Taking time out to focus on yourself doesn’t come natural for a lot of people.
There’s usually something else or someone else who needs you more, or you simply don’t have the time.
I know from supporting many leaders and business owners that you may be hesitant to put time aside for yourself, as you may feel guilty. So, you plod on, thinking you’ll get round to it. But the reality is …you don’t!
All this rushing around leaves you with a lack of energy and feeling like you’re not making a difference, despite all your hard work.
You need some time for you. Time that’s scheduled in, rather than wait until you have to force it in, because of some sort of crisis or burnout.
Well, you can start right now, with my three ‘R’s framework.
It’s a 3 step framework I use with my leadership clients, and I believe should be part of everyone’s toolkit.
The three ‘R’s framework: reflect, recharge, refocus
Too often, we say we don’t have the time to reflect. Yet just five or ten minutes a day is enough.
Reflecting can help you understand where you’re at currently, and what can be done differently. Self-reflection allows you to understand what’s important to you. And when you know what’s important to you, you can prioritise much more effectively.
How you reflect is often quite personal, but it doesn’t have to take a long time.
My own reflective practice consists of just three simple and short questions I’ve been asking of myself and others for over 20 years:
- On a scale of 1-10, how do you think you performed/delivered?
- What do you think you did well?
- What do you think you need to do differently?
Why not give it a try?
You can even set a timer for 3 minutes and spend just one minute on each question.
I can’t stress how important is to make time for yourself. If you’re under a lot of pressure, it’s easy to fall into the habit of working or thinking about work all the time. But that eventually leads to burnout.
It’s time to make self-care a priority.
What that looks like can be different for different individuals. Some suggestions include:
- Commit to taking your full lunch break away from your desk every day
- Make time for a walk in nature
- Commit to regular gentle exercise such as yoga
- Set a time every evening when you’ll switch off your work phone and emails, and stick to it
- Book time off and visit somewhere special to you
- Make time to socialise with your friends
Think of it as an investment that will pay dividends in the future.
Once you’ve reflected and recharged, it’s the perfect time to refocus. Time to look at what you want to focus on:
- Are the things you’re spending your time on making you feel energised? Or are they draining your energy?
- Have your priorities shifted? If so, do you need to revisit your goals?
- Are you spending time on the things that really matter?
- Do you feel in control of your journey? If not, how can you regain control?
Building a regular practice of reflecting, recharging and refocusing helps you check-in with yourself and look after your wellbeing.
That’s why it’s so important to take regular time out. And when I say time out, I mean time away from the chaos and pressures of work, to reflect, recharge and refocus on you.
Make one small change this week
It can be as small as granting yourself uninterrupted lunch breaks, or investing in yourself by buying one of my workbooks which will help you reflect on yourself.
The change I most recommend?