with greg layton

The Inner Chief is for leaders, professionals and small business owners who want to accelerate their career and growth. Our guest chiefs and gurus share powerful stories and strategies so you can have more purpose, influence and impact in your career.

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G’day Chiefs

In today’s minisode, I am going to go through what elite chiefs do to recover properly.

Recovery is not just a simple task, it is a process and needs to be done properly in order to maximise peak performance, consistently. It is vital if you want to be at your best and be able to make bold decisions. In short, recovery is a weapon.

Why is recovery such a weapon?

The reason I say it's a weapon – and it's a pretty strong term – is that you could actually have an advantage over everyone else in the business world if you do your recovery well, because very few people do.

How many people do you see walking around bright-eyed and bushy-tailed? Not many, that’s right! But when you do recovery right, not only do you recover physically, but mentally and even spiritually. It's so important to do recovery well. Just say for instance, you're an introvert, you need to recover socially as well, and without that recovery, you will never be at your full and best.

Someone who is fresh has better insights and has more energy than someone who doesn't, and the difference can be just 5% to 10%, but that makes a huge difference to your performance. Basically, proper recovery drives better high performance states, and when you are more resourceful, better things happen every single day.

Managing your energy

We all know what it's like when you don't have the energy for things. A client called me up recently and said, “Oh man, this is too hard. My boss is just killing me. He's just hard work.” And then she just started to cry. She worked so hard and does such a good job, but you know what the problem was? She was exhausted. She didn't have any resourcefulness left in her.

So you know the advice I gave her? I said, “Just stop for a minute. Just go home. Just have a few hours of sleep. Put your computer away. Put your phone away. Sit down. Relax. Put on some good music. Do something that's good for you. Maybe have a bath, do some yoga, whatever works. Refresh in a way that works for you.” 

She went and did that and then we spoke the next morning, and you know what? She'd half fixed the problem as she suddenly had energy. Energy is so important. You've only got a limited amount of it and you have to top it up every single day. 

Big problems require big energy

There is a perfect recovery curve that looks like this:

Now what happens if you go peak performance and then you do a shallow recovery? The next peak performance is low and it stays low. So, if you are not having decent recovery, what actually happens is your top performances suffer:

So how do you recover in a busy world every single day?

There are two key ways, namely active and passive recovery.

Active recovery is what you do every single day throughout a day to stay fresh. These are things like doing some really good breathing, maybe some short meditation. Five minutes can be enough. Maybe go for a walk outside in the fresh air, go and have a coffee, don't take your phone and just sit down and maybe read the paper quietly. Enjoy the flavour of the coffee, enjoy it for what it is. Go for a run, get in flow. Or even take a power nap.

The thing is, what we know about flow is that when you get into that space, your body forgets everything else. But on top of that, all these fantastic hormones and neurochemicals get released into your body and flush out all the toxins in your body. It improves your heart rate, drops your blood pressure, and makes you more likeable to people. It’s like a switch!

The thing about active recovery is that it's not a full reset, it's a bit of a stop gap because eventually you need passive recovery, and passive recovery is the full reset, the full refuel. It's overnight sleep. It's going on a full holiday and disconnecting from the world; and if you don't do that, it's really going to hurt you in the long-term. If you look at your leave balance at work and there's lots of leave, it probably means you haven't been operating at your best.


So, Chief, in conclusion, make sure you spend good energy in getting your own recovery sorted. It's a powerful tool. It is a weapon when used properly. It is something that will make you perform at your absolute best and give you fantastic performance reviews.

Stay epic,