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Look for ABSENCE of recovery not PRESENCE of stress.
Q:How do we maximise potential over both the long & short term?
Working too little doesn't produce results - wasting present potential for creation.
Working too hard burns you out - sacrificing future potential for creation.
We could say humans have both a stress curve & recovery curve.
Stress curves are more or less linear or hyperbolic, depending inputs. There’s only so much you can take.
A recovery curve, however, can’t be drawn, is non-deterministic and subject to the whims of everyday life.
Our well-being/output is contingent upon that UNSEEN and very DYNAMIC recovery curve.
Fortunately, the stress curve is a direct feedback mechanism of the recovery curve.
**That is to say, stress comes some time AFTER impaired recovery.**
Eat something wrong, feel sick, recovery drops.
Celebrate victory of your favourite sports team, feel great, recovery increases.
Sun didn't shine today, feel depressed, recovery plummets, etc.
Where it gets dangerous is the zone between not knowing whether or not we are recovering adequately or digging ourselves deeper into a hole.
Our job as "productive" beings (you are, aren't you?) is to figure out how to read feedback from stress curves.
Push stress too high and recovery may take an indefinite period of time.
If you can keep recovery rate == stress rate, then you can coast for quite a while!
It's the period where your work out is stupendously high, motivation is incredibly high because of that, but at the same time you're getting short bouts of the "I'm doomed" feeling, along with possibly some physical symptoms.
This area is dangerous because you will hit a wall hard and fast.
It will literally be an issue of "You're hot until you're not" -- A single aspect of work goes wrong, and things spiral into oblivion in the matter of days.
Getting the balance right is not easy obviously.
There is a whole host of pragmatic concerns that require knowledge of the specific work environment to address.
Sometimes it may be impossible to take a break, sometimes your work explodes into an erratic schedule, sometimes your work environment may be oppressive.
**Whatever the case, it is always possible to monitor a Lack of Recovery.**
**Keep that statement in mind: we are looking for an ABSENCE of recovery, not a PRESENCE of stress.**
We humans are woefully bad at figuring out the absence of something - we tend to try and attribute causes & explanations to phenomena, rather than trying to figure out ways to increase resilience to those phenomena.
But to measure an absence of recovery, we need a set of recovery metrics. This is where the experimentation begins. You must come up with these yourself.
Cannot stress (no pun) this point enough, that we are trying to ENSURE recovery, and not to AVOID stress.
While some are quantitavite, the objective is to derive qualitative measures which have an empirical impact of my ability to produce good work and feel good on any given day.
In the process of accumulating those metrics , you’ll have to figure out signal from noise.
[friends'] metrics: resting HR, sleep hrs, morning brain fog duration, gym performance (volume tolerance), absence of urge to siesta, decreased anxiety facing unpredictable problems, finger dexterity (typing/guitar pick speed, palpability in guitar fingerstyle technique), etc.
For now, the key takeaway is focusing on the 'work' & the stress that comes from working is not a good way to ensure future outputs. Whatever that is for you.
Instead, focus on enhancing rate of recovery to work, play and to measure work volume with regard to capacity.
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