"You're going to wake up to bad news and some unpleasant surprises, and that can affect your entire rest of the day. That's why you need to cool off to calm down, to collect your thoughts and manage your emotions before you dive into work mode. Athletes call it getting their heads right or putting on their game face. World-class athletes do something else, too. They're very purposeful about how they warm up. Before a round starts. A golfer goes to the range and they don't start hitting long shots. They start by hitting easier, shorter shots.
They warm up. They do simple, slower movements first, and they ease into the more demanding shots later. Doesn't take long, but it does take intention.
As a manager, you want to tackle the harder stuff earlier in the day. That's when you have more focus, patience and energy. But to be at your best early in the day, you'll need a good warm-up routine, too. Three things you can do.
- First thing is this: Focus on your body. You want to get the blood flowing, and it doesn't take much. Even a short walk will release some endorphins that are going to relax you and improve your mood.
- The second thing you do is this. In fact, you can do it on that short walk. Engage someone with positive intent. Give positive feedback. Offer encouragement. Be appreciative. Positive human interaction is going to trigger positive emotions, and those positive emotions are going to build positive energy.
- And the third thing is this: Now you're relaxed, feeling good, and you've got some positive energy. Ease into your to-do list. Tackle a few easier tasks. Grab some low-hanging fruit. Check a couple of the boxes on your to-do list. You want a few quick wins because they'll build a little momentum, confidence, and motivation.
Remember, some days you'll be working in the office, some days from home, and some days you'll be traveling. Whatever the case, though, to get in the high performance zone, you got to warm up. If you work remotely, it's easy to just dive right in.
You haven't given yourself a proper warm up. You haven't put your game face on. You're not a professional athlete, but you're a professional manager. And you need a pre-game routine, too. Remember, it doesn't take long, but it does take intention."
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