Being an effective leader needs many things:
Leadership is not one-dimensional, it needs many things, multiple times a day. From making decisions, leading change through to report writing, presenting, and communicating (to name a few). Whether you are leading a business, yourself, a team, or a project, to juggle all these aspects requires some more softer skills to really come to the fore, such as:
- Listening skills
- Problem solving/ decision-making
- Reflecting and learning
- Change management
- People management
The list goes on… but let’s just say, leadership is not for everyone!
What’s happens if my well-being is out?
To do all the above you absolutely need to have clarity of mind and the ability to reflect and think! In its simplest form, the more time and space you have, the easier it is to make those important decisions from a resilient and rational place rather than one driven by emotion and stress.
Obviously, taking time in the day to give us head-space is ideal… and there comes the challenge for many, back-to-back meetings (still a ‘thing’), constant things to ‘do’ are all battling for time.
When we can’t find this time in the day, then our minds will find time in our evening, middle of the night, on holiday, when socializing, the night before work! And so, our recharge time, the time for ourselves becomes eroded, our sleep suffers and potentially it starts to affect our motivation to do stuff for ourselves.
How do I know if it’s the right time?
A couple of obvious signs:
- No time in the day for anything other than ‘doing’
- No opportunity for planning or reflecting
- You feel more emotional or short of patience
- You can’t switch off from work
- You are connected to work at times when you shouldn’t be
- Your sleep is starting to suffer
- You feel lost with how to find time/ set boundaries.
What can I do?
- Finding time, however short or sweet is key – when is the best time to do that? Most people find the morning ideal, before the day gets away from them. Use this time purposeful, for planning your day or writing your goals for the day.
- Close off the day – leaving lose ends can lead to our brains not switching off – reviewing the day, writing your to-do-list for the morning, or simply checking what the day has in store tomorrow, are good ways to close off.
- Be militant about protecting time – there will always be something to do, a meeting to attend but if you have no idea what your priorities are then how can you decide what to say yes and no to. Having time to prioritise your day is one way to be clear on what needs to stay and what can wait.
- Think/ ask questions before saying yes! Are you the right person, do you have time, is it a priority? It’s easy when we are under pressure to just say yes without a great deal of thought – and without any time… those yeses just build up!
I need some help with this
Having some time out of work to work through these challenges is a good place to start if you are really struggling to be consistent with these areas – drop me a line or reach out if you want to talk about how I can help.