The art of strategic relaxation, from Formula One to the boardroom

The National UAE

By Prof. Olivier Oullier

Carefully planned time out plays a vital role in preparing us for success – in sport and everyday life.

If you think the 2018 Formula One season ended last Sunday, when Lewis Hamilton won the final Grand Prix of the year in Abu Dhabi, you might be a fan of the sport, but you’re certainly not an F1 driver. Starting this week and until at least mid-December, they will be busy at work with their teams, fine-tuning the car they will be driving next season.

During the post-race press conference in Abu Dhabi, all three drivers who made it to the podium, Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen were asked what they will be doing during the 112 days that separate them from the first Grand Prix of the 2019 season, which will start on March 17 in Australia.

All of them mentioned the practice sessions they undertake during the next couple of weeks, but it was also clear that what they were looking forward to was taking a break.

“Excited for the winter… and just getting time to spend with my sister and the kids and my mum and my dad,” said five-time world champion Lewis Hamilton. “The seasons are getting longer and longer, so… that period is getting more and more important.”

A recent study of executives conducted with Hintsa Performance – a company whose science board I joined a few years ago − reveals that well-managed break and recovery time can significantly reduce burnout. We found switching off from work to be particularly important for high performers, resulting in improvements in both mood and cognitive ability…


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