I’m sure this isn’t an actual disease, but I have found the reality of it to be true in my own life. Leading up to a big event, I spend every spare moment thinking, planning, then executing the event. In the most recent case, Easter. After it is all over, the adrenaline is gone, the focus is missing, all that work is in a dumpster.
Hopefully lives have been changed. Hopefully all the work was worth the effort. But now what? It is time to get back to the every day. How do I bounce back from expending most of myself on the event that just happened?
Build recovery into what is required to pull of the large event. So often, we are focused on just getting to the finish line of the service being over. Maybe you move the finish line one step further to cover the load out. I would say that the end of the race needs to extend even further, taking into account the fact you have been working some pretty crazy hours to make the event happen.
I need to be better about how to recover from a big event. While I have been at rehearsals, my family has been continuing to live life, and I need to catch up. Unfortunately for them and for me, I am not good about thinking about this in advance. For recovery to happen, it needs to be a part of the original plan; thought out and intentional.
One of the difficult parts about taking time to recover is that I have been ignoring large chunks of my job in order to make the big event happen. Emails have piled up. Deadlines have passed on other projects. Other deadlines are looming.
For me to be at my best, and for me to be able to give my all, I need to take time to recover. I don’t necessarily have to make up all extra time I put in over Easter, but I need to at least feel like a human being again. I am not doing anyone any favors by just pushing past this because there is work to be done.
If you lead people, help them by building recovery into their schedule. Unfortunately, I learned this lesson recently, by not doing a good job of this. It is important for individuals to figure out how to make life work for them, but as a leader, it speaks volumes about how much you value a person by making recovery a normal part of how things get done. Not only making it normal, but by creating a plan that says, “During this run, take these days off, and when it is all over, you will take these days off.”
There will always be more work to get done than there is time for, so do everyone a favor and recover.
photo credit: Mr. T in DC