The reality is, few people will be fondly remembered for coming to work early, leaving later than others. That is old school and out of date. Result and performance matter more, than putting in the lengthy, unpaid, overtime hours. We are the sum of our efforts, but not because of it. Effectiveness and efficiency ranks higher than people who look busy, are unproductive, and slow in their movements.
One thing we can draw from triathlons and journalism is: fail to meet the deadlines, and you are done. It is painful to watch swimmers being dragged out of the swim leg of the Ironman triathlon for failing to meet the 2 hour 20 minutes cut-off timing. You have 17 hours (exactly) to complete the 226K of swim, ride and run. You need to respect the stringent guidelines for each discipline/phase, for therein lies the challenge of sports. Faster, stronger and higher – these are and to be the Olympic ideals.
If your work-life dominates your entire being, then it may be eminent that you may seriously need to take a break. Request for the nearest duration of leave days you can use. Workaholics are employees who allow their work to dominate and desecrate their lives. All work and no plays, does dull your mind and body. If you choose to bring work home, you do it out of your choice. If you think it spells into future results, do it for deliberate and clear reasons.
If you think that as a marathoner, that you must do 70-90 kilometres a week of running then that is your belief. If another runner attains similar if not better results than you do with less mileage, then you need to recognise that. There are many variables to factor in for sporting excellence, and over-training may not be one of them. Some of our elite age-group runners run only three times a week, and supplement this activity with cross-training: star-climbing, hill-running, weight-training, core stability work, cycling, swimming, and others.
I just took a two-day hiatus from work and endurance training and did some travel. One of the physical discomforts I experienced was newly found, soreness and stiffness in some of my muscles. I may have exercised some muscle groups used in retail-therapy, or it could be my body responding to rest. When muscles heal during inactivity, they may feel weak and sore. Fret not – it is merely nature’s way of repairing overworked muscles and weaving a stronger fabric. That way, you will be cut out for the work when you begin training or racing.
Leadership Lessons: Take time to smell the flowers. If you are Type-A, learn to slow down occasionally. If you are pushy, hold back your forcefulness. Push through with your earnestness; yet pull with your influence. There are more to life than work and play; explore, discover and enjoy. Work less, however work effectively.