When we think about rest and recovery, we nearly always think about sleep, but managing your energy levels throughout the day is also important for being productive and feeling our best.
There is plenty of scientific evidence to suggest that the brain needs downtime in order to process recent learning, solve problems and store memories.
By building in proper and regular amounts of rest into your day, you are giving your brain and body the best chance of recovery.
Here are three top tips for building in recovery time throughout your day:
Plan out your day
Look at what needs to get done, professionally and personally, and decide on your priorities for the day.
Once you’ve put together your list, sense check whether the things you’ve identified is feasible for one day so you’re not putting too much pressure on yourself. You’ll need to take into account any other commitments such as childcare or caring responsibilities.
As well as planning what you need to do, think about the best time to do it. Many of us are working at home at the moment, and it’s easy for the boundaries between work and downtime to get blurred and for work to stretch into downtime.
Lastly, make sure your plan for the day includes regular breaks to help boost concentrate and build in moments to rest and recover.
Staying in the same place or focusing on the same task for hours at a time puts our bodies and brains under pressure and won’t help us perform at our best.
Whether you take just a few moments to stretch or a few minutes to make a cup of tea, regular breaks help boost concentration, minimise physical strain injuries and safeguard that vital recovery time.
If you’re struggling to remember to take regular breaks, try setting a countdown timer on your phone or downloading an app to remind you to take regular breaks.
When we’re in our usual workplace, walking out of the building and our commute home helps signal to our brains that it’s time to switch off from work and relax.
With many of us now working from home, it’s easier for boundaries to blur and recovery time to get eaten away.
Help set expectations by sharing with your colleagues the times you’re available and the additional responsibilities you may be juggling at the moment.
Reinforce those boundaries by sticking to the working hours you’ve set and resisting the temptation to answer a couple of emails late in the evening or pick up the phone if your manager calls outside those times. Doing so will help you stay more productive and motivated in the long run.