Last week I had an interesting lunch discussion with one of our clients who just got a new job as Head of Innovation for a Fortune 500 company. His new role is linked to less office time and more virtual work. Interestingly, what sounds like a fantastic new way of working actually created some anxiety for him. One part of not having to commute is that it allows him to have quality time and breakfast with his wife each morning. However, he told me, “I rush through the breakfasts because I feel somehow guilty to have a nice relaxed breakfast in the middle of the week. Maybe it’s a generation question, but I struggle in general to build in recovery time during my days. I know it will enhance my performance, but I also feel guilty recovering while the work load is high and other team members are working.”
I was somehow not surprised by his statements because I personally struggle in a similar way. A bit more than a year ago, I decided to not start my business day before 10:00 in the morning. This now allows me to walk my dog in the forest, do my daily prep movements, set my intentions for the day, and have a relaxed breakfast with my wife before I dive into my work. Since I am often away on business trips, and work late into the evening due to the 9 hour time difference with our US office, it was a logical step to get some quality time for myself and my spouse. At the beginning, it was not easy for me to enjoy my late morning start. I felt guilty and my inner voice told me I was not being productive. The voices kept pushing that if I wanted to be successful, I needed to work harder and longer.
Assuming that his and my case are not unique, I checked in with a couple of my friends and some clients to get their take on it. The result is not a controlled study, but everyone I asked had similar feelings and thoughts. This made me wonder: Is it actually our own personal guilt that is our greatest road block to strategic recovery? Interestingly enough, guilt is a mindset that also becomes its own block to performance enhancement (more on this in a future blog). And in most cases it’s completely self-made. The feeling of personal guilt occurs when someone compromises one’s own standards or expectations. If it’s self-made, why is it so hard to override with reason, facts, and logic?
What clearly helped me was the adjustment of my personal “To Be Vision” - how I want to be as a leader, a high performer, and a husband. My late morning start was not a compromise to my standards anymore; it was now part of my engineering for Sustainable High Human Performance.
Next time you are on a recovery break and feel guilty, you might think of this blog - smile, adjust your “To Be Vision”, and ignore the performance and fun-killing feelings of guilt.
by Jogi Rippel
Founder // CEO