3 Questions Managers Should Ask Themselves Each Morning

As a manager, your job often extends far beyond the job description.

Beyond juggling your calendar and your own workload, you also have to be prepared to step up to the following:

  • Cheerleader

  • Motivational Speaker

  • Therapist

  • Cat Herder

  • Paper Pusher

  • Auditor… we could go on, and on, and on…

Most leaders today find themselves overwhelmed by their day-to-day duties. A 2017 study by Mercer found that only half of managers and leaders feel they have enough time to do a quality job.

If you know you aren’t performing at 100%, what are you doing to change that?

With our lives being connected 24/7 and burnout rates at an all-time high, it’s no surprise to anyone that recent trends focused on self-care and self-reflection are popping up everywhere, but what are you doing to provide yourself a little self-improvement at the office? Instead of spending all of your time on THEM, it might be time to spend a little time on YOU.

Now, of course, we know that’s easier said than done! So let’s start small, with a few simple questions:

1. Have I set myself up for success today?

It sounds cheesy, but so many days are ruined before they even get started. Impossible meeting schedules and task lists make anyone feel frazzled. If you are feeling overwhelmed before you’ve even started, take a step back. Take a look at your calendar and your to-do list and strip it down to what’s critical for today. You’ve already Marie Kondo-ed your closet, now it’s time to take that philosophy to your calendar. Protect your time and block off time to get necessary tasks completed. Define your finish line before you get started.

2. Am I leading by example?

The easiest way to be a better manager is to follow your own rules - practice what you preach! Whether it’s punctuality, transparency, recognition, or honesty, think about what you value in your employees and make sure you’re meeting their expectations as their manager. If your values and actions align, the impacts will automatically reverberate through your team.

3. Is there anything I need to communicate with my team today?

Oftentimes, the lack of transparency between leadership and an organization is unintentional. It happens; we get busy and move on to the next task without passing along a message. Ask yourself each day, is there information I should be sharing? Maybe it’s something as simple as an article that would be helpful, or accolades that were mentioned out of earshot. Taking a few minutes to reflect will help you ensure that your employees have the necessary information to do their best work, and it will open doors of communication and make you more approachable as a manager in the future.

The manager-employee relationship is just like any other - you have to make sure you are taking care of yourself, as well as the others! Self-reflection and growth are critical but don’t be too hard on yourself. We’re all a work in progress!

What tips and tricks do you have for avoiding burnout in the workplace?

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