Our habits and are the behaviors we engage in without really thinking about them. Changing habits takes time to become routine and real dedication until automaticity takes over.
Take brushing your teeth for example. Most of us have a routine in the mornings and the evenings around brushing our teeth that we would never give up. The habit is important to us and ingrained in our every day lives. Creating this same dedication and automaticity to the what brings us joy and balance is equally important.
Identify who and what brings you joy. Are there distractors currently getting in the way of giving them full time and attention? What do you need to do to set clear space and boundaries to give the most important things in your life the time that they deserve?
There is a lot of fun to be found in spontaneity and yet, to fully enjoy the habits that bring balance to our lives, there’s wisdom in scheduling windows of time where we can just go with the flow of what comes before us. On either side of that spontaneity, allow habits to develop that bring balance to your life.
It can be as straightforward as:
-Turn your phone upside down so you don’t get distracted by notifications -Set an alarm with a sound you enjoy ten minutes before transitioning to the next activity -Use the sound of the alarm to wrap up meetings and conversations as you share your dedication to maintaining a fully balanced you. If you’re meeting or talking to someone and they need more time, offer them a way to connect again.
You’re on your way to developing the habit of being fully present in every moment, with every task, and in the activities that bring you joy.
It’s time to set new habits and routines. Summer bring about a warmer mindset that from colleagues as we work together to adapt work schedules and responsibilities as we take time off. Not taking time off? Please reconsider. Work will be there when you get back.
Slowing down our minds and allowing the opportunity for mental white space allows us to be our best selves at work and at home. Our work brains can become overrun with decision fatigue that in today’s culture we often counteract with a solid dopamine hit in checking social media feeds, messages, and emails. Creating the conditions for white space starts with scheduling, yes schedule that time and preplan how you are going to resist the urge to grab a device to scroll through whatever your metaphorical lizard brain is calling for.
As a society we have developed socially accepted habits that allow us to frequently repeat picking up our devices for a variety of reasons. Frequent repetition creates habits that result in automaticity and the dopamine response plays a powerful role in the choices we make.
Set some time aside each day that you can set boundaries around when the work pace picks up again. Give yourself permission to be the best you by taking this time. Think back to times when life felt balanced or you were “bored.” What were the conditions that allowed for that? Are there things from your teen years or your 20s that you really enjoyed that you’re now “too busy” to do. Think back to something that you have loved doing that has fallen out of your routine and add it back in.
Here are some ideas:
-Grab a book that is written for pure pleasure reading -Join an adult sport’s league -Go swimming -Get a group together on a weekly basis to watch a specific show or ballgame -Go for regular hikes or walks and explore the outdoors -Go bike riding for pleasure
Whatever you choose to do:
-Schedule it -Set boundaries around the time -Set a mental plan to counteract any distractors that may come up -Set a mental plan to not give in to the urge to check your device -Communicate what you’re doing
Habits and Routines – Let’s Create Some White Space
Summer is here bringing the season of warmth and longer days.
The first leadership habit that we need to master is self-care! Summer is a great time to get started and to reinforce habits that are already in place. Leaders who know how to take care of themselves know how to take care of others.
Feeling selfish at the thought of focusing on you? Taking care of yourself will give you the energy and mental space that will continue your success in being able to serve.
Wondering about how to set the boundaries with those habits, colleagues, bosses, friends, and family members that may veer you of course? They’ll adjust with you as you share your goals with and are consistent in your pursuit.
We’ll be spending some time on this blog in the coming weeks focused on committing and recommitting every day to the habits that help us avoid burnout and lead from where we serve.