Being a CEO is actually a tremendous responsibility and the weight of that responsibility can take a huge toll on a person. Long is the list of CEO’s who have crashed and burned from the tremendous weight of leadership. Burning out doesn’t have to be a fact of life for CEO’s, however. As the new saying goes, it’s important to “put on your own oxygen mask first.” Here are 3 ways to engage in good self-care, which will help you to lead effectively over the long haul.
Rise early and start slow
Many people have this idea that the most productive people spring out of bed at the crack of dawn (or before) and immediately spring into action. That might be the best recipe for burnout, however. In reality, it can be far wiser to rise early and spend those early morning hours in thoughtful pursuits like planning, envisioning, meditating and even getting inspired. Early mornings are a great time to lay out a plan of attack for the day and strategize any current challenges you or your company is facing. Before you act, it’s important to have a plan and early mornings are a great time for developing one.
Throughout the day, breathe, write and move
Breathe: Taking as little as 30 seconds to breathe deeply several times a day will go a long way towards reducing stress and oxygenating the brain.
Write: Throughout the day, whenever you encounter a problem or issue that needs to be dealt with, write it down. Not only will that help you get it “off your mind” – literally – but it will give you a reminder of the problems that need to be solved during you morning strategy session.
Move: CEO’s spend an inordinate amount of time sitting behind computers and in meetings and conferences. Moving throughout the day is extremely important. It’s much better to do some kind of active movement 5 minutes every hour than to do a single hour-long workout before or at the end of the day. You can still put in that time, but it’s also important to stay loose and limber throughout the day.
All too often, it is so easy for one day to simply run into the next that we can feel like a hamster on a wheel just running, running, running and getting nowhere. Taking some time at the end of each day to reflect on achievements, accomplishments or advancements you have made can minimize this feeling of constantly running and never getting anywhere.