“Unprecedented times.” That may well be the most overused soundbite during this crisis, but we all need to appreciate the toll situations like this can take on us, especially if we don’t exercise some level of self- care. Leaders need to be acutely aware of the perils of burnout while they troubleshoot a multitude of issues for their team and organisation. Here are some key considerations to help you look after you.
Design your day No doubt you are doing lots of “firefighting” at the moment. It’s easy to get the end of a day/ week and wonder what did I achieve? Did I get done what I needed to get done – or have I just afforded a lot of time and energy to the issues of others? These things were no doubt urgent, and maybe important, but our fulfilment through work can be negatively impacted if we don’t make progress where we want to. If you plan your day before it begins you can ensure at least some of your objectives can be advanced while also being available to assist others. “Either you run the day or the day runs you.” – Jim Rohn
Document your wins There will be plenty of knockbacks and roadblocks to success for us to navigate at this time. We are biologically inclined to prioritise negative experiences (research suggests it take six positives to offset one negative). With that fact in mind, ensure you take stock of where you’ve had success in your day. Taking some time at the end of the day to document those bright spots - no matter how trivial they may seem - can help reframe our thinking and encourage us to look for, and focus on the positives. “Gratitude turns what we have into enough .”- Aesop
Think beyond self One of the best ways to enhance your sense of fulfilment and positivity in these times (or at anytime for that matter) is to support the efforts of others. This can take many forms like; collaborating with another business on a project, helping a team member acquire a new skill, donating time/ expertise to a local not-for-profit, or contributing to a resource hub like THRIVE. Doing the right thing is always the right thing. Often, we benefit as much as the recipient from the experience. “The happiest people in life are the givers not the getters.” - Unknown
Create space for you Be sure to engineer some pockets of time into your week for non-work activities that reinvigorate you. It might be a coffee chat, a run or a Netflix special. Whatever it is, have the discipline to ensure it doesn’t get overlooked in the busyness of daily life. There will be plenty of energy takers in your day - make space for the energy makers too! “Taking care of yourself doesn’t mean me first, it means me too.” – L.R. Knost
Have a sounding board You will be wrestling with lots of tough decisions and internalising the stress of others as you lead your team. It’s important to have an outlet, along with access to sage advice, as you plot your path forward. A coach or mentor is a great resource to investigate if you don’t have a support person like this currently. Taking work home and conversing with loved ones around it isn’t an ideal option. Being stoic and suffering alone is even worse! “A problem shared is a problem halved.” – Proverb
Let's Prosper supports leaders to integrate high performance habits like these, and make the move from good to great with our executive coaching programmes. Get in touch if you want to create your human advantage!