Be Intentional About Rest & 5 Ways to Power CEO Flow


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Flow, that elusive state where time dissipates and our focus sharpens, can be a CEO’s greatest asset. 

It gives us an edge, makes us more productive, and boosts our competitive advantage. 

As a leader at the helm, dipping into this state can often be what sets us apart. 

The flow state and getting in the zone was my secret weapon, whether I was on the ice playing hockey, deeply immersed in a project, or captivating an audience through public speaking.

But, like all powerful tools, flow has its pitfalls. For me, the side effect of such intense focus was exhaustion — a kind of weariness that seeped into my bones and left me drained, especially when I needed to switch gears and be present for my family.

It’s a familiar narrative for many high-achievers: giving every task, whether work or workout, a hundred per cent. When everything feels like it’s set to the highest stakes, the pressure can be relentless. 

I’ve always been the kind of person who, if not going all in, felt like I was failing. Every task and every activity was a challenge I had to conquer.

This drive extended to my training regimen. The word ‘rest’ was not in my dictionary. But, like most things, constantly operating at full throttle started to take its toll. Instead of feeling invigorated post-training, I felt wiped out. Instead of feeling triumphant after a day’s work, I felt empty.

It was a paradigm shift when I realised that constantly pushing my limits was not sustainable. Just as a car running at top speed non-stop would soon break down, I was on the brink of burnout. 

That’s when I made the intentional decision to recalibrate. 

Rather than always gunning for 100%, I began training at 80%, sometimes 40% on my light day or when I had an intensive work or hockey schedule. For example, I’ll do 40 kettlebell swings (same weight) instead of 100.

By not constantly pushing myself to the edge, I discovered a sustainable rhythm that allowed me to be more present in every aspect of my life.

The results? 

Surprisingly, I felt fitter and stronger than during my all-out days. More importantly, I achieved a newfound balance between work, training, and personal life. Now, work and workouts energise me instead of depleting my reserves.

The lesson here is clear: being intentional about rest is not just about recovery; it’s about longevity, balance, and overall well-being. It’s about understanding that giving your all doesn’t mean draining yourself to the point of having nothing left to give.

To all the CEOs and high-achievers out there: embrace flow, but also embrace rest. Be intentional about when to push and when to pause. This balance will propel you to greater heights, both professionally and personally. Remember, it is not the intensity but the consistency of our efforts that pave the way for lasting success.

Intentional Rest for CEOs: More than Just “Switching Off.

In the demanding world of CEOs, the pursuit of success often feels like a relentless race. The notion of rest tends to be framed within the narrative of ‘switching off’ after a long day, crashing on the couch with beer and pizza in hand. 

But true, restorative rest is much more than this. As I’ve discovered in my own journey, rest is not about disengagement but intentional engagement with activities that rejuvenate both body and mind.

Here are some intentional rest practices that have transformed my downtime into truly restorative periods:

1. Mindful Strength Training: Instead of frantic, high-intensity sessions, focus on lifting heavy things with presence and mindfulness. The objective is not just physical strength but also mental fortitude. 

I’ve become a huge advocate of the kettlebell — its versatility and effectiveness are unmatched. I even took the plunge to become a qualified instructor. If you’re interested in a holistic approach to strength training, I highly recommend diving into the StrongFirst philosophy.

2. Connect with Nature: Whether it’s a leisurely walk in your neighbourhood or a hike up a mountain, nature has a way of grounding us. The rhythm of nature — its stillness and its chaos — mirrors our own internal rhythms, and reconnecting with it can be profoundly rejuvenating.

3. Lake Swimming: There’s something elemental about immersing oneself in a natural body of water. The chill of a lake (or, in my case, a glorified pond!), the embrace of its depths — it’s both invigorating and calming. 

4. Mobility and Breath work: Our modern lifestyles often lead to stiffness and lack of mobility. Taking out just 5-10 minutes daily for targeted mobility work can make a world of difference. Combine this with intentional breathwork, and you have a potent recipe for physical and mental relaxation.

5. Engage in Playful Exercise: If you have kids, turn playtime into a dual-purpose activity. Try out animal moves — they are fun, engaging, and surprisingly challenging. Darryl Edwards’ book “Animal Moves” is an excellent resource for this. It’s fitness disguised as play!

In essence, rest is about always being ready. Have enough in the tank to go hard in other areas of your life when needed. 

As a CEO, your output is often measured in terms of decisions made, strategies formulated, and goals achieved. 

But the quality of this output hinges on the quality of your rest. 

So, next time you feel the world’s weight on your shoulders, remember intentional rest is not an indulgence but a necessity.

How will you incorporate flow and intentional rest today?

Let me know, I’d love to hear from you.



Just to let you know, I am now offering a tiered approach to my executive coaching programme:

  1. The Collective: Weekly masterminding.
  2. The Catalyst: Weekly masterminding combined with in-person events.
  3. The Executive: Weekly masterminding, combined with in-person events and monthly 1-2-1 coaching

Please go for more information.