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2024 Virtual Return to Work Conference, May 14-16

Interval training while relaunching?

Have you ever started out your day with the best of intentions, promising yourself that you are going to finally finish the resume, reach out to ten contacts, and then, somehow, the time passes by, and you find yourself feeling defeated at the end of the day? And then perhaps you blame it on your busy life, and tell yourself “If only I had more time in the day”?

By Valerie Cherneksi

Valerie Cherneski is a certified executive coach, facilitator and speaker who uses her background in law and psychology to motivate change and development. As the Founder of Cherneski Coaching, Valerie focuses her practice on highly driven lawyers and corporate professionals, and assists them on a variety of issues to streamline their lives and build further upon their success. Valerie serves clients across the United States and Canada and is a frequent contributor to the iRelaunch blog and "3, 2, 1, iRelaunch" podcast series.

Here's a relaunch-mindset shift: forget about managing your time, and start managing your energy. Energy is our most precious resource. The number of hours in our day is fixed, but the quantity and quality of energy is not.

Here’s the bottom line: Each day, you start with a full cup of water. When you expend energy, by creating your LinkedIn profile, practicing for informational interviews, and reaching out to your network, you drink from your cup. To stay energized throughout the day, you must continually fill up the cup.

Think of it like interval training – expend and recover, expend and recover. If there is no recovery, you create a deficit, go into overdrive and burn out. The result? You walk away from your desk, you feel exhausted, promise yourself you will get back at it tomorrow, and then do whatever it takes to “just get by” at the end of the day. Authors Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz, in The Power of Full Engagement (affiliate link), remind us that it’s not the intensity of your energy expenditure that causes burnout, it’s the duration of expenditure without adequate recovery.

It doesn’t have to be this way.....

Here’s one thing you can do right now: Map out tomorrow in 45 minute time intervals (start small with 3 intervals). After each interval, take 5-10 minutes to recover (glass of water, healthy snack, walk around the house, light stretching). Even if you don’t want to break, do it anyway.

A caution here: when you are recovering, screen time does not count. Not only does it drain your energy because of the constant shift in your focus and attention caused by devices, it can potentially distract you from your relaunching tasks, and take you down the rabbit hole of others’ seemingly perfect lives on social media, upsetting news, or more cute animal videos.

Take your relaunch list and try this technique for one week, knowing in advance how you are going to spend each interval. During this first week, play around and learn what recovery methods work best for you. And while you are at it, remember to do the most important thing first during the first interval each day – this is a great way to energize yourself! A weight will be lifted off your shoulders by 10:00am.

When you shift your mindset from time management to energy management, your relaunch process will feel easier, and even more enjoyable, knowing that you can always push through an interval, and most importantly, be more engaged and focused while doing it – who doesn’t want that for their relaunch?

Don't relaunch alone!

Join our growing relauncher communities on Facebook and LinkedIn. For more great guidance on your relaunch and updates on when return to work programs are accepting applications, events for relaunchers and more, be sure to sign up for our Return to Work Report and follow us on social media to stay informed!

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