Picture Michael Jordan, Game 5 of the 1997 NBA finals. Yes, The legendary “flu game”.
The Chicago Bulls were tied with the Utah Jazz 2-2 in a 7 game series. Jordan was suffering from flu-like symptoms that had him dehydrated, exhausted, and staggering.
You know the rest of the story, Jordan scored 38 points and beat the Utah Jazz claiming his 5th title.
Almost 20 years later and we are still talking about that game, not because Jordan (the greatest player ever) won another game, but because of the mental resilience it took to not only play that game, but dominate in it.
We often praise people for their mental toughness, but maybe that’s not the best way to approach things, or at least that’s what science says.
World-famous speaker and author of The Happiness Advantage, Shawn Achor addressed this in a post for the Harvard Business Review saying,
“Resilience is how you recharge not how you endure.”
Shawn’s research found that the traditional method of toughing it out actually had adverse effects, actually harming the work process instead of helping.
His research found that the real key to mental dexterity is to unplug daily, so you can take on a new day fresh with a full battery.
He offers these tips to help.
Don’t miss out on sleep to work more: If you work on deadlines like I do, like me, you want to get ahead so that the next day is a little easier. But according to Arianna Huffington, the author of the The Sleep Revolution,
“We sacrifice sleep in the name of productivity, but ironically our loss of sleep, despite the extra hours we spend at work, adds up to 11 days of lost productivity per year per worker, or about $2,280.”
Turn off when you leave the office.
Although many of us leave work at 5 or 6 p.m., we may not ever mentally check out.
Make your home a work-free relaxation zone. Where you can focus on your family, roommates, or significant other.
Take a break from work, at work: Even at work, you can surprisingly boost your productivity by taking more breaks.
Yes, that’s right, more breaks actually boost productivity levels.
Experts suggest taking a mental break every 90 minutes to allow you to get a minor charge in your mental batteries.
Taking a walk from your desk during these breaks is a good way to start. Also, eating lunch away from your desk is another minor hack that could make a world of difference.
We can’t all be Jordan, Maybe we’ve been looking at it wrong this entire time, the key to getting the most out of your brain is not pushing through, but actually knowing when to take a break.