Are you always at your best at work? Probably not! So, what gets in the way? How we think and act greatly impacts our ability to bring our “A Game” to all we do.
In this blog post, we’ll focus on one way to be at your best more often: Making healthy choices that impact well-being and performance, and summer is a perfect time to start!
As leaders, we often feel challenged to make time to take care of ourselves. Here are five tips to get you started.
5 Tips to Bring Your "A" Game
1.) Create your “morning ritual”: the benefits of a morning routine are psychological and physical. It sets the tone for your day and helps to increase productivity and lower stress because you’ve started the day proactively rather than feeling like you already start from a place of defense. Your routine may include exercise, reflection, or gratitude. Keep it holistic and simple.
2.) Practice gratitude: When we consciously focus on what we are grateful for, it can have emotional and interpersonal benefits. To get started, write down 3 things you are grateful for. Notice how that makes you feel. Warm and fuzzy, right?
3.) Get exercise: Recent research shows that exercise is key to improving work performance. Exercise immediately boosts cognitive function and physical energy but also what can be described as a “resource caravan” or reserves that positively impact our job performance because it tends to make us sleep better and feel physically better. We need to view exercise as part of our job.
4.) Set boundaries: A major part of leadership growth is setting boundaries. These boundaries, like unplugging from work, taking a vacation, and only committing to the work you have the capacity for are essential to do your best work. Setting and honoring these boundaries also builds trust within your team.
5.) Take time to reflect: Sometimes, we wait until our annual review to reflect on the past year, or we skip the reflection altogether. If you want some help getting started with self-reflection, read our December newsletter with an activity called “Power of Pause.” A mid-year check-in could also be a great time to do this activity!
Take a moment now to reflect on the 5 tips we provided.
1.) Morning ritual:
Do I already have a morning ritual?
Does it serve me well?
If not, what’s 1 thing I can do to create a morning ritual that sets me up for success in my day?
2.) Practice gratitude:
Do I take time to feel grateful for the wonderful things in my life?
If not, what’s 1 small way I can begin to pause and express gratitude in my day?
3.) Get exercise:
Am I getting regular exercise?
If not, what’s 1 thing I can do to move my body more during the day? (Don’t overthink this! If you work in an office, park further away, take the stairs, or both. If you’re at home, block time on your calendar to take a walk. If the daytime isn’t good for you, schedule a walk and talk with a friend in the evening.)
4.) Set boundaries:
Do I regularly set boundaries?
Do I honor the boundaries I set?
What is 1 boundary I will commit to honoring for myself this week?
Am I regularly making time to reflect?
If not, what gets in the way?
Great news! You just practiced this one. Use what you learned through this reflection to identify 1 action you’ll take this week to help you bring your “A” game.
Working smarter, not harder, is essential to enjoying work more so that you can do your best work and level up your leadership.