We go through high pressure periods and low pressure periods. High pressure periods are those times when we feel our backs are to the wall – a critical deadline, an examination, or a product launch. And, then, we inevitably face the low pressure period when things get easy again. We can afford to breathe easier, slack off a bit, and catch up on the finer things in life.
As we take on bigger and bigger responsibility, however, this approach results in large spikes of activity that are unsustainable. When you are the leader of the massive product launch team, the pressure is high. But, you can’t just throw your life away during the pre-launch period as you also have a family to look after.
So, how do you prevent these spikes in activity? By sweating in peacetime.
It is natural that you exert a lot of pressure on yourself when the going gets tough. But, it doesn’t make much of a difference because everybody does that. It is by exerting pressure on yourself when things are easy that you make things easy for yourself. It not only enables you to ease the pressure on yourself when the going gets tough. It also allows you to get through such times without any long term damage to your health or relationships.
Life is best lived like a good ECG. There will always be fluctuation around the middle. We just want to avoid the big spikes or troughs. And, you know how we do that – by sweating in peacetime. So, eat, sleep, and exercise, while you are in good health. Invest in your relationships when things are good. And, work hard to smooth out the impending spikes in activity at work.
The more we sweat in peacetime, the less we bleed in war.