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Keeping Your Batteries Charged
As a leader, you not only have to be good at the technical components of your job, you also “set the mood” for your team. If you are exhausted, stressed, and frazzled, you won’t be able to set a positive and productive mood.
However, if you are well-rested and recharged, you will have improved focus and concentration. Your mood will be good, and you will have the reserves to step up when an emergency comes up. You will be more confident and empathetic, and your mood will rub off on your people, both from their reactions to you and from following your example and feeling that’s it’s part of the corporate culture to be well-rested and recharged themselves.
How to do this?
Start with getting a good night’s sleep on a regular basis. If reading this statement caused you to utter a bitter, scoffing laugh at the impossibility of such a thing, we have a great starting point! Figure out what you need to change for a good night’s sleep to be a regular thing for you. Consider blackout curtains, eye masks, white-noise machines, earplugs, melatonin, warm milk, better pillows, or keeping your children locked in the basement overnight (Note: this was a joke. Do NOT keep your children locked in the basement overnight until they are at least 21 and moving back home after college).
Second, set boundaries for your “work time.” Let the people you work with know you will not be checking emails and texts between 8pm and 8am (or whatever times you choose for your “non-business” hours), then set the “do not disturb” settings on your phone. If your job requires after-hours availability for emergencies, make sure you specify what constitutes an emergency, and let your people know NOT to contact you unless an emergency is happening. Then encourage your people to also set their own work/life boundaries.
Third, figure out what activities relax you and what activities energize you, and give yourself a balance of what you need. Read a book in a hammock. Build something out of wood. Go rock-climbing. Bake cookies with your kids. Ride rollercoasters. Hang out on a beach with some friends and some drinks. Binge-watch a 90s TV show in your PJs with your dog snuggling next to you on the couch. Have a date night with your spouse or partner. And make time to do whatever it is that recharges you guilt-free, knowing that, when you are back in the office in the morning, you will be the best version of yourself. See what this does to your own productivity, and to the morale and productivity of your team.
For best results, repeat regularly.