It’s only been a week or two since vacation season is over; kids are back in school, and you’re back to work. Are you struggling getting back into some sort of a routine: meetings, projects, deadlines, etc.? Does it feel a bit too much, too soon? Sometimes I feel like my computer… which has a mind of its own and is slow processing information. Does that happen to you? If so, maybe like me, you’ll want to “reboot” for the fall. But how?
How can we regain the momentum we had before the summer? Try these 3 important actions to restart the brain and develop your self-leadership.
IDENTIFY YOUR BIG ROCKS… And place them first in your calendar. What’s a big rock? They are YOUR most important elements in your life. Take a moment to reflect and identify all of the big ticket items (big rocks) you need to do this fall. Maybe it’s planning your daughter’s wedding; maybe it’s finishing writing that security policy or procurement procedure; or maybe it’s resolving that issue with a colleague (yes that’s a big rock), or all of the above. A big rock is something important to you, to your career, to your family, to your organization. Something you want to prioritize.
Whatever your big rocks are, place them in your calendar right away before any other smaller tasks. Don’t just write the deadline date in your calendar; book the time (steps) needed to get there. Make sure your calendar contains those items. Your big rocks should include at least one thing that brings you joy which you can look forward to while working on the other items. Make time for what matters to you.
ESTABLISH A ROUTINE. What? You want ME to follow a routine? I’m not a routine person. If you’re like me, routine may be something you think is boring. But if I told you that a good routine gives you structure which makes your workday easier, reduces stress and allows room for free time and fun, would you consider it?
You might not realize it but if you think about it for a moment, you probably have some sort of routine already. You go to work every day at about the same time right? Or maybe you have your morning coffee or tea every day. Or you look at your email first thing when you arrive at the office. Those are probably routines you don’t even realize you have. But what if you consciously planned a routine that would support you on accomplishing those Big Rocks? If you want that procurement procedure to be completed in 60 days for example, why not schedule a routine of doing research, documenting, and writing three times a week? The habit of focusing on that work on Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday for example will take you closer to your goal, and faster. Because you will form a habit for that one big item, it will help you avoid procrastination.
Dr Steve Orma, a clinical psychologist who specializes in treating insomnia, anxiety, and stress says: “Routines help with stress … they create a set schedule for doing chores, work tasks, meetings, exercise, paying bills, and all the usual things you need to do. Once this becomes your normal routine, it’s easier to accomplish everything, because it becomes habit.”
PRACTICE DISCIPLINE. Discipline is an important trait of a leader.
It’s not always easy to excel in what we do. Leadership has many facets and prioritizing your most important items, and keeping your focus through a solid routine will support you in achieving your goals and your dreams. Even with great talent, the best athletes work hard at achieving their place on the podium. They train their minds and their bodies to do what is necessary to succeed in their sport.
As leaders, we need to do the same. We need to put the time and energy where it’s important (big rocks). In his book “Leadership 101”, John C. Maxwell, a #1 New York Times bestselling author, coach and speaker on leadership, recommends the following action to develop discipline:
Challenge your excuses. “To develop a lifestyle of discipline, you must challenge your tendency to make excuses.” What reasons have you used to not start writing that new security policy? Or why are you procrastinating about having this important conversation with your colleague? Whatever your reasons are, they maybe just a bunch of excuses. You will need to challenge these one by one if you want to grow as a leader. And remember, leadership is not only for those in management positions. Leadership is also about self-leadership and the capacity to develop and grow as a person.
I hope you will give it a try. I know when I have my priorities clear and give myself a structure to work towards achieving my goals, I feel solid, calm and successful. Invest time in growing yourself and see the benefits.
Need assistance getting started? Stop procrastinating! Click here and let’s talk about YOUR 2018 Game Plan!
I am looking forward to help you achieve YOUR goals.