You’re sitting here, reading this post, with your favorite drink in hand, exhausted from the recent crunch time.
A successful launch? A big conference? Maybe a huge family event?
The point is you’re DONE. You’ve given this project your absolute everything, and now you have barely any energy left to read the scant few people you follow. (Thank you for choosing me among those, it’s much appreciated!). The idea of getting back to "normal" work seems ridiculous, and very distant at best.
You know that you’ll have to go back to normal at some, not so distant, future. You might feel it’s nearly impossible. It’s hard to imagine curriculum writing when you can't form a coherent thought about what to eat for lunch.
Over the course of this week I’m going to offer 7 effective ways to recover from a Crazy Crunch and get yourself back into working shape.
Guilt-free, easy, and let-me-reiterate-because-it's-important, effective tactics.
Here’s the first one, more will follow.
Let’s start with refuting some conventional wisdom:
Tempted to dive into an exciting activity right after “giving your everything” to a project? BAD IDEA.
Skydiving, or extreme antiquing, or whatever gives you an adrenaline rush, sounds amazing. It’s exciting, it’s unrelated to work, it “clears your head”. What’s wrong with it?
Well, you’ve probably figured you need to allow your brain and you body to recover. Here’s a not-so-obvious concept: you need to let your emotions to recover as well. That crunch time, that “I’ve given it my everything” project, was emotionally exhausting. This is just how things work. The stakes are high, the stress levels are off the charts, your emotions are working just as hard as the rest of you.
You need to allow time and space for emotional recovery.
Let me illustrate:
This summer I’ve launched a pilot course and a podcast within the same month. Having never done either, and having no idea whether I can live up to my own standards, the entire experience was was freaking panic-inducing.
Then, one bright Friday, I finished editing the last show note at 4:25 PM. At 5 PM a taxi came to take me and my family to the airport. We were going on an epic trip to St. Petersburg, Russia.
It was one of the best trips in my life.
An amazing vacation with my family, a packed schedule, and overall a tremendously profound and meaningful experience. Of course, it was also a highly emotional time because it tied into my family history (I might talk about this in a different post).
In all honesty, that was one of the highest points in my entire life so far.
When I came back home, I. Was. A Wreck. For two weeks.
Turns out I needed a “still time” to process everything and to gain my strength back.
A period of of doing absolutely nothing in order to come back to my senses.
So to conclude - if you want to schedule a treasure hunt, or a white water rafting trip, or a salsa competition right after a Big Crunch - you can. But don’t expect to come home full of creative energy, ready to sink your teeth in the next project. You’re way more likely to be even more exhausted than before you boarded the plane.
Allow yourself some time to be inactive. Quiet. Still.
Really, it’s the productive thing to do.