I recently returned from a glorious few days at the beach. Having grown up near the Long Island Sound, I find the ocean to be comfortingly familiar—somehow peaceful and energizing at the same time.
For sure, there is always work waiting in the queue. Like you, I could work every day and still have items on the to-do list. But getting away from it all isn’t a luxury and it simply isn’t optional. It is a necessity that allows me to refresh and recharge. I return to my business with greater clarity, increased creativity, and a renewed excitement about my work and my life.
I sometimes have to remind the high performing executives I advise: take your vacations! Protect your weekends, and disconnect from work as you have dinner with your family. Take a strategic pause from the daily demands. You will find yourself a far better leader with a more fulfilling life.
Your strategic pauses (vacations, personal days, and quiet moments of thoughtful reflection) provide a number of benefits. Here are two of the most important:
- They allow for a refreshed point of view. Think of it this way. If you don’t take consistent breaks, you and your employees will see things from a limited perspective and creativity will be stifled. Innovation will lag, productivity will decline, and your people will call out sick more often. On the other hand, vacations and personal days allow for a broader perspective and create space for new ideas to emerge.
- They reinforce family and personal relationships. When key relationships suffer, work suffers and life becomes less rewarding. Building in time with friends and family is simply essential for personal and professional success.
If you genuinely can’t take time off for the foreseeable future, be sure to take heed of my three top tips to renew your energy (more details can be found in my book: Slow Down to Speed Up: Lead, Succeed, and Thrive in a 24/7 World).
- Sleep Well. Sleep is the foundation to wellness. Skimping on hours of genuine rest will chip away at your ability to think clearly, make the best decisions, and lead your organization to top results.
- Eat Well. Choose whole foods. Limit or eliminate your intake of packaged and processed items. Reduce sugar intake and avoid fast food, which tends to be an addictive trifecta of sugar, salt and fat. Don’t forget to stay hydrated throughout the day.
- Stress Less. Meditate, keep a journal, do some yoga, talk to a friend. Spend some time in nature, take daily walks, and exercise in a way that you most enjoy.
These straightforward investments in your wellness will pay enormous dividends in your ability to lead in challenging conditions, create a brilliant future, and bounce back as obstacles come your way. Make them a priority and encourage your team to do the same. Remember, they will follow your lead. So lead the way.
“Liz’s style is intelligent, enquiring, authentic and pragmatic. It is this style that underpins an amazing ability to achieve outcomes for her clients.” – Steve Johnson, Managing Director, Transfirmation Partners
Slow Down to Speed Up: Lead, Succeed, and Thrive in a 24/7 World is a powerful new resource for leaders from the C-Suite to the front line. Filled with innovative new approaches, pragmatic tools, and real-life success stories, this book tackles the universal challenge of achieving better, faster, more sustainable results in a world of non-stop demands and constant connectivity. Get your copy today.