HiPo Leadership Strategies to Get Balanced and Be on Target During the COVID-19 Crisis

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During the COVID-19 crisis, leaders have to manage their feelings of being off-balance due to interrupted work routines and the distractions within their home workspace. Some leaders are distracted by their thoughts, worrying that their jobs are in jeopardy, being unsure of how to effectively motivate and inspire remote teams, and being distracted by their own stress.

Many leaders are feeling drained and unfocused due to disrupted exercise routines, a lack of social connection, not having their team physically available , emerging sleep issues, and the lack of a real work structure. Leaders are also facing additional challenges with distractions from having children and/or partners at home.

To keep focused and continue delivering a clear and targeted leadership that conveys confidence during chaos and change, leaders need to quickly establish routines and habits that allow them to focus on their work, team, and business objectives.

The following are high-performance leadership strategies that will help you remain focused and clear so you can show up as your best self and be the leader who conveys strength and confidence:

Commit to Only Your High-Value Activities

Your glucose (sugar) level is at its highest in the morning. Take advantage of this by structuring your mornings to work on your high-value activities.

Additionally, yhink of your brain as a small playground with three swings and a large group of kids who want to swing. Not everyone can be on all the swings at the same time. The kids will need to form a line based on your criteria of who should go first.

By using this analogy, you can see that not all of your activities need your attention to the same degree. This will produce confusion and a lack of clarity. You need to determine which activities are of high value so the right tasks receive your best energy and focus.

Strategy to Focus on High-Value Activities

Use the “Effort and Benefit Chart” below. Effort means the amount of energy you will need to exert to complete the activity. Benefit means the impact/result of your effort.

  • High Effort/High Benefit—These activities will require a significant amount of energy and will yield a compelling impact. Focus on these in the morning, when your glucose is at its highest and your attention level is at its best.
  • High Effort/Low Benefit—These require a lot of energy, as well, but the impact is low. These activities will feel daunting and uninspiring; because of this, make sure you attack them second in the morning when you can provide this level of energy. Move through them quickly, as your interest may wane easily.
  • Low Effort/High Benefit—These require very little energy but yield a significant result. This is your low-hanging fruit. You can do these activities when your glucose is lower and can aim for the afternoon when you experience a midday slump to focus on these activities.
  • Low Effort/Low Benefit—These require very little energy, and the impact is low. Don’t focus on these in the mornings, even though they are easy to check off your list and will make you feel like you are achieving momentum. They are distracting and low in importance and drain your best and most focused time. Do these activities toward the end of the day.

Establish a Productive Work Routine

Working at home sounds easy until you realize there can be challenges with focusing due to unexpected interruptions by unscheduled meetings, children and partners at home, social media pulling you in, and access to streaming devices.

As the time progresses at home, your home life may begin to bleed into your work life—that load of laundry needs your attention, you multitask on that conference call while walking the dog, and you scroll through your social media feeds multiple times during the day.

These interruptions appear innocuous, but you may notice you aren’t focusing as well as you need to. You can’t seem to complete tasks with the ninja attention you had at the office. There are emotional and neurological reasons for this. Here’s what is happening in your brain:

  • Your brain is hard wired to respond to stress.
  • Having to put a certain amount of energy into attending to the stressors, making sense of them (whether correctly or not), and managing the emotions these thoughts trigger might reduce your brain’s ability to focus on the work in front of you.
  • These stressors might reduce your ability to think clearly, problem-solve efficiently, or create detailed strategies and plans. No matter how hard you try to focus, you may still find this impossible or limiting.

Strategies to Improve Focus

Strategy 1: On weeknights, set up your workspace so only the most important tasks are in view. This way, you’ll limit the probability of being distracted by less important information. Your brain will try to process what is on your desk on screens and make sense of it. This can lead to overwhelm and lower focus.

Think of the ways you would respond to the statement below:

  • I will set up my desk for success at (select time of day):

Strategy 2: Don’t open e-mails or respond to texts until your high-value activities are completed. Leave your phone out of your workspace until these activities are done. Turn off your notifications on your phone and computer while you are working in the morning. If social media browsing is tempting, then uninstall apps before bed and reinstall them after work hours.

Think of the ways you would respond to the statements below:

  • I commit to (what you will do) (pick a distraction):
  • When I feel drained or unfocused, I will:

Strategy 3: Stop when you feel drained or unfocused. Your brain is signaling that your glucose is low. Take a cognitive and physical break—get fresh air, stretch, or listen to music. Afterward, return to the lower-value activities.

Strategy 4: Commit to having a lunch hour. Use it for connecting with others, eating nutritious foods, watching no-/low-stress programs, or reading (not the news, which is a stressor right now and will leave you feeling drained and unfocused).

Think of the ways you would respond to the statements below:

  • I commit to having a lunch hour daily and doing the following:

Strategy 5: Your home environment might be different right now with children and partners at home. If you know the mornings are busy with their routines, then make sure to get up before everyone else so you can commit to your routine. At first, it might feel challenging, but you are in a new training season right now. Like an athlete, you need to condition yourself; that way, the new way of working will become routine and easier to perform.

Think of the ways you would respond to the statement below:

  • I commit to getting up at (time):

Strategy 6: Make sure to let those who live with you know how you are setting up your work routine. This way, they can not only support you but also encourage you when they see you are off track.

Think of the ways you would respond to the statements below:

  • I will tell the following people about my new routine:
  • I will tell them on this date:

Lead from Your Values During This Challenging Time

The change in your work structure and workspace, along with any worries about COVID-19, can distract you from what is important to you, how you want to behave, and how you want to lead. You may find that you are short-tempered with others, inattentive, or disengaged. This is the time to recognize and recommit to your top 5 values.

1 Strategy to Align with Your Top 5 Values

Strategy 1: Find out or refresh your memory of your top 5 values by first thinking about the following:

When you define your personal values, you will discover what’s truly important to you. A good way to start is by looking back on your life—to identify when you felt good and confident that you were making good choices. Continue reading here…

The post HiPo Leadership Strategies to Get Balanced and Be on Target During the COVID-19 Crisis appeared first on HR Daily Advisor.

Source: HR Daily Advisor

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