By Dan Rockwell
Leading from fatigue is costly for everyone. It’s easy to make big mistakes.
Leaders need to step away from work entirely every week to gain the perspective and clarity needed to do their job well. Yet work grabs you at all hours. Now is the perfect time to eliminate the toxic idea that 24/7 availability increases productivity.
Initiate the essential practice of rest and renewal.
Don’t turn festivities into obligations. Instead, look for ways to celebrate the joys of the season and enjoy the company of others. Then, build an ongoing practice of rest and renewal into your upcoming year.
5 Practices for Weekly Renewal
- Learn how vital renewal time is. Running on empty not only leads to burnout and depression, but it is also a major cause of heart disease, diabetes and the biggest surprise killer—loneliness.
- Identify at least one hour each week to create a firm boundary with work. Guard this time from any distractions, especially your own work obsessions. If you get a work idea, write it down and return to your rest practice.
- Plan for joy, connection, and doing things you love. If you become distracted by your seemingly impossible to-do list, reset by focusing on your breath for one minute and remind yourself of your intention to rest and renew.
- Slow down to savor. Slow down your movements. Listen to loved ones.
- Let go of achieving to rest, reflect, and play. Don’t take any actions that are results focused.
Setting aside moments of renewal for the holidays and beyond enables replenishment.
A real break includes doing something different from the everyday: getting off screens, connecting with loved ones, and experiencing true pleasure in the present moment.
How do you take breaks?
How might leaders embrace the practice of rest?
Marilyn Paul, Ph.D., is a senior consultant with Bridgeway Partners, a firm focusing on high leverage leadership and change. Her recent book is An Oasis in Time: How a Day of Rest Can Save Your Life (Rodale, 2017).
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