Overscheduling your day can make you less productive at work and may even lead to burnout and a sense of emptiness. However, building margin into your life can give you room to breathe, reflect and renew so you can keep things in perspective and make necessary changes.
But it’s hard when we’ve been programmed to always say yes at work, which can lead to overcommitment and the subsequent anxiety of having too many tasks and not enough time or energy for focused work.
To build margin into your life, start by acknowledging the problem. Then examine how you spend your time and determine where it might be wasted. Most importantly, figure out what’s really important to you—what are your values, purpose and aspirations for life/work? This will help you establish clear criteria for what to say yes to going forward.
Source: “Do You Have Margin in Your Life?” Gregg Vanourek blog, July 16, 2021
A leader’s own mental, physical and emotional wellness needs to be a top priority. As they say, you need to put your own mask on first. An overstressed, burnt-out leader won’t be much use to his or her team.
On a daily basis, find a way to break a sweat, recalibrate mentally, and do something to either lift your spirits or help you relax. This can be spending time with family, bingeing on Netflix, reading a good book—whatever helps to “fill the spirit tank” (lift your spirits).
Once you’ve ensured your own well-being, it’s time to check in on your team. Be sure to intersperse the usual team meetings with some one-on-ones. Ask how each person is doing and offer support as needed.
Source: “3 things leaders should prioritize right now (and always, actually),” The Art of Leadership, April 16, 2020
Learning how to control and quiet your thoughts is important in preventing stress and mental exhaustion.
Make time to check out. Engage in daily meditation, prayer or deep breathing exercises, and develop shorter techniques to use whenever the chatter becomes overwhelming.
Don’t get lost in your fears. Fear is just (f)alse (e)vidence (a)ppearing (r)eal. Name your fears and ask yourself what’s the worst that could happen—that’s the first step to getting past them.
Learn to be present. Replaying the past or worrying about possible futures is only going to increase your stress. Try to live in the moment and genuinely connect with your surroundings.
Remember you have control. When a rapid train of thought threatens to derail your day, an emphatic mental “STOP!” and several deep breaths can help you move on.
Source: “The Best Ways Leaders Quiet Mind Chatter,” Lolly Daskal blog