Hello there! Before we dive in, I wanted to let you know that Accomplished: How to Go from Dreaming to Doing is coming soon in Audible!! I’m crossing my fingers that it will be available by September 18 because that is my 10-year anniversary of being in business. It would be something special to be able to talk about both of these events simultaneously.
Stay tuned on more information about the book.
This episode is dropping on the US holiday of Labor Day so if you are listening to this episode, I hope you have had a chance to take some significant downtime this weekend.
And downtime is the topic of this episode of Women Taking the Lead.
I recently shared an article I found on The Daily Muse titled, "Yes, You Should Still Take Time Off Work During COVID-19—Here’s How to Make the Most of It" by Regina Borsellino.
The post was liked and commented on across platforms it so I knew it was hitting home. I got the feeling we needed to talk more about this.
The article made a case for why you should take time off during COVID-19, for both personal and professional reasons. It also contained 6 tips to help you make the most of your time off. It’s all about setting yourself up for success.
Self-care lays the foundation of the work I do with my clients. Just recently I was meeting with a new client and she was very wound up by a lot of things that were going on at work and was near her wits end.
Our next meeting was the week after she came back from a week off and the difference was astounding. The circumstances at work were no different, but she was able to see things from a new perspective and felt that resolving these issues was very doable.
She also talked about feeling lighter and more productive. The time away had helped her to crystalize her thoughts about how to take better care of herself.
That week off gave her an opportunity to stop focusing on the problems she was facing and as a result, brand new solutions started presenting themselves to her. I want to underscore that – by intentionally putting the problems to the side and relaxing, her mind started to formulate solutions to the problems without her putting any effort into solving those problems.
I also had an experience with a friend this past week that also underscored the need we have for rest. My friend has a lot going on in her life right now. She is getting pulled in many different directions, is up against some big deadlines and there was a lot of work to be done.
She texted me a week ago because her anxiety had spiked and she was in a really bad place. I did what I could to support her in the moment but I was really worried about her for the rest of the day.
When I checked back in with her that evening, she reported that she had laid down in the middle of the day to catch her breath and wound up sleeping for 2 ½ hours. She slept so soundly she woke up in the same position she fell asleep in.
Her anxiety was gone and she accepted she was just going to have to take everything one step at a time and do what she could. She called me a few days later to let me know the biggest project with the hard deadline was completed a day ahead of schedule.
She’s taking a break before she dives into the next project.
We think we need to be a non-stop superwoman but the fact is we need to stop periodically to take care of ourselves to be at optimal.
There is a principle of diminishing returns that you’ll want to be aware of. In the realm of productivity, it states that there is a point at which the same investment of resources will yield fewer results.
For example, you may be able to complete four reports every hour. However, if you continue to work at that pace without a break you will reach a point when you are no longer able to produce four reports an hour. And if you continue, your output will continue to diminish.
We need to take breaks to stay productive. And as was shown in the case of my friend, we need to take breaks to maintain a stable mood and confidence in our abilities.
If you find that you are pushing yourself too hard, ask yourself what is the story you are telling yourself that is preventing you from taking a break?
The story can take on many variations. It could be you see other people appear to be working harder than you are so feel like you’re not doing enough. It could be that you feel you must keep working because there’s no way it’s all going to get done if you rest.
You may be afraid that you’ll lose your motivation for good if you slow down for a bit. Or, you’re afraid your business will tank or your job will be at risk if you don’t keep going full speed.
I’m not going to tell you your story is true or false. I am asking you to challenge your story to see if it’s really true.
And, what could you gain if you took some of the pressure off yourself and allowed yourself to recover and re-energize after all the work you’ve put in thus far?
And if you lead a team, remember what you do sends a louder message than what you say. You may say you want your people to take breaks and fully unplug when they are on vacation. But if you don’t do it, they will think that your words are only words, and that you expect of them what you model.
Lastly, here is an Instagram post from a colleague of mine, Elizabeth Ross Holstrom. She is the founder of Mindful Employer, and supports companies who are creating or would like to create mindful and conscious work environments. This post is a picture of cards she’s created to give some ideas for what you can do to renew yourself if you are taking a break – whether it’s one minute, three minutes, 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes, or more. Check them out and if you’d like them for yourself or your company get in touch with Elizabeth!
Stay tuned for Accomplished: How to Go from Dreaming to Doing in Audible. Subscribe to this podcast on your favorite platform or sign up for my messages through the Women Taking the Lead website. Pretty soon you’ll be able to get Accomplished in print, kindle and now the audio version! This book is based on my Accomplished coaching system, and the accompanying worksheets will help you develop your own personalized care plan so that you are regularly renewing your energy and doing the things that satisfy and fulfill you.
As always, I hope this was of value to you and here’s to your success.
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Accomplished: How to Go from Dreaming to Doing: A simple, step by step system that gives you the foundation and structure to take your goals and make them happen.
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