Think about this – when you get time off what do you do with it? I imagine the case is you will rest, whether that be lazing on the sofa or doing an entirely unrelated activity. Whilst there is nothing wrong with this I am here to convince you that, if performance is a goal, you may want to spend, at least some of that time, preparing instead.
Let’s start by defining the process of ‘preparation’. In this context I see it as meaning that you are better placed to be successful at the next/desired task. It is the process of recovering, rejuvenating, orientating, focusing and activating. Everything aimed at future success.
This may sound exhausting but look at the first 2 words in that list above: recovering and rejuvenating. This is restful but is better than mere resting. Many coaches refer to this as active rest and it involves deep sleep, relaxation exercises, massage, contrast therapy, foam rolling, light aerobic activity, mobility work and meditation. If you finish one task and immediately slump into a stupor then I guarantee it will be hard to get moving again. Investing some time in the above activities will ensure that you are completely mentally and physically recovered and then ready to go and perform again.
Once you’ve ticked this box you can begin to gently focus on the next goal. Initially this may just be a case of packing bags, preparing equipment or making lists, allowing you to relax knowing the basics are taken care of. As the next task starts looming this process can become more active, you can start visualizing, rehearsing, fueling and activating muscles.
If this preparing process is all sounding a bit much and you’re thinking sod it you’d rather sit on the sofa then that’s fine. Plenty of other people will tap out at this stage too. However if you make this call then understand that a life of comfort leads to a life of mediocrity. Success isn’t gained by resting, it’s gained by preparing and then performing. No it isn’t easy and no it isn’t comfortable but if it was everyone would be doing it. So have a think and make this decision consciously, the next time you come in, exhausted from your activity, your body screaming to jump on the sofa, what are you going to do? If you listen to your body then understand the call you’ve just made. If you truly want success then ignore that little voice in your head, be proactive, choosing preparation over rest. You’ll be amazed at the difference it can make.