Most professional athletes have days off between matches or tournaments. Some sports have off seasons. But in your career, except for vacation weeks, you are expected to be in tournament-form every day, eight to 12 hours a day. It’s no wonder so many leaders are tired and stressed out. It’s a big leadership challenge. If only there was a pause or reset button.
Even soldiers get R&R (Rest and Rehabilitation) days. But very few of the senior leaders I know and coach take enough time off to refresh and renew themselves. There’s just too much at stake, they tell me. “I’ll take a few days off after this project settles down,” and the excuses seem to be really valid. Or, are they?
Many of us work nonstop, day after day, without a break. It might feel like we are making progress, but it’s draining. When we do get ahead, what do we do? Tackle a new project. And on and on it goes. We don’t stop to ask the questions:
Am I doing the right things in the right way for the right reasons?
Am I still on a track that will get me to where I want to be next year?
Am I doing what I truly love and value?
So, think about what could help sustain energy: create a way to pause during the day, even several times. Maybe 3-5 minutes; more if possible. Even a minute of quiet time where you can breathe, clear your mind, and remind yourself of what truly matters, what your values are, will refresh you.
If you are an over-committed leader, please note that it’s not a matter of time management, but of energy management. You need regular breaks every 90 minutes; and if you can afford it, it is recommended to take a break once an hour.
Even if you only do this once or twice a day, it will help you to find energy. Take a moment to take stock, realign yourself with your goals and values, and refocus on your purpose. (Watch this why PURPOSE is so important.) Regular rest stops are useful. They refuel your body and mind. They actually give me renewed energy and drive, and make it easier to create the time and space for what truly matters.
Dr Surya M Ganduri, PhD. PMP. is the Founder & President of eMBC, Inc., an international firm specializing in strategic and executive leadership development processes that Help People Succeed in an Evolving World. Dr Surya has over 28 years of business experience in management consulting, leadership development, executive coaching, process improvements, organizational development and youth leadership. For more information visit www.eMBCinc.com or contact eMBC, Inc., directly at (630) 445-1321.