There is a fashion it seems… rush, create, produce, do, shoot, run, jump, miss a breath, develop, bolt, generate, sprint, race… something like an “RRR” effect. Yes, “RRR” as easy as “Rush, Run, Race.”
At times it fully makes sense. At times acceleration is the way to go, spot on and needed, especially when you are looking for that last sprint to make it to the next level or to the final. But at other times, it may be a killer, the injury, the last straw to put you off the race for longer than desired.
Think about it like a half-marathon or marathon runner, or any endurance athlete amateur or not, would do. Whatever the chosen sport practiced, the athlete will combine two types of training, one for developing strength and one for developing stamina. On one hand the strength, or resistance, training means working fast and hard, using sprint or similar exercises to develop the strength of the muscles. On the other hand the stamina, or endurance, training means slow by default; the athlete goes slow aiming rather for longer workout sessions. Sometimes, s/he may slow down even more to practice what is called “active rest” and then extend the training session for a few extra minutes.
The athlete in your head, you know the one you call brain, does enjoy taking advantage of these two types of training, forgetting at time the “RRR” effect in order to focus on the “RSR” impact; yes, “RSR” as easy as “Reflect, Strengthen, Reach”. And as an expert, you do need your “athlete of a brain” to develop this amazing stamina that will move you along your next objectives.
What does this long run along your field of expertise do for you then? True, we are not speaking about stepping back or stopping, we are speaking about stepping sideways, pausing and observing. And yes you first get time to reflect. Those “RSR” periods are far from meaning “doing nothing”, because your brain is an athlete, it is looking for an “active rest”, still performing but at a slow and free pace.
Ideal activities during those times of “RSR” are multiple. You may decide learning a new skills and taking the appropriate amount of time to truly incorporate the new information in your field of expertise. You may want to write a book on something you feel quite strong about. You may prefer to use this slow run to widen your network. You may start a new project, but always thinking slow and letting it take its own shape and pace. You can also deepen your expertise with the completion of a side-ways type of project, big or small, as long as you go slow and built up power.
True to really get the impact of this “RSR” period, one key item is free time: free time to move slow; free time to day dream, bounce and experience; free time to practice that “active rest”. Now, I can tell you, it works. Like the marathon runner, you come back with that extra power, that impatience and that feeling that the next race is going to be that much easier and smoother. This is coming straight from a first-hand experience, walking the talk. Just about a year “RSR” from my coaching practice, I haven’t enough of my two hands to count the positive effects; one is definitely the co-authoring of a book with a dear colleague of mine, “Building Bridges” -the book of course, the colleague preferred to be called Trevor.
Ideally you would like a “RSR” period after every big project, to strengthen your stamina and recharge after the final sprint of that usual project completion race. These “RSR” periods can be short, as long as they are truly “RSR” period. Forget about pretending slowing down, to get an impact either you do it or you do it.
You will see it’s easy: open your calendar, look at your goals and objectives, find some completion dates or big milestones, set your first “RSR” period just after that, and enjoy your vacation time this summer.