This weekend I put the laptop away and got to enjoy some amazing time with my best friends. I had the privilege of time and spent that time reflecting. I reflected on my friendships, my priorities, my relationship, my family, and my business. And WOW. Just walking away from my laptop for a few days without judgement completely re-energized me.
See the thing is, I already know this. I know that reflection makes me a better leader, a better friend, a better wife, and a better human. But it is SO easy to get caught up in the grind and not make time for self-reflection, especially as a busy leader. We’re constantly doing and not leaving time to invest in ourselves and allow for creativity and growth. We have to slow down to move forward.
And I’m not alone here! It has been shown time and again that self-reflection is a key part of being a successful leader. It is incredibly exhausting work and without self-reflection you could be on the fast track to burnout city. Check out this article from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, this article from the Harvard Business Review, and this one from Forbes. All make the case that self-reflection is what makes a GREAT leader.
Spend time writing
Figure out what your most productive time of the day is and schedule 10-15 minutes of it just to free write. If you’re a morning person, do it first thing when you wake up and vice versa. Don’t give yourself a crazy prompt and don’t edit yourself. Just let your mind wander and write everything that comes to mind.
If you’re struggling or you feel yourself going to negative town, redirect yourself to write about the positive things about yourself, your teams, your life, etc.
I mean it. Trust me, I did not believe in it for the longest time. I thought, “Really?! I’m just supposed to sit and do nothing?! How in the HECK is that going to help me?”. But I kept hearing it over and over again from successful people I admire, so I decided to give it a try. I tried a few different apps before I landed on Simple Habit and started using their guided meditations. It was shocking how much better my days were set up when I spent time meditating first thing before checking my email or diving into social media. I noticed the benefits even more when I got out of the habit while traveling, and that was perfect reinforcement for me to jump right back in.
Keep a gratitude journal
At the end of each day (or the end of each work day) schedule 5 minutes to write three things that went well that day that you’re thankful for. Come back to this journal and re-read these when you’re feeling burnt out. Look back each year and you’ll be amazed at how much there is to be thankful for and how much positivity surrounds you.
So what now?
Pick one of the three tactics above and give it a chance this week. Do it every day this week and see how you feel. Come back and share your thoughts in the comments! 🗣
Talk soon 👋🏻