Three Ideas For Leaders to Recharge Their BatteriesRunning a business is a lot of work and some days feel like one more thing will push you over the edge. We rarely take time for ourselves in this hectic, always-on world.

“Even with an insatiable drive to be the best, successful entrepreneurs know that they too must take breaks and recharge their batteries to continue to grow their businesses,” says Matthew Swyers, contributor to Inc.

You can't continue at breakneck speed and expect to stay happy and productive.

We’ve seen the studies that show people are more productive at work when they don't eat at their desks, and the same logic applies to  longer times away from the office. Sometimes our best ideas or moments of clarity come when we are disconnected.

But how do you get away from it all? Swyers shares his thoughts.

How to Recharge Your Batteries

There isn't a one-size-fits-all when leaders need to recharge their battery. “For some personality types, mine included, the stress of being completely out of touch with the office would diminish any benefit from stepping away,” says Swyers. This doesn't mean you should check or respond to email, but just the ability to be in contact can be beneficial for those types of personalities. Other types might find it more beneficial to completely disconnect and take time away from the office.

The most difficult thing is to actually take a break. Take the time to sit down and schedule the time off. Swyers says the best option is to book a trip where you have to purchase airfare or some other means of transportation. It “requires an affirmative act to get on a plane, train, or boat on someone else’s schedule,” he says. If you take a “staycation” you’re more likely to pop in the office, so eliminate that possibility.

Do it again, and again. You have something to look forward to when you plan things in advance. “So even when you are in the midst of a vacation recharging your batteries there is nothing wrong with thinking about your next vacation,” says Swyers. Schedule yearly vacations to make sure your batteries don’t wear out.

“Every so often even the most driven of us need to step away to relax. In turn, when we come back we are more focused and ready to tend to the tasks at hand,” says Swyers. It’s natural for a leader’s battery to be drained, but we can do the things necessary to recharge our lives and leadership.

What helps you recharge your batteries?

How Can Leaders Avoid Burnout: Part TwoYesterday we began our two-part series on how leaders can avoid burnout.

It began with a Forbes article that discussed 10 tips on the very topic.

They included:

  1. Get in the Right Mindset
  2. Establish Fair Expectations
  3. Make Progress with Small Steps
  4. Keep Your Goals in Mind
  5. Prioritize What You Do Best
  6. Create a Support Team
  7. Set Strong Boundaries
  8. Shake Up Your Routine
  9. Indulge Guilty Pleasures—Daily
  10. Take Time Off

Ten Ways Leaders Can Avoid Burnout

We started with the first five in yesterday's post. Today we'll explore the second five.

Create a Support Team

The support team isn't an internal team. Some people call it an advisory board and others call it coffee with friends. Think about who you know and what types of things they do really well. Then devise a list of questions and invite them to coffee. If you want something a little more formal, consider an executive group such as Vistage.

Set Strong Boundaries

You are the only one who can set those boundaries...and your team members will follow suit. There is a CEO in Canada who has a rule that no emails are to be sent or received after 5 p.m. He says it took about six weeks for people to get used to it, and now there is a flurry of activity at 4:45 each day, but his team members are much more productive because of it.

Shake Up Your Routine

While routine can make you productive, if you only sit at your desk all day, every day, you'll easily bore. Take meetings outside of the office. Do a walk-around every morning and talk to team members. Get out of your chair.

Indulge Guilty Pleasures

It's easy to focus and work all day and suddenly 12 hours have gone by. But all work and no play makes for a very boring leader. Even if you have to break up your day by watching a funny video or two, it's a welcome brain break that will make you even more productive.

Take Time Off

Some leaders don't work weekends. Others wait and take two week vacations. Whatever works for you, make sure you have scheduled time off that does not include meetings, phone calls, or emails.

Do you agree with these 10 tips? What works for you?

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