These days, it seems like we’re always crazy busy, every one of us. We’re all working hard at elevating our brands, supporting our clients and delivering results to ensure we excel professionally. During the beginning of autumn in particular it feels like there’s so much going on (probably due to all the stuff we let pile up in August when we were out on vacation or enjoying the great outdoors.).
How can we best support our business growth while not sacrificing our own well-being? Finding balance is a tricky business and we’ve got to learn more about optimizing our professional efforts so we can effectively recharge. When we do, we can work hard so we can focus up.
Most of us hit a saturation point during our action-packed workdays when we just can’t think or do any more. Sure, there can be wild stretches of all-nighters to meet important deadlines. Because we’re constantly inundated with content, input, meetings, calls and presentations, it’s a wonder we can meet any deadlines at all.
It’s important to know what you’re up against not only for each project but for each day and week. When you make an honest assessment of milestones and expectations you’ll be able to stay the course, expertly, without burning out.
Structuring Your Day is Key
Some experts believe that 90 minutes of concentration is all we’ve got without needing a break. Others say it’s really under an hour. Everyone operates differently. We’ve all got different personalities, working styles and preferences, emotional strength, times of the day when optimal work occurs and of course project stipulations and client needs. No matter what’s going on, the fact remains that we’ve all got to take breaks to reboot, refocus and recalibrate in order to keep working effectively.
Build breaks in to your day. Move, stretch, and replenish. Your energy waxes and wanes and you need to be primed to take advantage of those super creative energetic bursts and sprints. You also need to listen to the lulls and allow yourself a break to replenish when needed.
Remember that physical exercise – even just a short stint walking outside – can help clear and relax an over-taxed mind.
Reinforcing New Habits
Learn to say no. Delegate tasks. Gather information before reacting. Focus on solutions rather than churning on problems. Prioritize and plan. Practice time-management skills. Take positive action!
Eyes on the Prize
It’s easy to get bogged down with little details (which do matter, of course). But when you remind yourself of the bigger picture, for a project or program, client coaching session, online training class discussion or anything else, you’ll be able to plow through some of the smaller tasks without letting those same elements sidetrack you and your overall effectiveness.
It helps to keep the goal in sight. When we make clear connections between project components and end results, it can be more motivating to move through the process to get there. It also helps to remind yourself, your team and your clients of a project’s overall value or reach. Even better: connecting with people who share your values, and projects that demonstrate what those values are, actually boosts your attention, energy and drive so you can call it a job well done every step of the way.
Please share your professional self-care best practices with us. Any tips on taking breaks? Setting up productive workstations? Powering through those afternoon lulls? Finding values-based projects and setting realistic goals?