As a leader with the power to make things happen and the responsibility to make them happen well, what's the greatest gift you can give yourself this New Year 2023?
Preserving your mind space
The encroachers are familiar - the most urgent phone call/email, the ever looming Board meeting, the deliverable on fire, the deal that needs closure, the family member that needs time, and the list never ends. And when the thoughts on the external world stop, the internal world springs up in its full glory with 'should haves', 'must haves', self doubts, 'what next', 'what if' etc.
Through the day, your mind looks like garage sale with things cluttered all over the space. Creating anything of worth in this cluttered space is a tall order. Decision making is not at its best because there is a exhaustion, distraction and a lot of things yet to be done.
The shift from 'Chaos to Spacious' may be aided by subtle shifts:
'Being' by itself is a great value addition
Most of us lose mind-space in clearing a check-list of actions that leaves us drained. There is no space for anything else.
As a leader, the way you are being is the most important value that you bring to the table. While doing can emerge out of the being, envisioning, taking calculated bets, decision making, etc. all arise from a state of being. It ultimately decides the outcomes you could possible create for yourself or your teams.
2. Dropping some balls is ok
We all have big to do list that never seems to end. Higher up in the leadership ladder, its not really about catching all the balls - but it is about holding the right ones that can expand you and your organisation in ways that are critical.
Let what you say 'No' to determine what you say 'Yes' to.
3. Pattern Interrupts are critical
If every day looks like ground-hog day, its important to interrupt you auto-pilot pattern and do something different.
Create interruptor patterns for yourself using any means that's is relevant to you including tech. This will ensure that you are not caught unaware when the mind attacks and lose precious time.
4. Being present is a practice
Many leaders lose heart when they mind wanders to their worry list and decide that being present is hard and is not for them.
Being present is a practice that needs repetition and refinement as it proceeds.
If your mind gets lost, gently bring it back to the present. Over time, it will know the drill.
5. Nurturing yourself is the only way
Even though mind-space looks like it is of the mind, your body and spirit are key contributors into it.
A tired body cannot create mind-space as it will amount to falling asleep.
An ignored spirit will lead to restlessness and will try to remove the space in the mind.
A monkey mind can wander and keep you always ON.
So take time to nourish all the three and keep them in alignment. Invest energy, time in your passion, spiritual practices, hobbies, physical activity etc.
What creates mind space for you?