If you’ve struggled to reach the top of your game, one day it will dawn on you that you’re at a different level in your career. Sometimes it takes a while to sink in, but you should feel proud of your achievements. You’ve worked hard to get where you are and you’ve enjoyed the trip. Congratulations you’re now a leader and you should be in a position to start enjoying life, working fewer hours, and possibly delegating and outsourcing to remove much of the burden of the everyday grind from your shoulders.
It’s time to make a lifestyle change and start concentrating more on YOU, which will make you a more effective leader.
Without investing in yourself at this stage your passion will turn into just plain work. You can’t be an effective leader if you’re exhausted all the time. There are ways to improve and maintain your mental focus and your physical health that will ultimately help you to concentrate, think more clearly, and improve your skills such as decision-making.
It’s difficult to change habits, but as Nike says “just do it”.
1. Start your day off Right
If you start each day going straight from bed to your home office and grabbing a cup coffee on the way, resolve to spend a few minutes away from your desk each morning. Take a few minutes to meditate, or pray, and do some stretching exercises or yoga. If you’re in the habit of going for a run or to the gym each morning you probably already know how well this prepares your mind for the challenges you have to face daily.
Eat a healthy breakfast and you will have nourished your mind and your body.
2. Get into a Routine
An orderly day will result in better time management. Resolve to check your e-mail only three or four times a day unless you’re waiting for something urgent. Schedule a specific time to speak to your prospects and clients and a set time to have lunch and a couple of breaks away from your desk every day.
3. Get Away from Your Desk
Sitting in front of a computer monitor trying to resolve a problem very often doesn’t work. Solutions invariably come when you’re least expecting them and when you’re not actually working! By getting yourself out and about and talking to other people you will get fresh ideas and perspectives.
4. Vacations and Getaways
One of the reasons you started working for yourself was probably so you could relax and do things you never had time for in a normal 8 to 5 job. You might enjoy going to a retreat. This isn’t self-indulgent; a retreat helps to recharge your mental, spiritual and physical well-being.
5. What’s Next?
You’ve reached a milestone in your career and you probably got to this stage by careful planning. This is no time to stop moving ahead, so decide where you want to go next. Figure out what it’s going to take to move you ahead and spend some time each day working towards that goal.
6. All Work and No Play …
Another reason why many people leave the corporate grind is so they can spend more time with their loved ones and enjoy themselves. Don’t neglect your family and friends – they can bring so much joy and happiness. Get out and have fun, stay connected with your family and always schedule an annual vacation.
When your day is over don’t collapse in front of the television or fall asleep exhausted, take the family out to dinner or a movie every couple of days. If all you do is work you will soon become a very boring person with nothing to talk about except business.
7. Exercise and Eat Right
If you spend hours sitting at your desk and you work from home it may be a temptation to skip meals or snack all day instead. Maintain your physical health and exercise regularly and make sure you eat a healthy diet. A sedentary job with little exercise and a bad diet will quickly take its toll, eventually leading to health and weight problems with all the inherent side effects.
Focusing on yourself is not selfish, it’s part of staying an efficient and effective leader.
Have we missed anything here? Please let us know if there are any personal methods you use for staying focused and efficient.