I had a sports massage towards the end of last year (that's not a euphemism).
Because I do a LOT of cycling these days, I haven't the time for swimming I would like.
It's all or nothing with me, I have to do it right, so it's daily torment.
There isn't a day when my legs don't hurt to a certain degree.
So sometimes they need help.
It was agony on my legs this time. Sports massages do hurt a bit, but this was like some mythical 8th circle of hell.
My tormentor was clear on the reasons.
The first was that I didn't massage my legs enough.
The second was that I was over-training.
I had forgotten the basic principles I was taught when I used to swim.
It's a daily grind close to the edge of your limits and beyond.
But for that training to really work, you need to give your body time to heal.
Because training is really controlled damage to your body.
If you want it to benefit, to get stronger, it needs time to heal itself, for the work to bed in and your body develop.
Rest days and even rest weeks.
It's the same with the job.
You need to work hard.
You need to do lots of reading, lots of thinking.
You also need to have lots of patience.
You can't be the one to lose your temper. You need to convince everyone about everything.
Planners are the only ones in any agency who can't say, "I think we should do this, end of discussion".
All this makes you hard, it makes you tough.
But it's exhausting.
But if you don't take time off to recharge, you'll just end up tired and stupid.
Even in the thick of things, going home on time should be a must when you can.
If you can take a day to kick back a bit in the office and potter, do it.
But it's more than that.
There is no point banging your head against a brick wall when you're on a project.
There is no point spending all your waking hours thinking about planning and brands and stuff.
There isn't any point reading all the stuff planners need to read in you spare time - culture etc.
For all that reading and work to have it's real benefit, you need to shut your mind off, to do something else.
That's when new neuron pathways get bedded in and new connections form.
Your subconscious is thinking when you're not.
That's when ideas pop out.
That's when the memory is encoded for later use.
So take lots of breaks.
I don't believe in those flashed of Damascene insight that much either.
They happen of course, but not all the time.
The only way to be consistent is to work hard.
Start with something a bit rubbish, edit, talk it around, read some more and gradually end up with good and hopefully great.
But done is better than perfect.
That level of work isn't sustainable forever.
Take a lunch break, go look at an art gallery, go to the gym or just take a walk.
Take time to make tea or coffee.
Go to another department to chat.
But also, in general, do absorbing stuff outside of work.
Have a hobby you give yourself utterly to, so when you're mind is focused on it, you're cleverer subconsciousness is sorting all all the memories and problem solving for you.
Cycling and swimming work for me.
But so does having kids and spending proper time with them.
I'm not saying don't work hard.
I'm saying work really, really hard, at your threshold as much as you can.
But no your limits.
Then take a break for that work to properly pay off.
Just like my legs, your brain is muscle.
It needs time to recover to get more intelligent.
Otherwise, you'll end up a very busy, very tired fool.