As leaders we have a lot of things that need to get done and often what we think is “too little time” to accomplish every task. The ability to dive into every responsibility can be exhilarating, yet stressful all at once.
Stress can be a good thing; sometimes it works as a motivator to help us get things done and stay laser focused. But stress can also be toxic. We’re constantly reminded to maintain a healthy body and we tend to forget that our mental strength is just as important, if not more important, when it comes to our work life.
Well-seasoned leaders know the exact level of stress they can withhold in order to generate productive energy, and they also know when they should step back and take a breather. With that being said, sometimes our itineraries and to-do lists drain out even the best multi-tasking individuals in the bunch. That’s why every leader of the pack should make it a priority to take time out of their week to drain all of that toxic stress—props to you if you can involve your entire team in the exercise!. Below are a few ways in which my team and I detoxify stress:
- Engage in renewal activities for 2% of your day. One day houses 1,440 minutes, so taking 30 minutes out of your day to work on your mind, spirit and body is hardly any time at all. Use this time to meditate and decompress from your daily activities. If meditation doesn’t fit your lifestyle, then you can also use this time to journal your thoughts. This activity is all about reflecting on your current situation and envisioning the next steps without feeling stress or urgency. Renewal activities can also be done with your team; try taking a field day or setting aside time to sit together and exchange thoughts during a group think.
- Talk it out Seems easier said then done, right? Leaders are often expected to keep a brave face, but never mistake vulnerability for a weakness. Try not to keep too much inside when it comes to things going on at work. Open up to your immediate team about good and bad situations that are happening. When you encourage authentic conversation you are helping to build a strong, trustworthy team.
- Streamline your life. This is simply about getting organized and managing your priorities both professionally and personally. We often give ourselves unneeded stress because we’re spending too much time focusing on unimportant tasks rather than focusing on the important things first. Take five minutes of your day to remove unnecessary tasks from your to-do list (meditation, journaling or group think exercises will help identify you identify these). These little things may be the culprits for creating toxicity in your life.
I know that pushing tasks aside and making time for yourself is difficult to do (we want to do it all!), but in the end decompressing and eliminating work toxins will only help build a better you and a stronger team.
What are your favorite ways to remove stress and toxins from your life?
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