There's no offseason in business. The nonstop grind — travel, meetings, email — takes a toll on anyone's health. It should come as no surprise that 96% of senior leaders feel somewhat burned out, according to a Harvard study.
Life in the NFL, where the average career lasts just 3.3 years, isn't any less intense. Stress builds before guys are even in the league, throughout the combine and pro day workouts leading up to that life-changing moment when they hear their names called at the NFL draft, which begins today.
So how do successful athletes and executives stay cool under pressure and achieve a long, healthy career? Start with these four tips.
1. Practice health strategies you can adapt
The NFL's job interview process, the combine, runs for three days, from 5 a.m. until midnight. It's not a test of talent; it's a measure of preparation to withstand cognitive and physical stress.
In the NFL, or any profession, top performers don't just grit their teeth through stressful situations; they practice performance-minded skill sets every day, all year.
"I'm going to work out for 45 minutes every day" isn't a sustainable strategy because it doesn't flex for real life. "I can find five minutes to focus on my breathing" is the type of adaptive strategy we practice to maintain health and performance in chaotic times.
Although there are many effective strategies, the key is learning how to apply the right ones for you. That's what we, at EXOS, do with every business, health system and athlete with whom we work.