Are you flying too many hours to lead effectively?

As I start my summer break, it suddenly dawned on me that I have this kind of wind down period and a process that I go through to be ready not to think about work and to enjoy my home, my family and my friends a little more than I do perhaps week to week. Mmm now I have said that out loud I am thinking that needs to change. My family and friends are really important and to live at my best, I do need to be truly present with them more often than family holidays. Anyway back to switching off.

My client yesterday developed a beautiful metaphor to describe how she would swtich from work to recreation. She said:

“It’s like my body is the plane, my brain is like the pilot when I am working and then my brain has to change to passenger mode when it is time for recreation. When I am sleeping the plane is resting.”

What she wanted to do is develop a more effective way to switch from pilot to passenger and to know that she could just as easliy switch from passenger back to pilot.

She recognised that what has worked is getting up and getting straight out for a walk with the dog first thing.

She said, “That is like the engines are warming up, the wheels are being checked, the pilot is not required yet to be fully engaged but the checks are being made to ensure the plane itself is ready to fly.”

She explained, “That this gets my physical body ready for the day and I find as I walk, if I trust myself, then what needs to happen today comes to me and then I come back and get started. What I would like to have happen is to know how to move from pilot to passenger in time for my holiday tomorrow so that I can get into holiday mode and stay there. I don’t want to be sat in the passenger seat still checking off the work list I would like to be the passenger before I sit in the passenger seat. I would also like my life to be more like this. I want to be okay with ignoring my phone and my emails in the evening and give my pilot a rest.”

Let’s face it, it is never safe to fly too many hours is it??



It’s an awful thing to admit to really but I have known for sometime that I love to work, I love speed and passion. I also know that when I started working with Extreme Listening for Productive Thinking I felt like an F1 driver, I was working at 100 miles an hour and to manage it I recognised I had to bring some other F1 strategies into my life. So I developed a team I could trust, planned pit stops and breaks between seasons.

Today I have realised and influenced by listening to my client I realise that when I am truly working at my best I am more mobile, more active and I laugh a lot more. So I think like the F1 drivers, I know how to celebrate at the end of each race. This got me thinking how would an F1 driver come down from a race and move back into reality? What has worked for me before?

I will let you know how I get on but I think I sit quietly at the circuit thinking about what happened, then I have to look up the next circuit, know that I am ready, that there is a plan in place and then I can switch off and enjoy the party.

How about you?

What happens in between work and recreation for you?

What would you like to have happen?

Please do share the strategies that work for you,

Thanks for listening,


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