Robin Sharma – The [Counterintuitive] Productive Process of Top Performers, Creators, and Sports Superstars (The Daily Mastery Podcast)
The idea that working longer and harder makes you more productive and better is outdated.
It comes from the era when most workers toiled on a factory line. And by putting in more hours, they would create more products.
For creative professionals versus manual laborers, you get rewarded—not by the length of time you put in but by the degree of mastery that you put out.
Life is cyclic
It’s a rare breed of modern worker who gets this truth. And who makes the time to perform super-intensely when they create and then recover super-deeply when they are off?
This seasonal or cyclical way of running a day and then a week and then a month and then your year is unpopular. and counterintuitive, given the way we’ve been socially programmed to think about productivity.
Yet if you really want to express your genius, lead your field, and stay in your sport for the fullness of a career, it’s the best way to operate.
Twin cycles of elite performance
Each week, you want to have some downtime. In every quarter, you do want to take some time off, and this is the Twin Cycles of Elite Performance, which are the high-excellence cycle and the deep recovery cycle.
The high excellence cycle is: every day for five hours, you are focused, you’re not distracted, you’ve got your tight bubble of total focus, you’re in a room that you’ve set up or a workspace that is inspiring, people can’t reach you, and you do real work versus fake work, heavyweight work and masterwork versus trivial pursuits.
Deep recovery cycle
A deep recovery cycle is when you take the rest of the day off, and then every week you have a day off. And even on the weekends, I do not work. And then every quarter, you take an entire week off.
And so the twin cycles of elite performance are a formula to allow you to stay in the game, be absolutely world-class as a performer, but also enjoy the fruits of your labor.