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You Should Pick Up These After-Work Habits of Highly Successful People

You Should Pick Up These After-Work Habits of Highly Successful People

Motivational tips don’t have to be limited to your career! Check out these after-work habits of highly successful people, and see how you can change your life when you’re off the clock.

1. Explore your creative side.

Leave behind the restrictive clothes, desk, and computer when you leave the office. Wear your favorite comfortable clothes and get ready to explore your creative side! Do you like to draw or paint? Spread out on the table or floor and spend some time sketching and shading. Are you working on the Great American Novel? Take an hour or two after work to write a chapter. Practice an instrument, film silly videos, do whatever strikes your fancy! Taking time to explore your creative side will make you feel more in touch with your true self as opposed to your work self, which will in turn make you feel more refreshed and motivated when you’re at work the next day.

2. Spend time outdoors.

Fresh air and exercise will help you feel great after a day cooped up in the office. Both of these things will get your blood flowing and keep you from crashing on the couch as soon as you get in. The increased blood flow and heart rate will also inspire you to work on other things once you get home, whether it’s chores, creative endeavors, or just spending time with family.

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    3. Play a physically demanding sport.

    Spending time outside is fine by itself, as is exercising. But playing a physically demanding sport challenges other parts of you. Most physically demanding sports are partner or team sports, like tennis or basketball, so you’ll be socializing and working together as you play.

    4. Get more sleep.

    Who doesn’t love an afternoon nap? Getting more sleep will make you feel more refreshed later in the day, and even make getting up the next morning that much easier. Whether you have to go to bed earlier or slip in some short naps throughout the day, make sure you’re getting your full eight hours of sleep a day. 

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    5. Catch up with your family.

    Family time is something that often gets rescheduled because you know they’re always hanging around. Instead of taking this for granted, make time to be with your family. Even if you have to plan days in advance to have dinner together or watch a movie, do it and don’t let anything change these plans. Spending time and talking with some of the people who know you best will make you feel rejuvenated.

    6. Plan a vacation.

    What’s more refreshing and invigorating than going on vacation? Knowing you get a break from the daily grind is enough to get you through the most difficult week at work. It might sound silly, but even just planning a vacation might help you get a hint of that freedom. Research places you’d like to visit, check hotel availability, see what sight-seeing tours and museums the town offers. Even if you can’t take the trip right now, you’ll have the excitement of planning it, and you can save your notes until you get time off!

    7. Read a novel.

    Reading is a great way to unwind because you’re escaping your own life to read about someone else’s. You can travel to other countries and live there without leaving your couch. You can learn new things about other cultures and lifestyles without even realizing it because you’re having a good time reading.

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    8. Enjoy cooking dinner.

    Cooking dinner can seem like a hassle when you have to do it after putting in a long day at work. You have to plan the meal, cook it, serve it, and clean up afterwards. Instead of thinking of this as a hassle, enjoy the experience! Plan a meal that’s healthy and satisfies your cravings. Get your family to help with tasks so it gets done more efficiently, and you get to spend time together. If everyone helps with cleanup, dinner won’t be a hassle – you’ll get to be with each other and enjoy a delicious meal while doing so! 

    9. Meditate.

    It can be hard to completely clear your mind, but the more you practice, the better you’ll get at it. Take time in the morning before work and in the evening before you go to bed to sit by yourself and let the day wash over you. Don’t dwell on what did or didn’t happen. Don’t think of everything you have to accomplish tomorrow. Just be in the moment, see where your thoughts take you, and relax.

    10. Make your mornings about you.

    No one likes to hear their alarm blaring in the morning, but making mornings about you can make that sound a little sweeter. Take your time waking up, enjoy coffee and a good breakfast so you have the right start to your day. Don’t get bogged down by what you need to do that day, don’t assign chores or let your family members nag you. Encourage everyone to be quiet and calm when they wake up, and see how that helps set the tone for your day.

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    Featured photo credit: L’eau Bleue via flickr.com

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    Last Updated on March 15, 2019

    How to Be a Leader Who Is Inspiring and Influential

    How to Be a Leader Who Is Inspiring and Influential

    When I began managing people 15 years ago, I thought having a fancy title was synonymous with influence. Over time, I learned that power is conferred based on likeability, authenticity, courage, relationships and consistent behavior. When leaders cultivate these attributes, they earn power, which really means influence.

    Understanding influence is essential to professional growth, and companies rise and fall based on the quality of their leadership.

    In this article, we will look into the essentials of effective leadership and how to be a leader who is inspiring and influential.

    What Makes a Leader Fail?

    A host of factors influence a leader’s ability to succeed. To the extent that leaders fail to outline a compelling vision and strategy, they risk losing the trust and confidence of their teams. Employees want to know where a company is going and the strategy for how they will get there. Having this information enables employees to feel safe, and it allows them to see mistakes as part of the learning journey versus as fatal occurrences.

    If employees and customers do not believe a company’s leadership is authentic and inspiring, they may disengage, or they may be less inclined to offer constructive criticism that can help a company innovate or help a leader improve.

    And it is not just the leadership at the top that matters. Middle managers play a distinct role in guiding teams. Depending on the company’s size, employees may have more access to mid-level managers than they do members of the C-suite, meaning their supervisors and managers have greater influence on the employee and the customer experience.

    What Is Effective Leadership?

    Effective leadership is inspiring, and it is influential. Cultivating inspiring and influential leaders requires building relationships across the company.

    Leaders must be connected to both the teams they lead as well as to their own colleagues and managers. This is key as titles do not make a person a leader, nor do they automatically confer influence. These are earned through trusting relationships. This explains why some leaders can get more out of their teams than others and why some leaders experience soaring profits and engagement while others sizzle out.

    Eric Garton said in an April 25, 2017, Harvard Business Review article:[1]

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    “… inspiring leaders are those who use their unique combination of strengths to motivate individuals and teams to take on bold missions – and hold them accountable for results. And they unlock higher performance through empowerment, not command and control.”

    How to Be an Inspiring and Influential Leader

    To be an inspiring and influential leader requires:

    1. Courage

    The late poet Maya Angelou once said,

    “Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.”

    Courage is required in the workplace when implementing new strategies, especially when they go against professional norms.

    For instance, I heard Lisa TerKeurst, bestselling author and founder of Proverbs 31 Ministries, explain her decision to move away from her company’s magazine. While the organization had long had a magazine, she saw a future where it didn’t exist.

    In order to make the switch, she risked angering her team members and customers. She took a chance, and what started out as a monthly newsletter, has grown into a multi-dimensional organization boasting half a million followers. Had Lisa not found the courage to change the direction of her organization, they undoubtedly would not have been able to experience such exponential growth.

    It also takes courage to give and receive feedback. When leaders see employees who are not living into the company’s mission or who are engaging in behavior that may undermine their long-term success, one must risk temporary angst and speak candidly with the colleague in question.

    Similarly, it takes courage to hear constructive criticism and try to change. In business, as in life, courage is necessary for being an inspiring and influential leader.

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    2. A Commitment to Face Your Internal Demons.

    If you feel great about yourself, enter a leadership position. You are likely to be triggered in ways you didn’t think possible. You are also likely to receive feedback that may leave you second-guessing yourself and your leadership skills.

    The truth about leading others is that you get to a point where you realize that it is difficult to take people to places where you yourself haven’t gone.

    To be an influential and inspiring leader, you have to face your own demons and vow to continually improve. Influential leaders take their personal evolution serious, and they invest in coaching, therapy and mindfulness to ensure that their personal struggles do not overshadow their professional development.

    3. A Willingness to Accept Feedback

    Inspiring and influential leaders are not afraid to accept feedback. In fact, they actively solicit it. They understand that everyone in their life has a lesson to teach them, and they are willing to accept it.

    Inspirational leaders understand that feedback is neither good nor bad but rather an offering that is critical to growth. Even when it hurts or is an affront to the ego, influential leaders understand that feedback is critical to their ability to lead.

    4. Likability

    Some people will argue that leaders need not worry about being liked but should instead focus on being respected. I disagree. Both are important.

    When team members like their boss and believe their boss likes them, they are more likely to go the extra mile to fulfill departmental or organizational goals. Likable leaders are moved to the front of the line when it comes to being influential.

    Relatedly, when colleagues feel management dislikes them, they experience internal stress and can spend unnecessary time focusing on the source of their manager’s discontent versus the work they have been hired to do.

    So, likability is important for both the leader and the people she leads.

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    5. Vulnerability

    Vulnerability is critical for being an inspiring leader. People want the truth. They admire leaders who can occasionally demonstrate vulnerability. It promotes deeper relationships and inspires trust.

    When leaders can showcase vulnerability appropriately, they destroy the illusion that one must be perfect to be a leader. They also demonstrate that vulnerability is not a dirty word; they too can be vulnerable and ask for a helping hand when necessary.

    6. Authenticity

    Authenticity is about living up to one’s stated values in public and behind closed doors.

    Influential leaders are authentic. They set to live out their values and use those values to guide their decisions. The interesting thing about leadership is that people are not looking for perfect leaders. They are, in part, looking for leaders who are authentic.

    7. A True Understanding of Inspiration

    Effective leaders are inspirational. They understand the power of words and deeds and use both strategically.

    Inspiring leaders appropriately use stories and narratives to enable the teams around them to see common situations in an entirely new light.

    Inspirational leaders also showcase grit and triumph while convincing the people around them that success and victory are attainable.

    Finally, inspiring leaders encourage the teams they lead to tap into their own genius. They convince others that genius is not reserved for a select few but that most people have it in them.

    As explained in the article True Leadership: What Separates a Leader from a Boss:

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    “A leader creates visions and motivates team members to work together towards the same goal.”

    8. An Ability to See the Humanity in Others

    Inspiring and influential leaders see the humanity in others. Rather than treating their teams as mere tools to accomplish organizational goals, they believe the people around them are unique beings with inherent value.

    This means knowing when to pause to address personal challenges and dispelling with the myth that the personal is separate from the professional.

    9. A Passion for Continual Learning

    Inspiring and influential leaders are committed to continual learning. They invest in their own development and take responsibility for their professional growth.

    These leaders understand that like a college campus, the workplace is a laboratory for learning. They believe that they can learn from multiple generations in the workplace as well as from people from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds.

    Influential leaders proactively seek out opportunities for learning.

    The Bottom Line

    No one said leadership was easy, but it is also a joy. Influencing others to action and positively impacting the lives of others is a reward unto itself.

    Since leadership abounds, there is an abundance of resources to help you grow into the type of leader who inspires and influences others.

    More Resources About Effective Leadership

    Featured photo credit: Markus Spiske via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] Harvard Business Review: How to Be an Inspiring Leader

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