Wash it all Away

People work diligently every day. However, work stresses can be exhausting. It is crucial for individuals to seek rejuvenation. For my clients, I use informal assessments, along with a philosophy called “Work, Play & Peace Integration” and a self-investment program called “REBIRTH.” Today I want to talk about aspects of the Work, Play, Peace philosophy.

For leaders, I suggest implementing a form of periodization to manage work and rejuvenation. In this context, periodization refers to a yearly or shorter schedule (such as 1-3 months) that incorporates planned workload management and restorative periods. The workloads undulate between heavy and light. The restorative periods can involve personal growth projects and rejuvenation breaks.

One leader I work with employs four-day sprints, which involve a high volume of client interactions for himself and his staff. Following these intense periods, they reduce the volume of client interactions on Fridays. This allows them to focus on other aspects of the business and invest in their culture. The outcome is greater variety which prevents staleness. Additionally, the leader implements planned restorative periods during the fourth week of every month. During these periods, he and his team arrive later, leave earlier, and enjoy a day off. This approach enables them to return to work with renewed energy and a sense of purpose.

The play portion of my philosophy encourages flow experiences. Flow experiences in this context are fun and engulfing experiences that completely disconnect you from your work roles to the extent that your sense of time and place fades away. I ask clients, “What are the five things that you do that totally disconnect you from your work role?” Most have a difficult time coming up with two.

The peace portion of my integrative philosophy invites time for solitary creative daydreaming. I suggest taking reverie time to dream about the future, reflect on others, connect to their feelings, and explore new ideas (Boyatzis, 2014). The emphasis on deep work for personal development is another way to disconnect from professional tasks and is supported as a method of rejuvenation (Kegan et al., 2016). The non-sleep deep rest practices like meditation have been shown to increase neural plasticity (i.e., brain growth), creativity, and compassion while decreasing stress hormones and negativity; (Grant et al., 2010; Hofmann et al., 2010; Lin, et al., 2019; McGonigal, 2011; Zeidan et al. 2013).

It is interesting that some of the leaders I work with have such a difficult time slowing down and focusing on themselves. Commitments to self-care almost feel like a guilty sacrifice for them. “Don’t feel guilty,” I say. “It is not a sacrifice. It is an investment in your business, your family, and yourself, and you’re worth it.”

See you soon-

~ Tim