Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Rest is critical for greater leadership success

It’s more important than you think.

Confession time, I LOVE my work and I’ve been accused of being a workaholic. While my recent back surgery slowed me down a little, I’m energetic and I love being out and about.

I recently wrote about how I felt vulnerable ever since my surgery a few months ago. This week, I had my second surgery, and for the next week or so, I’ll be doing my very best to rest and recover (even with attending the Major League Baseball All-Star Game).

The truth is, I’m not used to resting. I’m used to always being on top of things: my various businesses, the people I serve and most importantly my family. But the way I’m going about it is too taxing.

Harvard Business Review shares a survey revealing that 42% of leaders only averaged 6 hours of sleep and less! That’s about my average.

The results:

  • Your judgment is NOT as good as you think.
  • You lack self-control that you would have. (How’s your eating when you’re extra tired?)
  • Your creativity is limited, and your potential is hindered.
  • There is a chance you accidentally mistreat your colleagues.

Friends, Lack of sleep doesn’t just affect you—it also ends up affecting the people around you.

Sleep-deprived leaders are more irritable, short-tempered, and impatient—not good for your relationships. It’s all in the Harvard Business Review study.

In short, when the leader lacks sleep, the whole team pays the price.

What should you do?

  1. Pick your “Get ready for bed time” and set a phone alarm.
  2. Say no to coffee, nicotine, and alcohol before going to sleep.
  3. Do some short breathing exercises to lower your stress (start with 20 seconds: it works).
  4. Squeeze in a nap breaks in the middle of the day if you can. Research says that napping for at least 20 minutes reveals restoration of good quality work.

Some people feel guilty about napping or sleeping for the recommended 8 hours. The truth is, just because you have available hours in a day, you don’t have to fill those with work. In your calendar try blocking “family time” and “read.” You’ll be much more like to do it.

Try it for one week. Let me know if it worked… even a little bit. Maybe we could hold each other accountable!

Much love,

Dr. Rob

Get awesome articles like this once a week!