3 Ways to Conquer Leadership Overwhelm

Here’s the thing about leadership: it’s a never-ending gig. There’s no 9-5, no PTO, and certainly no clock-in, clock-out system.

Leadership is a form of being, not doing.

So when problems or opportunities stack up – with no punch card in sight – it’s easy to feel overwhelmed.

Maybe you feel like there’s too much on your plate, or (like many leaders) you feel like you’re not doing enough. Nevertheless, overwhelm is a common feeling among leaders like you. Unfortunately, it can be precisely what prevents you from reaching the success you know is possible.

You’ve heard it all before: how work overload can be counterproductive, how lack of sleep negatively affects your work, and all of the other self-care talk. But just like eating your veggies, managing your time and energy is essential – especially for optimal leadership success. There’s no way around it!

Below are three ways to get a grip on the things that hold you down so you can make the impact you want to have while maintaining a solid reputation and strong relationships!

#1: Shrink your list.

If you’ve got too much on your plate, don’t get a bigger plate. Share the food.

Okay… that was a weird analogy, but you get the point.

As leaders, it’s difficult to let go of control. Many of us fear that others won’t understand our vision, process, or approach. So what ends up happening? We add it to the “I’ll just do it myself” pile, and our to-do list grows and grows… while our availability to complete them shrinks and shrinks. No bueno.

Make a list! Then, ask yourself the following questions:

Bottom line – figure out what can you can take off your plate RIGHT AWAY – either through elimination or delegation – and get rid of it. Now. ASAP. Pronto!

Remember: the best way to gain control is to let go.

#2 Take care of yourself… mentally… physically… and emotionally.

Only through good health (mental, emotional and physical) can a leader truly devote their best to the people they serve.  Check in with yourself daily – where do you stand in each area?  Give yourself a 1-5 rating on each (1=poor, 5=great)  What can you do modify your schedule to put yourself first? We highly recommend schedule blocking.  Find times on your calendar where you can stick consistently to doing what you need to do to remain a sense of balance and control.  Usually, this is Sunday night, Monday morning, and Friday afternoon.  We know that reality sets in, but even if you are traveling, you can keep the main intention even if you shrink the amount of time or move it around in the day.

Also, we grant you permission to schedule some time off.  And shut down your devices.  As a leader you are setting the tone. Everything you do sends a message to others about what they should be doing. Please be responsible and set a tone that allows you and those who work with you to enjoy the one life you have. The key to shutting down effectively is communicating your intentions to others – so set your out of office messages to explain yourself!  Not only will they leave you alone, they’ll feel better about doing it themselves too.

#3 Leverage your energy.

At Energize Leadership, we believe that work shouldn’t suck the energy out of you. We believe that it should fuel and – you guessed it – energize you.

When you play to your strengths, you are able to unleash your true potential and increase your impact. When you pay attention to your energy, you gain important clues about how to be your best self.  Let your energy be your guide.  Do more of what makes you naturally high, do less of what brings you down.  Can it really be that simple. Yes.

We see the value in this every day when we work with our coaching clients, which is why we can confidently say that leaders can become driving forces through positive and engaging energy. Try it. It’s contagious.

Remember: energy attracts energy.  What energy are you emitting? What energy are you attracting?

Ask yourself these tough questions regularly. If you’re ready to re-energize your leadership, but don’t know where to start, please call us — we are here to help!