As leaders, most of us work long hours. It’s not unusual for me to hear a CEO or sales leader tell me they put in 12-hour days. There is always so much to be done and not enough time. Even when we love our work and the people we work with; we can feel overwhelmed and walk away from our desks leaving a mess and feeling exhausted.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
You’ve heard this before; you have to slow down to speed up. You have to take a few minutes to figure out a way to stop the madness.
You are in control of your days, though at times it doesn’t feel that way. Controlling your days means that you can do your best and make a difference.
That’s how you should feel most days like you made a difference. But if you are working 12 hours, feeling exhausted, left with piles of work on your desk, and feel like you are failing, it’s time for a change. It’s time to map out your Best Day.
Now, some of you are thinking, my Best Day wouldn’t include work. I hope you can get to that point if that is your wish, but for now, while you are working you deserve to have your Best “Work” Day.
Where do you begin? Back to the stop sign. You have to take a moment, stop what you are doing, and make a plan. Ok, probably more than a moment but take the amount of time you need.
Take these steps
1. Find time on your calendar right now to take a few hours to reflect on what you have been doing and what you’d like to do instead.
2. Write down everything you do and divide the list into things you love doing things you like doing, and things you would rather not do.
3. Look at the list and circle the things that ONLY you can do. Be brutal. When you start to circle something ask, “Could I hire an expert who already knows how to do this or train someone to do it?” If you can hire someone for a reasonable price for that task, then do it. If you can train someone, make a plan, and do it.
4. You should be left with mostly, A) Things you love to do that only you can do, B) Things you like to do that only you can do C) Things you’d rather not do, but truly, only you can do them (like firing your direct reports).
5. Now make a schedule of what your Best “Work” Day would look like. It would be full of the things you love doing and like doing, that only you can do. Of course, there would be a few things that you must do because only you can do them. What time would your day start? What time would it end? I’ve shared mine as an example.
6. Now that you know what your Best “Work” Day looks like, plan to have one. Look at your calendar and determine on what day you can have a Best Day. Can you plan to have one once a month? Could you work that into once a week? It’s up to you. The more Best Days you have the better you will feel, the more productive you will be and the “Best You” will show up. The best you will make your company more valuable and the people you care about feel more loved.
Let me know if you are struggling to do this and I’ll give you a hand. I’d love to hear your success stories, too. You can connect with me on LinkedIn and share them on this post.