As I write article, I am in the midst of getting ready to move to a new home with my family, relocate my business, and at the same time, have an extensive amount of travel occurring during this time. Managing my energy is essential, not only for me to remain healthy but for me to continue to be able to serve my clients to the best of my ability.
As leaders it’s easy to get caught up in everything going on around us and not take time to stop and slow down. You know what I’m talking about: when you think you can do everything and are running on empty because you haven’t taken time to renew and refresh yourself. You’re doing this because you are a high performing dedicated leader. You keep charging ahead because that’s what it takes to get it all done and continue to be high performing, right? I know this because I do it and, due to all that’s going on in my life these next few weeks, I find myself doing it a lot these days.
It’s times like this that I remember what it means to be a high performer. It means you work hard and also take time to refresh and renew because you know your body isn’t designed to keep going at the highly intense pace of stressful and busy times. It means you model yourself after high performing athletes who have an on and off-season. They are high performing in their on-season because they actually take time off to renew, refresh and recharge. If they didn’t do that, they would not be as high performing during their on-seasons. It’s the same with those of us in busy, intense, and often-stressful leadership roles. We must remember to stop and recharge so we can continue to be high performing.
How do you recharge your batteries? The ideal way to do this is on a consistent, basis so that you don’t ever get to the place where you are feeling worn out. Creating space for regular “you time” is a great way to build positive “rituals of renewal”. This time can and should be to do things that bring you relaxation or positive fulfillment. For example, one of my regular rituals of renewal is starting every day with a run. Running recharges my batteries on a daily basis. For other people, rituals of renewal may be regular meditation or hiking, or simply taking time to read or to journal. It’s about creating a ritual that you will look forward to so it doesn’t feel like “something else to do”.
As previously mentioned, our bodies and minds are not designed to go full speed all the time. Building time for renewal keeps us balanced enough so that we can continue to sustain high performance. As a high performing leader, you may not necessarily allow yourself “off” time. Not allowing time off will eventually take its toll. So, be aware of how you are feeling physically, emotionally, and mentally. If you are feeling worn out in any of these areas, do something to renew yourself and then start to build in regular “recharge” time so it becomes a habit. At first, you may need to schedule it as you would any other appointment but, if you do it consistently enough, it will eventually become a habit.
This is really one of the most important things you can do to be able to continue to perform at your best. If you are not taking care of yourself, you cannot take care of others or be at your best in other areas of your life.
This month’s development tip: Do you have a regular “recharge/renew” ritual built into your life? If so, is it working to keep you feeling balanced and able to be at your best or do you need to update your ritual to be more beneficial to you? If you don’t have a renewal ritual built into your life, take time to create one so that you can begin taking care of yourself, which will enable you to be at your best in all other areas of your life.
Andria is an award winning executive and leadership development coach and consultant. She works with clients to develop leadership skills and talent strategies that align with business strategy and drive results. She has over 15 years of Corporate Human Resources experience with areas of expertise in talent and succession management, leadership development and executive coaching. She has written numerous articles on talent management, career and leadership development, and strategic HR practices. She is currently in the process of writing a book titled: From Gatekeeper to Trusted Advisor: What Every HR Professional Must Do To Succeed Today. Andria is currently the Principal Owner of C3 Coaching & Consulting; an Executive Coaching & Strategic Human Resources Consulting firm specializing in helping individuals and organizations reach their highest potential through career and leadership development programs. To subscribe to C3's newsletter, Career Connection, and to get your free report: Three Key Steps to Creating Your Perfect Career, please visit C3's website (www.c3coachingandconsulting.com).