There is no doubt that these are trying times for many leaders. With uncertainties all around us as business owners, executives, and managers, how we remain cool and successful amidst the madness going on is critical (not only to our business but our health as well). If you are struggling with remaining calm under pressure, cool off with some of these practices:
1. Plan Effectively: This is, without a doubt, the best way I know to reduce the level of stress we as leaders can accumulate. I recommend you set aside time to plan by the year, quarter, month, week, and day. Once you have these plans in place, make sure you are reviewing them daily, before you start your work day. Remember, I recommend planning, not over-planning. You’ll only add stress to your life if you plan for perfection. I have a great planning tool I use with all of my clients.
2. Own your Vital Few: These are the tasks that are the highest and best use of your time. These are the things you get paid to do. Everything else is clutter and stuff you shouldn’t be doing. Either lower the priority on the clutter or get rid of it through delegation or removal.
3. Find a Buddy: We all need a trusted colleague who can help us stay on course, while keeping our behaviors where we want them. While I recommend you hire a coach, when that is not possible, find someone at work who can reel you in when your behavior starts to head towards the bottom of the lake.
4. Prioritize Yourself High: If you’re not taking care of yourself, who’s going to? Schedule your exercise, sleep, and fun activities just like you would schedule an important meeting with a client. By the way, these may actually be more important than the meeting with the client. There are always more prospective clients, there is only one you!
5. Limit Your Portions: Don’t put things on your plate that you shouldn’t and learn to say “no”. As a leader, your job is not to react to the needs of others. Your job is to lead them, not do things for them. Focus on your “vital few” only.
6. Monitor Yourself: If you’re like most of us, you know when you’re showing signs of being overwhelmed. When you see or feel these signs, take a short walk or do some breathing exercises. Find out what is causing you the stress, and come up with a solution that you can implement right away to alleviate it. It may just be a matter of prioritizing what is currently on your plate.
7. Be Positive: Having a positive mindset can do wonders for your temperature. Stay cool by reading positive stuff, spending time with positive people, and having some fun. Join a fit club, go hiking, go drive a NASCAR with my friends at Dale Jarrett Racing Adventure and leave your fears and stress at the track.
Try some of these out and let me know how they work. Have a great week and I’d love to hear about how you’re keeping your cool!