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Mastering Time: How Great Leaders & CEOs Harness the Restorative Zone of Genius

rest restore


Restoring oneself like a Rockstar doesn’t solely concern finding hangover cures or learning how to sleep on a cramped tour bus. It encompasses a unique creative process that can also significantly benefit individuals like you. 

Even the most conscious leaders, who constantly live in their Zone of Genius, engage in morning meditations, and practice journaling, sometimes find themselves burnt out, exhausted, or trapped in workaholic tendencies.

If this description resonates with you, I’m about to reveal a secret.

Within your Zone of Genius lies a restorative aspect. Yes, that’s right. There exists a part of you that understands how to rest, rejuvenate, and restore like nobody else on this planet.

Your ability to succeed in a vibrant, fulfilling, and life-giving manner heavily depends on your ability to find a natural balance between an active mode and a restorative mode.

When I assist clients in discovering their Zone of Genius, I often observe a common pattern. They become excited and hyper-focused on engaging their ZOG within their careers, but they tend to neglect the other facet of their Zone of Genius.

This neglected element of your Zone of Genius, which I refer to as your Restorative Genius, is what enables you to maintain a steady source of fuel in the first place.

Discovering the balance and rhythm between our outward-facing public impact and our inward-focused, creative impact is what ensures our overall well-being.

Understanding the Art of Restoring Like a Rockstar

Think about real rock stars when they create an album. There’s a phase where they aren’t in the studio or on stage. They might not even be actively songwriting or practicing. Instead, they enter an incubation phase, where they engage in individual writing or play around with their instruments in their rooms.

Gradually, through this process, they create their album and eventually release it to the world. That’s when we see them on stage, performing their body of work.

And it’s during this phase that we finally witness them in their Zone of Genius.

But here’s the secret: They were in their Zone of Genius the entire time, even when we couldn’t see them. And so are you.

You have the freedom to go dark, to recuperate, and to do it with utmost brilliance.

You can be a rock star, even when no one is watching, if you channel your energy and creativity into exploring what truly brings you to life and designing restorative activities tailored to your needs.

Restorative time replenishes your energy reserves after exerting yourself in the world, while also reestablishing balance when you’re feeling burned out or stuck in a creative rut.

Exploring the Concept of the Restorative Zone of Genius

Your Restorative Zone of Genius is the space where you renew, revitalize, and recreate yourself in a manner that is uniquely yours. It grants you creative energy and serves as a vital key to leading a balanced, fulfilling, and meaningful life.

Some of these restorative activities may already be a part of your daily routine. It could be a cold shower in the morning, a warm bath at night, going for a run, practicing yoga, reading, writing in a journal, cooking for your family, being on a crowded dance floor, or attending a concert. These activities are deeply personal and catered to your individual needs.

Unlike your more outward-focused Zone of Genius, the Restorative Zone of Genius typically involves more personal, private, and introspective experiences. By embracing and nurturing your unique genius in a restorative way, you heal, recharge, and rejuvenate your entire being.

A 3-Step Restorative Genius Radar Tune-Up

Step One: Create a list of enjoyable and relaxing activities.

Step Two: Choose one activity that makes you feel balanced, creative, and energized.

Step Three: Reflect on the last time you engaged in that activity. Recall a time when you truly enjoyed it, and it left you feeling re-energized, calm, creative, and balanced. Delve into the sensations you experienced throughout your body, both emotional and physical.

By revisiting these experiences, you fine-tune your Restorative Zone of Genius radar. Those positive sensations serve as your guide. When you can gauge how your mind, body, and heart respond to an activity, you can better identify additional ways to reside within your Restorative Zone of Genius.

Distinguishing Between Restoring and Numbing Out

The ways in which you can restore yourself are limitless. However, it’s essential to reflect on the primary method you’ve been utilizing for rest lately. When you think about your relaxation time, ask yourself if it genuinely restores you.

Sometimes, the activities we engage in when we’re feeling drained may seem restful, recuperative, or healing, but they might not be. For instance, sitting on the couch and watching television can have varying effects. There are instances where watching a brilliant movie, an incredible TV show, or music videos can make us feel invigorated and inspired. However, consuming a lot of mindless TV can dull our senses, drain our energy, and dampen our creativity.

Take a closer look at the activities you listed for the tune-up. Assess whether they truly restore you or if they serve as a means to numb out. Be honest with yourself, devoid of guilt, shame, or judgment.

Many of us believe that we can find rest by simply numbing out. This typically stems from the desire to escape from our feelings, often due to a belief that we aren’t allowed to rest.

But the truth is, you are always allowed to rest. Always.

This article is related to my podcast episode on Restorative Genius – Listen here.

Photography by Kelley Raye //

Dr. Caneel Joyce is a CEO Coach and social scientist who helps people break out of the invisible traps and make whole-life changes easily and naturally.

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Discover experiences that give your life purpose in your Zone of Genius

Executive Coach Dr. Caneel Joyce reveals a life-changing framework that can help you overcome self-doubt, uncover your hidden talents, and radiate with confidence, one small step at a time.