Your muscles don’t get stronger while you’re stressing them. Exercise, which pushes your muscle past what it easily accommodates, creates micro-tears and damage. Your muscle-repair process makes the muscles bigger and stronger. Muscle repair happens when you are recovering, and when you sleep. Doing bicep curls with a barbell to the point of muscle exhaustion doesn’t make your muscles stronger, but the repair process while you rest and sleep does.
The same is true for our mental capabilities–there are stressors, and then we need recovery. Chronic stress without recovery leads to burnout. I believe this is one of the top reasons people who have been successful in the past “suddenly” begin to fail, and fail badly. They have been “productive” for seasons without sufficient recovery, and it’s not sustainable.
Let’s be clear: if you don’t push yourself outside your comfort zone, you’ll never get better. But you need a rhythm of working in the stress zone, and then recovery.
Recommended “recovery” habits: [Read more…] about Practicing Recovery to Maximize Sustainable Productivity