Increase Your Professional Stamina
Written By Dick Massimilian
Published Winter 2020
Professional athletes train multiple times a day. They know that to perform at their peak, they need to train at their peak. Just as athletes need to train, executive leaders must build professional stamina, focus and concentration to perform at their peak. Four tips to start:
Observe what you eat (and drink)
We all know the brain foods we should eat, like salmon, broccoli and blueberries. To what extent do you? Do not resolve to change anything, especially approaching the holiday season. Simply take note of what you’re eating, and you’ll make better choices naturally, with minimal effort. As for imbibing at those holiday parties, just keep a count. You’ll make more conscious choices if you do.
Light affects people’s moods. Get as much natural light as you can. Walk the dog. Ditch the tunnels or skyways in favor of the sidewalks. As little as ten minutes per day will elevate your mood and boost your immune system. The earlier it gets dark where you live, the more attention you have to pay to getting outside.
OK, you knew I was going to say it, so here it is. Take the stairs. Get on the stationary bike or the elliptical. Here, something is better than nothing, and don’t kid yourself, your choices over time will determine your level of professional stamina. If you can’t get to the gym several times a week, get there once or twice. Every bit helps.
Even if you sleep the recommended number of hours, excessive screen time before bed, an irregular sleep schedules or other habits can cause shorter periods of REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep. If you’re not sleeping enough, start there. If you are, maximize your REM sleep. It stimulates the regions of the brain associated with learning and mental acuity.
The key here is to focus on a critical-few things and not strive for perfection. The point is to be self-aware and directionally correct. If you are, you will increase your professional stamina. And since the internal and the external, while distinct, are connected and reflect each other, that will help you both mentally and physically.
If you’re interested in learning about professional stamina or my leadership development programs, get in touch with me today.