Make time for rest & recovery, to sustain high performance

Sophie Radcliffe relaxing on a hammock
Sophie Radcliffe relaxing on a hammock
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I love my job and I love working hard at it. Most days it doesn’t feel like work and no two days are the same, bringing variety and change to my life on a weekly basis. I’m an athlete, blogger and motivational speaker. I built my own business from scratch over the last four years, turning an idea into a platform that reaches 1.2 million people globally every month.

I love feeling productive. I love making new partnerships, creating content, growing my platform, travelling to new countries and writing about my adventures. I love it all, but I push myself hard to manage and drive it forward, which can take its toll.

I often work on weekends and evenings because this is the best time to publish and share my content. Previously, I haven’t been great at scheduling rest & recovery time, but I’m working at changing this.

Recently my fitness coach said to me, “If you want to live an extraordinary life, you have to live in a way that is sustainable.”

It really grabbed my attention and made me take a step back. I’m just coming out of the busiest six months of my life and I can feel the impact it’s had on me. I consciously made the decision to be ‘busy’ and to ride the wave of work as hard as I can, but I put a lot of pressure on myself and it’s definitely not sustainable.

I actually feel really down when I can’t deliver as I’d like to, this can affect my performance day to day. I’m working at getting better at managing the pressure I let other people put on me. We are so good at soldiering on, that often we don’t realise the weight of everything we are carrying around.

Here’s how I have been reducing pressure on myself, and creating more time for rest & recovery.

Say No to Meetings

Meetings are often a huge drain on our time and energy. Needless meetings can affect our productivity. After having so many meetings that amounted to nothing, I am now very specific about which ones I have. As a result, my scheduled meetings have reduced by 70%, the others I do over the phone. This has been fantastic at freeing up my time to work on other projects, and less time travelling around London, which is time consuming and tiring.

Make Life Easier

To build a successful business I knew I would have to invest everything, always go the extra mile and constantly innovate to stay on top of my game and be relevant to my audience. That commitment to relentlessly create opportunities is what drives growth and success, but it’s also exhausting. Now I challenge myself with “How can I make life easier?” and often go with that option. I still get the job done, but I might buy myself more time or not pack as much into my days, giving me the opportunity to consciously create more time to rest, recover and rejuvenate.

Have Fun!

Once every two weeks I have a night out with friends, and have a good switch off. We meet up in Soho to change the scenery; relax, socialise, dance and have a few cocktails!. If I’ve got to deliver a good performance the next day, I’ll factor that into the choices I make during the night. Scheduling a fun social switch off is my high performance choice, as I know its good for me and my business. It can give me energy as much as take it and increases my readiness and motivation for the next challenges at hand. It works a treat for me!

We all have demanding lives, but it’s down to us to manage the expectations we allow others and ourselves to put on us. It’s also down to us to make high performance choices that keep us confident and motivated to perform at our best every day, and increase our readiness for strong performance when it matters most.

And before you go check out Sophie’s video on Maximising Energy and be ready to perform, every day.