For most people overtime and workload peaks are part of the job every once in a while. Like in any corporation this happens at the adidas Group, too. However, to me, to the right extent, this isn’t something negative but a fantastic opportunity.

My team at adidas is heavily involved in the planning of seasonal milestone events concerning how we kick off the new season’s products and communication strategies to the markets. It’s in the nature of things that this is also linked to workload peaks.

And whilst overtime is a rather negatively connoted word it’s a great example of some things we should remind ourselves about from time to time.

Overcome prejudices by exploring the benefits of some extra hours.

Overcome prejudices by exploring the benefits of some extra hours.

1. It’s up to you how you look at things

I decided to consider legitimate workload peaks something positive, because a) I’ll get intensively immersed in something meaningful that I am very passionate about and b) it gives me the opportunity to take one or even two days off afterwards.

Instead of constantly spending all daylight time in the office or leaving earlier on a couple of days (just to watch one more hour of TV in the evening), I’ll pack my outdoor gear, get into my car and leave on a trip to escape for a bit from everyday life.

Recently, for example, I drove right after work to the Alps, where I spent four amazing days to prepare myself for (hopefully) becoming again the world’s best annual 12h runner of my age class. It’s something I do several times a year.

“Because my experience clearly is: the more demanding and challenging – mentally and physically – my hiking trips are, the better I’ll be able to switch off and the better and prouder I’ll feel afterwards.”

To me there is no better way to reflect on your past behavior and performances, clear your mind and get ready for new challenges than during a 6+ hour hike through breathtaking landscapes.

“So every time I do such a trip I’ll return with new energy and even more motivation to knuckle down and tackle new challenges. It helps me to become my best self – be it as an athlete or in the office, etc.”

All of this brings me to the second part of this little reminder:

2. You have a choice what to make of things

I have to admit it’s not always easy to pull myself together and overcome my lazier self. Sometimes the idea of a cozy evening or weekend on the couch is too tempting. But I know it’s up to me and I try to push myself by coming up with tactics that will help me to use the limited (free) time I have in a deliberate and meaningful manner.

So let’s brainstorm a couple of such tactics. Here are my suggestions:

  • Assign an overarching theme or goal to trips and activities (in my case it’s getting fit for becoming again the world’s best annual 12h runner of my age class; but it could also be to visit at least 5 new cities in 2016 or just to get rid of the additional pounds Christmas time will put on our hips)
  • Pin an image from your last trip’s nicest moment to the fridge; it will remind you of the great feeling you had at that point and help you to look forward to your next little adventure.
  • Make plans together with your friends; it’s always more fun to do something as a group.
  • Don’t return from a trip without making plans for the next activity.
  • Stop finding excuses and remind yourself: no one is so important and indispensable that the company couldn’t do without him/her for a couple of days – on top of that, your company will be happy to have you back happier and more confident than before.

Now it’s your turn: which tactics do you use? Leave a comment here, on LinkedIn or tweet @GamePlan_A.

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