You've heard me encourage leaders every chance I get to learn to STOP.
This is a difficult lesson because we have gotten so used to running full speed ahead that we've forgotten how to slow down, how to wind down, how to STOP.
This past week, I realized that I was hitting the wall a little bit. I was tired physically, I was emotionally drained and I had been unable to manage some things that should have been easy to handle. I was showing some signs of distress. For me, these signs are:
- Increased Frustration (everything was bothering me)
- Increased Distraction (I was doing everything BUT what I was supposed to be doing)
- Increased Eating (when I feel stress, I don't eat well)
- Increased Separation (I pull away from people when I'm overwhelmed)
Now, I've been learning to manage myself for a long time, so these warning signs didn't create panic or despair. Instead, they forced me to figure out what was going on.
So, here I am on Monday Morning, and I'm "unwinding" some things over the next 4 days so I can address what the source of all of this anxiety is all about.
Here's how I do it:
1) I Cleared My Schedule: I simply looked at the next 4 days and stepped away from as much as I could. I can't control everything, so there are some appointments, calls and tasks I have to do, I stepped away from as much as I possibly could.
2) I Communicated My Schedule: I let my wife know and my co-workers know that I'm stepping back for a few days. I want them to be supportive and know that I'm doing some internal work.
3) I Changed My Perspective: Today, I woke up ready to do the work. It started with a great time at the gym, time in the Word, time clearing off my desk, and creating a plan for the next 4 days to get me where I need to go. I'm excited about the journey this week.
4) I'm Avoiding Distractions: It's so easy to get bogged down in things that keep me from where I need to go. I'm saying NO to some things this week in order to say YES to what I need to be doing.
The goal: RENEWAL.
I need to find the joy again, I need to put things into perspective, and I need to be proactive instead of reactive.
This is an ongoing cycle. When we live at the pace that we live in, we have to figure out how to manage ourselves instead of just piling things on over and over again. We have to figure out what our "replenishment cycle" is, and work hard to refuel and refocus.
There will be some motorcycle time in my near future, as well as a good dose of exercise and nutrition. There will be some intentional relationship time with my wife that will hopefully include a walk on the beach, and there will be some silence and stillness. It's amazing how healing some simple things become when we STOP.
If you need some help STOPPING, why don't you join me for the next 4 days!