1. Take your breaks during the day. While you are constantly tempted to schedule meetings back-to-back or to “plow through” one to-do item after another, research shows how your creativity goes up when you stop and recharge your energy by taking regular breaks. Walking around the building can give you added benefits, too, as it prevents you from being sedentary for too many hours per day.
  2. Eat your lunch away from your desk. Block out lunch time on your calendar, and literally get up and eat it somewhere besides in front of your email/projects. Use the down-time to read professionally or to connect to a co-worker to enhance a relationship. It will pump up your afternoon.
  3. MBWA (Manage By Wandering Around): Plug into your schedule a chunk of time each week to stroll around the work areas of your colleagues/direct reports, checking in to see if they need your attention on anything they are working on–or simply to praise good work. We all need a little more recognition than we are getting now, and it feels good to be a lifter-leader.
  4. Keep work at work. Once you have decided what your “hard stop” is in your day, shut down your electronics for the day and put up a boundary against checking your devices while you are with your family or relaxing after work. Every time you check your phone or laptop, your brain spins back up about work stuff and you stop replenishing your energy. What hours will you decide to fast from technology?
  5. Be intentional about filling your energy tank outside of work. Whether that be carving out time for family nights, date nights, solitude retreats, or energizing hobbies, it is critical to your work-life balance to prioritize your most important values and avocations in your weekly discretionary time slots.
  6. Take your vacations. Instead of storing up vacation time to cash out later, utilize every day of it throughout the year, especially after ramped-up seasons at work. Most people need to get away from their city, being completely unavailable, in order to truly defrag and refresh.

Invite accountability to the goals you will now set by allowing someone to regularly ask you if you are staying true to yourself in honoring these commitments. Everyone benefits when a person in their sphere of influence gets healthier! How else do you refresh? I’d love to add it to my list; email me at growingforward@paulcasey.org