Below is the third and final post in a series of three about leadership best practices. If you missed the first two, you can read part one here, and part two here.
15 minutes of aerobic exercise is the last daily habit we recommend. No groaning, please! It’s relatively easy to work in exercise into your day, and it doesn’t have to be all at once. There are some simple ways of increasing your heart rate several times during the day:
The last section of our formula is plus Three, and it refers to doing something creative three times a week. Creative is defined as something that engages your right brain such as music, art, dancing, cooking, baking, sewing, gardening, fly fishing, flying, knitting, woodworking, playing with your kids, etc. It needs to be fun and it’s usually a hobby.
If you can’t do these activities three times a week, then enjoy an armchair version of them. For example, listen to music rather than make music, or read about flying a vintage airplane, or peruse a cook book. The idea is to do or think about something completely different from your work and use different thought processes as a diversion. This is a great lesson for a life well lived.
I don’t have time for all this!
So, you think you don’t have time for 15/15/15 plus Three? We suggest you examine your daily routines to find hidden time bandits that snatch away your precious time. Do you watch TV at night? Instead of falling asleep to the TV, do your daily review before going to bed. We tend to dream about what we think of right before sleep, so listing what you are grateful for will give you pleasant dreams. The opposite is true about watching the evening news before turning in – you will sleep poorly and have agitated dreams.
What about social networking or online gaming time or Sudoku or computer games? Can you take 15 minutes out of the time you spend/waste doing these things?
I know some couples who do their daily review together. To do this, you might light a candle, take some quiet time to reflect and write, then share your most grateful and least grateful moments with each other. It is a sweet way to end your day and strengthen your relationship. It helps to have someone else to share your daily review with and keeps you accountable to doing it.
Mahatma Gandhi once said, “I have so much to accomplish today that I must meditate for two hours instead of one.” He knew that meditation helped him be highly efficient in the time he had available. It is counter-intuitive that sitting still for longer times will actually make you more productive, but Gandhi certainly accomplished great things. Think of how you could apply this concept to your days.
Realize that you spend time on what you value. Do you value your leadership abilities? If so, you will find time for these important practices. After 30 days, new disciplines become habits, so try our formula for a month and see what benefits you gain. After that, you will miss them if you have to skip a day.
The first two articles in series covered reviewing and planning (Part One) and focused awareness(Part Two).
From the Desk of