Since the onset of the global pandemic, I have had a mantra for my team: you - your family - the company. “You” always comes first in this list, because everything else will suffer if you’re not at your best.
Many of us are in our fifth month of working from home. Forced to largely stay at home, we eat, sleep, exercise, work and entertain ourselves from inside the same four walls. If we don’t actively add variety to our routines, it can be very easy for monotony to sneak into our at-home lifestyles.
Variety is critical, especially in today’s challenging times, because of COVID-19 and how most of us are isolated and stuck inside with the same people and the same routines. Therefore, I encourage you to challenge yourself to change things up — both mentally and physically.
If you’re not already walking every day, that’s a great place to start. Walking is scientifically proven to stimulate your brain and to help you think differently and more productively. So get out there. You can use your walking time to connect with others, including coworkers and the friends and family you are accustomed to seeing more often. Or listen to a book while you're walking.
I’d also like you to check in on yourself, your colleagues, your friends and family more regularly and more specifically. Genuinely ask, “how are you doing?” and require real answers in response. Likewise, don’t be afraid to let someone know when you are not doing well and need support to get back on track. I encourage business leaders to use the 1-5 scale to assess their individual and team well-being, with 1 being “not so good” and 5 being “great.”
People should always come first. And, for yourself, you must always come before all of the other people on the team. When we are each performing at the top level, we are living our best lives. As a leader, work to foster an environment in which your people consistently thrive.