Why do leaders need to recharge and how to recharge?

By Shalini Gadhia

Leaders often wonder why they feel drained after certain projects. The thought often comes as ‘I put in so many hours yet I do not see results’. Why would that be? Are we not supposed to achieve more as we do more? We expect more and better outcomes with increased efforts.

Think of a battery, it serves us until the time it is charged. It often gets drained once it’s low on charge. Would it not stop serving us completely if it has no charge left? The same concept applies to human beings. As leaders it is very essential that we do not keep working until we get completely drained. One should make time to keep recharging.

Recharging refreshes the mind and body by giving them a break. During this break, we are able to get away from the continuous cycle of the same thoughts and tasks related to this project we are attempting to complete. When we get away, it allows us to get a fresh perspective and permits rest. Hence when we return to the project, we are enabled to think better and enhance our productivity.

So how do we know when to recharge and how should this be done? We should not let ourselves work to the point where we can no longer think or execute tasks. The same should be practiced with our teams. Each individual has a different window of working after which a break is needed. There needs to be freedom to allow team members to establish when they need to do this to nurture optimum productivity.

Recharging can be done in various ways, which again could vary with each individual’s preference. Taking deep breaths in between tasks helps to refresh the mind and rejuvenate the body. Deep breathing enhances oxygen flow into the brain which in turn improves our thinking ability. Hence one may notice that following deep breathing exercises, one is able to think more clearly which may often generate better ideas for the project in hand.

Another way could be to take a walk and get some fresh air. Getting some air often improves brain activity which in turn enhances productivity. It allows us to divert our minds and permits freshness in perspective. A problem that seemed complex a few minutes ago may seem very simple all of a sudden.

Closing one’s eyes and being still for a few minutes allows us to focus inwards and gather our thoughts in that moment. Often when we are trying to accomplish multiple tasks, our mind gets disoriented and we are unable to complete anything effectively. Being still for a few moments lets us calm down and strategize ways of accomplishing each task one by one, which in turn leads to better results.

Listening to music (especially soothing music), calms our nerves and cheers us up which instills positivity in us. Feeling energized and working with a positive outlook is sure to guarantee better results as opposed to working with a sloppy attitude. Feeling drained and out of energy only elongates the time taken to accomplish a task. Listening to great music improves our mood which in turn positively impacts results.

It’s said that when you face a challenge, the answer is often found in the page of a book. Taking a break by reading also rejuvenates the mind as we completely get distracted from the ongoing project and allows new ideas to flow in. Who knows, a solution you may be seeking could be found in just THAT book! Reading also improves focus and attention which are key attributes for success.

To all leaders – Take a break and break the work cycle!

The author is a marketing professional with 10 years of work experience across various industries.

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