Michael Harris in his Harvard Business Review Blog asks, “would you ask someone who had just finished a marathon to sprint?” The answer seems like a no-brainer . Of course not! Someone who has just finished a marathon is exhausted and needs time to recoup and rest.
Because we do, don’t we?
Having run the marathon all day at work, we don’t come home to rest and recoup. We come home only to keep running – many times at a faster pace.
What Mr. Harris points out in his blog is that the harder we work, the less well we work. We become depleted by the marathon pace of the day and because we don’t stop to replenish ourselves we sprint into the evening with less creativity, less ability to cope and less ability to problem solve. So we may continue working but we won’t be working well.
And this work can be from the office, from household chores, from kids or outside activities. There has to be a time to restore our energy before engaging in the next lap of life.
1) Make your homecoming one of joy and laughter. Let the kids climb all over you, giving kisses and hugs. Let the dogs jump up and lick your face. Let your significant other know how much you missed him/her all day. Give yourself five minutes to engage with the ones and the things you love.
2) Change your clothes – alone. Go into your room, close the door and put your work clothes away. Wash your hands and face or take a shower and let the day’s worries go down the drain. Explain to the family that you need 5 minutes to yourself.
3) Get yourself a glass of water and sit down at the table to take a few minutes to look at the night’s schedule and ask the kids/husband/wife/significant other for help in moving through it. If you live alone, ask yourself what are the ways that I can make this as easy on myself as possible?
Your marathon running body has slowed down and made the transition to a new pace. Don’t jump into a sprint. Think trot and begin to move through your evening in a much better frame of mind and body to accomplish your tasks.