top 5?
Commit and calendarise
You now need to book them in! Some activities have to be calendarised, others will require creating routines.
Some things might only be possible on a monthly basis (going to gigs and the theatre, or maybe you like hiking in the woods) so ask yourself how frequent would be realistic and now book it in your calendar. Others may be more daily or weekly activities, and again think about how you can turn them into a routine that will enables you enjoy them on a more regular basis.
3 point review
- Shift your mindset: acknowledge that to maintain your performance you need to prioritise doing what you love.
- Identify the five or more things that give you the most joy: what activities make you happy, or help you feel recovered?
- Calendarise them or turn them into routines: commit to what is important to you on an ongoing basis.
Hopefully this has been valuable. Make the things you love doing more non-negotiable: identify them then put them in your calendar.