What I’ve learned in the last 12 months
On the 27th October 2019, I’ll be celebrating Ad Florem’s 4th birthday.
I can hardly believe it was a whole 4 years ago when I started my business. It’s been the most challenging and rewarding 4 years of my life. On my business birthday each year, I like to take the opportunity to reflect on the biggest business lesson I’ve learned.
I founded Ad Florem in 2015 because I wanted to help leaders rediscover their capacity to thrive. I’m incredibly grateful for all my clients, past and present who have helped me to realise that purpose. However, what’s been incredibly interesting to me is how running this business has also helped me to rediscover my own capacity to thrive.
I’ve learned this year that, as rewarding as it is to put everything you have into your work, you have to know when it’s time to step back and focus on you.
What I’ve learned – taking time out is important
This year I’ve experienced first-hand how it feels to be drained.
Physically, emotionally, mentally.
This business year started very shortly after my significant emotional event. Losing someone I loved left me shaken to the core. Handling the necessary administration on top of grieving was incredibly hard.
In the end, I had to take a step back and make more time for self-care.
Taking a step back during a difficult time is often necessary, but this experience highlighted to me just how important it is to take care of yourself all the time. Not just when you think you need it the most.
I love my work, but when I don’t take enough time just for me, I don’t bring my best self to work. Which is completely out of alignment with my personal values.
We live in a world where we sometimes glorify the ‘hustle.’ But the truth is, you can’t deliver your best work if you’re not energised.
I don’t just mean getting enough sleep. Sleep is essential, but recharging is about more than just good quality sleep. Making time to do what we love is very important. Unfortunately, it’s often last on our overwhelmingly long ‘to-do’ lists.
This year, I learned that it should be first on the list and not last.
I’ve learned time for self-care is never wasted time. It’s an investment in myself that pays me back a hundredfold in the form of increased energy, better mental health, and improved productivity.
What I’ve learned – reflecting, recharging, refocusing
To make sure I’m taking enough time for me, I like to follow the 3 steps that I use with my clients: Reflect, Recharge, and Refocus.
Taking regular time to reflect allows me to figure out what’s working in my business, and what isn’t. Like most people, I don’t have endless time, so I keep it short. That way, I know I can always fit it into my day.
I ask myself the following questions:
- How do I rate my performance on a scale of 1-10?
- What did I do particularly well?
- If I was repeating the task, what would I do differently, and why?
I try to do this every day whenever I can. It keeps me focused on what really matters in my business and how I can improve.
This is the part where I prioritise my ‘me time.’ What your self-care time looks like will vary depending on what you love to do. Personally, I enjoy spending time just quietly watching the sunset. It always makes me feel relaxed and recharged.
Just like reflection, I make sure I do this regularly. I aim to take a little time for me daily. That might be watching the sunset, or a nice walk at lunchtime. It might be a catch-up with an old friend, or reading a good book. If I can fit in a few of these, then it’s a great day!Whatever the activities are that recharge you, commit to making time for them regularly. #selfcare Click To Tweet
It’s important you’re recharging your batteries frequently.
You wouldn’t charge your mobile phone once, and then expect it to last three months before charging it again, would you? Or your laptop? And you definitely wouldn’t only give it enough time to charge halfway, but then expect a full 24 hours usage.
I’m always working to the best of my abilities when what I’m working on aligns with my personal goals and values. It’s amazing how your focus can shift to things that don’t really matter if you’re not keeping a regular eye on things.
By committing to refocus regularly, I make sure that I’m directing my energy to the right things. For me, the right things are those that align with my values and bring me closer to my business goals. Reflection helps me identify what these are, but a good refocus session helps me prioritise my time properly.
Here’s to another rewarding year!
For all its challenges, I’ve found this year incredibly rewarding. I’m a much stronger person and coach for it. I’ve learned how to take care of myself, and that the business won’t fall apart if I take a little time for me.
In fact, it’s going from strength to strength, with a lot of exciting developments coming up over the next 12 months.
I’m looking forward to seeing just what the next 12 months will bring!
Andrea helps you focus on leading yourself first, so you can be a great leader. Start getting your regular dose of leadership tips and inspiration with the ‘Leadership Breather’ – encouraging you to give yourself a breather and take 5 minutes for you.