I’m not sure about you but, despite my best efforts in the last quarter to remain energised, I struggled to hit the finish line with energy. Full disclosure the last few weeks have felt like a slog. I’ve been leading up to a big launch of our latest round of The Luminous Leader program™, which is always an exciting time for me, but I’ve felt a little out of tune with myself, restless and flat.
I know lots of people have been describing similar feelings and that they feel burnt out. Personally, I think these are common challenges that many leaders face based on the demands on us today. Especially when we are driven and passionate about what we do. It tends to lead to pushing ourselves too hard without taking the necessary time off to recharge.
Getting caught up in the grind
In my experience, it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day grind and forget the importance of taking breaks to recharge. But as luminous leaders, we know that taking time off is crucial to maintaining our energy, creativity, and inspiration.
I’m not naïve though and I hear from leaders all the time that they feel, it’s hard to take a break when deadlines are looming, others in their team are on a break or that everyone else seems to be working nonstop. But here’s the thing: pushing through without taking proper breaks can lead to burnout and exhaustion.
Why we must break the cycle
I always say, “if nothing changes, nothing changes!”
That’s why I’m a massive advocate for planning out my year with circuit breakers. I like Steven Covey’s language of “big rocks,” which I’ve adapted to mean not just the work-related tasks and instead, they include things like retreats, time with loved ones, holidays and conferences and events that provide new growth, fresh energy and inspiration.
So, here are my top tips for breaking the ‘grindy’ cycle and brining more joy and energy into you work and life.
Tip 1: Just one thing baby!
One of the most effective ways to manage your energy better is by prioritizing self-care. This means taking care of your physical, emotional, and mental well-being. It involves getting enough sleep, eating healthy, exercising regularly, meditating, and doing activities that bring you joy and relaxation. When you prioritize self-care, you’ll be better equipped to handle the demands of your job, remain resilient and avoid burnout. But big disclaimer here, don’t feel like you have to do all of these things! Just pick the one, that if you can do it every day, creates the biggest energy ripple in your life. For me that’s a morning walk. Even if I wake up in a funk getting out into nature breaks the mood, shifts my perspective and puts a pep in my step!
Tip 2: Break the circuits regularly!
Just this morning before writing this, I was out for a walk with a girlfriend and she asked me whether I was around for Easter, my reply ‘no I’m away’ she said to me ‘you are always away!’ To which I replied, ‘yes because I need regular circuit breakers!’
As a leader, it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of work and forget to take breaks. However, taking regular breaks can help us shift gears and jump us into new worlds that break the cycle of busy. Don’t’ leave this to change, plan it as it’s crucial for maintaining your energy and preventing burnout. Think short breaks throughout the day to stretch, walk around, and clear your mind. Take longer breaks, like weekends or quarterly vacations, to disconnect from work and recharge. When you come back to work, you’ll be refreshed and energized, ready to take on new challenges.
Tip 3: Set boundaries
Setting boundaries is another important aspect of managing your energy better. It means being clear about your limits, figuring out what is and isn’t ok and importantly, communicating them to others. For example, if you have a family vacation planned, communicate to your team in advance that you’ll be unavailable during that time. It also means learning to say no when you’re already feeling overwhelmed or overworked. Setting boundaries will help you avoid taking on too much and burning out.
So, there you have it – some tips on how to manage your energy better to avoid burnout and overwhelm. Remember, taking care of yourself is not selfish; it’s necessary for you to be the best leader you can be. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or burnt out, take a step back and prioritize your well-being.
Here’s to staying energised and luminous as leaders!
P.S. If you want to take your energy management to the next level, I encourage you to get your hands on the system that I use to plan out my whole year so that I can stay thriving and energised. I call it planning out my ‘big rocks’, and it involves prioritising activities that bring me joy and relaxation, like time off on retreat, time with loved ones, and attending conferences. With this system, I’m able to maintain my energy and avoid burnout.
You can grab it here.