Nov 05 2021| Leadership | leaders
by Kareena Hodgson Leaders Consultancy
Can you be both at the top of your game and living a balanced life? The answer to this question is very simple – of course you can. In fact, in our experience at Leaders we consider living a balanced life to be an essential component to staying at the top of your game.
Living a balanced life can seem tricky: it takes self-awareness, self-care and a whole lot of intentionality. ‘That sounds like hard work’, I hear you say, ‘I don’t have the time.’ Let’s unpack this a little more.
So why bother investing your time and energy on pursuing a balanced life?
If we continually operate at speed, working long hours and not understanding how to prioritise, it will inevitably lead us to burn out. The impact of burnout affects our ability to take care of relationships, we feel tired and sleep doesn’t help; irritable, we lack focus, we become forgetful, and we make poor decisions. None of these qualities enhance our lives in the workplace or in our personal lives.
But we can take steps to prevent burnout, keeping us at the top of our game at work and at home. So what is the solution? Rest.
That’s a four-letter word that might feel underwhelming, but let’s explore it.
This idea of living a balanced life is something that I am actively exploring and pursuing, so here are some of the things I have discovered along the way. Two experts on the topic of ‘rest’ that I have found inspiring and helpful are Bec Heinrich, a growth and transformation leader, and Dr Saundra Dalton Smith, a work-life strategist. Both recognise the fundamental importance of rest and how it is the only way to avoid burnout and be our best selves.
For too long busyness in leadership has been celebrated, rewarded and role-modelled, and rest has, at best, been relegated to an occasional vacation. We need to do better, for ourselves and those who work with us and ‘do life’ with us.
I have long held the view that you work hard and then rest, but that’s the wrong way round. We don’t work to rest, we rest to work. Any type of leadership is demanding, leaders constantly give of themselves and logically we know that if you are giving outwardly, you need to replenish those supplies. You don’t expect to keep spending out of your bank account without gaining funds to replenish what you’ve spent, why would we expect that of ourselves? Working from a place of rest and renewal is far more effective than the opposite.
So now we have the correct mindset, how do we rest? Rest is not just getting a good night's sleep. Bec Heinrich defines rest as ‘the renewing of depleted physical, emotional, mental and spiritual reserves’. Whilst according to Dr Saundra Dalton-Smith, there are seven types of rest:
So what are you going to do next? What kind of rest do you need to invest in more? Remember it can be small, simple changes.
These are my three takeaways: