Working more from home yet feel like you have even less time for yourself?
You are not alone! A study in the UK has revealed that working from home has led to longer hours. Research involving 2,533 office workers found that those working from home would undertake an extra month’s work in a year compared with before the pandemic. Anytime saved by not needing to commute has been taken up with meetings starting earlier and finishing later. Then add the complexity of home schooling, trying to look after vulnerable or shielding relatives and it’s no wonder the thought of taking an hour or more each day to invest in healthy practices doesn’t seem possible.
Are your daily practices helping you burn bright or burn out?
In my coaching practice many leaders come to me when they are nearing the point of burnout. They have placed their own health and wellness on the back burner in order to climb the corporate ladder or build a business of their own.
Here are some of the most common pitfalls leaders face when it comes to balancing looking after the business and looking after themselves.
“I DON’T UNDERSTAND HOW NUTRITION AFFECTS MY LEADERSHIP PERFORMANCE”
Corporate executives are like elite athletes; they need high levels of energy, strength, flexibility and focus to perform well. And like athletes, what you eat has everything to do with how you perform. A poor decision at lunch can derail and entire afternoon!
Here are four simple ways you can immediately impact your leadership performance with nutrition.
1 Eat a good breakfast. A solid breakfast fuels you with sustained energy throughout the day and should include healthy fats and protein
2 Try smoothies. You can put a variety of healthy fruits and veggies into a smoothie and make it taste delicious. Smoothies are the ultimate fast food
3 Plan in advance, make your eating decisions before you get hungry by making sure you have prepped healthy, quick lunch and snack options the night before
4 Keep your blood sugar levels balanced throughout the day by eating low sugar, high fibre snacks.
“I DON’T HAVE TIME IN MY DAY FOR EXERCISE AND I SPEND MOST OF MY DAY SITTING”
We are sitting more than ever – sitting is the new smoking. Studies have linked excessive sitting with being overweight, type 2 diabetes, some types of cancer, and premature death. Prolonged sitting is thought to slow the metabolism, which affects the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar, blood pressure and break down body fat.
A study revealed the connection between movement and leadership performance. Leaders who exercise regularly were rated significantly higher by their bosses, peers, and direct reports on their leadership effectiveness than those who don’t. Time invested in regular exercise, even if it means spending less time at work, is correlated with higher ratings of leadership effectiveness. It seems that a healthy lifestyle can help executives better cope with the stresses and demands of their positions, ultimately increasing their leadership effectiveness.
Here are some simple ways to incorporate more movement:
1 Do less, more often. Rather than trying to find an hour a day, seek out 10 minute windows of opportunity. Check out my post here on how to exercise the smart way
2 Walk and talk. Do you need to be at your desk to take that call? Just standing instead of sitting helps reduce shoulder and back pain. Try getting out and walking and talking; the fresh air will help clear your mind
3 Invest in an activity tracker. There are so many options available on the market now. Clients report being motivated to get their ‘steps in’ and they also provide gentle reminders to move as well as tracking your progress
4 Plan it in. Only things that get scheduled, get done! If someone else keeps your calendar, ask him or her to schedule workouts for you or protect slots in your diary.
Fit your own oxygen mask first
Remember there is a reason we are told on a flight to fit our own oxygen mask before assisting others. Only if you care for yourself first will you have the long-term capability to care for your teams, your organisations, family and friends. For leaders to remain vital and visionary, mind and body health are imperative to their own personal success and that of their organisations. As a leader, you set the tone in your organisation. It’s time to ask yourself whether your daily practices are leading you on the path to vitality or burnout.