Leaders are people in a position to influence others. It’s an important role and one that comes with great responsibility. How can you help ensure that you’re able to meet the expectation effectively? Melissa Maloney’s Happy Leadership Method offers an approach that focuses on self-care. It is the understanding that we must first take care of ourselves in order to have the ability to care for others. This method includes three areas, which are summarized below. You can watch the full video conversation by following at the end.
Being busy is a true reality in today’s world. We’re busy at work, we’re by at home, and we often look for ways to better manage our time to fit everything into the day. Rather than time management, however, energy management can be a more effective way to approach our busyness.
What does this mean?
The first step is letting go of the “rules” that society outlines about what we are supposed to do with our time.
You then need to look at the things that you’re doing and identify which of those activities drain you of energy and which of them energizes you. The activities that drain you are essentially your weaknesses. You don’t particularly enjoy them, and you may find yourself easily distracted and less productive when doing them. Energizing activities, on the other hand, are your strengths. You enjoy doing them and find fulfilment in them. With this insight, you can then actively manage tasks and balance the time spent on draining activities with time spent on energizing activities, so you don’t feel mentally and physically exhausted at the end of the day.
Where you spend your time and your money identifies what you are prioritizing in your life. It is, therefore, important to take to time reflect on where you are spending your time and money because this will allow you to identify whether these priorities actually align with your values. Investing in things that truly aren’t important to you, can lead to guilt and leave you feeling unfulfilled, both of which are a drain on your energy.
We must remember that there are no right or wrong answers when it comes to our priorities. What is important is that you make a point to consciously choose what to spend your resources on and ensure you that fit in those activities that you identify as important and fulfilling (e.g. family time, exercise, home cooking, work) into your schedule.
Optimizing is all about building on the momentum you get when you spend time doing an energizing activity. When you are doing something that you enjoy, something you’re good at, or something that’s important to you, you feel positive, empowered and productive. There are, of course, things that we need to do that don’t fall into this category and we tend to push them off. If you avoid all of these tasks and leave them for the end of the day, however, you’ll quickly lose steam and focus and things will be left undone. It may also mean that you don’t have any energy left at the end of the day for activities that really are important to you (e.g. exercise, playing with the kids). They really are priorities, but you’re just too tired to do them. To help manage this, we need a plan.
When creating your weekly schedule, define “energy blocks” so that you sustain your productivity throughout the day. The energy you get from doing these tasks will help fuel your output as you move to a more draining activity.
How do you energy block?
Start your day with something that you enjoy, something that fills you up and energizes you for the day ahead. Next, schedule a task that may be a bit draining. Then repeat. Bouncing back and forth between the energizing activities you enjoy and the more draining need-to-do tasks will help you be more productive throughout the day.
A Method for Leaders in the Workplace
Virtually anyone can benefit from following the Happy Leadership Method, but it is particularly valuable to leaders in the workplace. As a manager, you are responsible for a group of people, but you also have a long list of work obligations to fulfil. Your days are full of meetings and budgets and deadlines and continuous demands on your time and attention. You’re busy. As a result, you may not be as available to your team as you’d like to be.
The Happy Leadership Method helps managers learn how to focus on themselves and better manage their energy levels, so that they have time to prioritize their employees and build the valuable relationships that allow everyone to be successful.
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