All Strain and No Recovery is a Really Bad Plan

Americans love to boast about how many hours they work. It’s a badge of honor to work, work, and work. We love bragging about working during vacations, neglecting loved ones and family in favor of late hours and stress. According to most experts, recovery is just as important as strain, yet we persist in glorifying strain without giving setting aside time for recovery. Why?
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Americans love to boast about how many hours they work. It’s a badge of honor to work, work, and work. We love bragging about working during vacations, neglecting loved ones and family in favor of late hours and stress. According to most experts, recovery is just as important as strain, yet we persist in glorifying strain without giving setting aside time for recovery. Why?

I just got back from three weeks of vacation with my family. It was a blast. We spent a ton of time together, saw amazing sights and made great memories. I checked my emails twice a day (once in the morning and once in the evening). During the day I allowed myself to unwind. It took me two weeks to fully decompress. I was amazed at how burned out I’d become. Had I kept checking emails, etc. at normal intervals, I never would’ve fully relaxed and wasted the opportunity to truly recover.

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Fast forward to today, I’m sharpened mentally, full of excitement about the rest of the year, the CEDIA show, and what’s next for our company. All from three weeks of recovery. I had to do nothing to achieve it. Turns out, doing nothing and relaxing is challenging for me, and I always find myself feeling guilty for not doing something productive (it’s a peculiarity I’ve struggled with my entire adult life). I’m so glad I took the time off, and we’re doing it again next summer.

Turns out that my crazy ideas around recovery are shared by a few companies including fitness band manufacturer “WHOOP.” WHOOP’s whole premise is based on measuring strain and prescribing proportionate recovery. Apparently their feedback helps athletes with the following:

? Gain an additional 41 minutes of sleep per night
? Consume 79 percent less alcohol before bedtime
? Reduce resting heart rate by four beats per second
? Reduce injuries by 60 percent

I’m not a pro athlete and chances are, neither are you. That said, all of us are athletes in some way and desire to operate at our own peak performance. I love the idea of a fitness band measuring strain and precisely telling you when to rest. I’m not sure what the WHOOP band looks like for a home technology professional (HTP), but common sense might be good start.

How about we make a deal with each other? When it’s time to work, let’s work. Let’s go all in and be the best employees, managers, coaches, or leaders we can. Let’s be present and cheerful and curious. When it’s family time, let’s treat them the same way (or better) as we treat our “super important” work commitments.

Our wives, husbands, and children will be there long after the office world fades away. They deserve our best as well. When it’s time to work out, let’s work out. Stress is like excess electricity and the gym is an earth ground wire. Let the stress go to ground so your home and work lives stay in balance. When everything’s in balance, will you be happier? Will you try?

Am I buying a WHOOP band? Probably not. I learned a ton from their web site and look at their strain/recovery philosophy as fantastic life guidance. The next time you’re around anyone bragging about all strain and no recovery, send them a link to this blog.

Stay frosty and see you in the field.

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