Healthy habits for effective leaders

August blog LHWritten by: Martin Mainey

“Sharpening your saw” is an essential habit for leaders to be effective and to avoid burnout. Easy to say but not always easy to put into practice! 

To achieve it, it is critical that you put yourself and your personal well-being at the top of your priority list. This may sound selfish, however if you don’t you will not be able to look after those in your care as well as you could and should. 

When you are tired, under constant pressure and stressed you don’t make good decisions, you don’t collaborate or connect well with others. In this age of distraction and impatience, self-care can easily fall by the wayside during the mad daily “business”. With this in mind, any successful self-care strategy must also be simple. Here are a couple of easy to adopt ideas that you can start working into your daily/weekly work routine.

  1. Breathe
    The benefits of breathwork are well documented and there are plenty of Apps available to take you through guided breathwork and with just 10-15 min investment you can make a huge difference to the way you think, feel and function.
  2. Fresh air
    Get out of the office and get some fresh air, connect with nature if you can. This will positively impact your mood and your cognition.
  3. Positive energy
    Go and seek some people who have positive energy, hangout with them for no reason other than their positive vibes. Whilst you’re at it, dish out some positive vibes yourself. Get away from your desk for some fun, with no specific work agenda in mind.
  4. Learn to politely say no!
    Make sure you don’t allow other people’s urgencies hijack your agenda. Be confident in setting boundaries and pushing back when appropriate.
  5. Exercise
    Build exercise into your working day if you can, you will notice a huge difference in your energy, tolerance, and performance. If not in your workday, then prioritise it and make it happen.
  6. Sleep
    If you don’t sleep well there is plenty of great advice out there so get to work on improving your sleep patterns. Sleep is so important for replenishing our energy and bringing focus.
  7. Nutrition
    A little of what you fancy does you good but be super mindful that you balance your nutritional intake and drink plenty of water.
  8. Personal development
    Always have a personal development book on the go. I love audiobooks as I can listen and learn whilst I am exercising, cleaning, ironing, mowing the lawn etc. There are plenty of gems out there. See if you can hook up with a book buddy, it’s good to share what you pick up and discuss ideas.
  9. Off is off!
    Be very strict with yourself to stop working when it’s off time. It’s so easy to get sucked back in, just clear up a few more emails or finish a few more actions. Get home, connect with your family, your friends, your hobbies, eat well and get a good night’s sleep. It will all still be there in the morning.
  10.  Be light!
    Catch yourself out being serious, have a word with yourself and lighten up a little. Without you keeping it in check your brain will happily take you down the serious route, it’s not always necessary.

With a sharp saw you will cut through the daily demands so much more efficiently. You will connect better with your team and be a great role model in creating a healthy and balanced workplace culture.

If you are looking to hone your skills as a leader, check out our leadership programmes. We help you learn how to lead yourself and understand what makes a great leader. Within our courses, we show you how to build high-performing teams and how to uncover the potential of others. Get in touch with us today!

24 August 2023 our blog
About Diana van Kamp