What type of activities do you need to do in order to replenish your energies, your inner sense of balance and peace? To recharge your creativity?
Is it time alone; quality time with other people, may be friends and family. It is taking walks in the countryside or on the beach. Maybe reading a book or two or playing games with others. The list of things that can help us regain our equilibrium can be almost endless and as different as we are people.
Whatever it is, we all owe it to ourselves to make sure we plan this time in and actually take it. Giving ourselves this time, enables us to recharge our batteries, both mentally, emotionally and physically, equally our psychological balance. We are made up of many parts, forged into the one whole and its important that we ensure that we remain healthy in every area.
Just doing this one thing can make a big difference to how you perform, both at work and in your private life. We live in a 24/7, almost 365 day culture and we can find that we are forever on the move, mentally and physically. Its important that we take time out, in which ever way works best for us.
Another point that I think is important is that of frequency. An important lesson I’ve learnt over the years about myself, is that the amount of ‘quality me-time’ I require is different for me than it is for other people.
This has made for very interesting discussions in our house in the past. Because I spend much more time with people during my day to day than my husband, I find that I need more time alone than he does. This may be because he spends much less time with people in his day job. So he’s ready to talk when he gets home and I’m ready to lock myself away. I’ve been known to plan a weekend holiday away on my own or just be locked away in the house somewhere, to get some me time. You can imagine that this makes for interesting conversations when the family want to spend time with me and I want to be on my own. One weekend was spent alone in Derbyshire where I slept for most of the day, only coming out of my room for a couple hours of fresh air and walks along the river.
My family, thankfully now do understand and see the benefits of allowing me more frequent times alone and my work/business also benefits from a more clear minded and focused me.
An example of how this has helped:
One of my clients had not taken a holiday for over 20 years because he could not imagine leaving the business. However, he had arrived at the point where he was so exhausted that he almost disliked his business. He was frustrated and had lost his passion for what was at one time his driving ambition.
Moving to the point of taking a holiday with his family and working 5 days a week instead of 7 made a huge difference to how he felt about his business, allowed him to relax and become a lot more creative, working to develop the business in a new and more lucrative direction.
Clearly in this case there were some things we had to put in place before this could happen. We needed to sort out staff development and the processes and procedures within the business so that the business owner and the staff members fears and concerns were addressed, before a holiday could be taken. But addressing these pain areas was well worth it for everyone.
I worked with him to bring about this change gradually by taking two half days a week, then one whole day, which helped him adjust into the change.
Steps to help you
So what do you need to do to ensure you maintain yourself at the very best mental, physical and emotional condition means that you have to:
- Accept that you need to take a break occasionally;
- Identify what types of activities help you to replenish your energies. There are activities that will work better for you than others;
- Understand how often you will need to ensure you take part in these activities. Recognise the signs your body is giving you of fatigue;
- Plan your diary to ensure that you can take the time you need – plan ahead;
- Actually write these dates in your diary;
- Inform those around you of what you need, why you need it, so they can support you in being the best leader and manager you can be;
- If you manage staff, work with them to plan things in so you can get away when you need to;
- Encourage your staff to take time out in a similar manner where they can. Both you and they will benefit from this.
Even if you all you can do to start with is to reduce those long hours for one week, once a month, then this will allow more time for getting away early and doing something else.
Value your self and the quality of your contribution to life and your business more.