How to lead yourself

Has this ever happened to you?

The stress of 24/7 connectivity and work compulsion has been a challenge for a while now. In 2022 it has been compounded by emerging out of the pandemic, into the new world of inflation and interest rate hikes. Then, with money tightening, we feel pressured by the filtered lives of others we see on social media.

How can we have it all, we ask ourselves?

The statistics attest to this feeling. A September Microsoft Work Trends Index found 62% of Australian employees were reported to be experiencing burnout, whilst the June ELMO Employee Sentiment Index indicated that 70% of Australian workers believe the cost-ofliving pressures are negatively impacting their wellbeing.

Here’s the thing – some things are out of our control (the economy) and “having it all” is something of a fallacy. It’s true, we all have the same amount of time, but time is also a finite resource. Having it all means prioritising what is important to you and making the commitment to yourself to honour those priorities.

The first step is to lead yourself:

  • Define your goals and write them down. Engage someone to make you accountable for these goals
  • Practice mindfulness and journalling as a daily ritual
  • Have a tribe that support you
  • Use technology to your advantage, but do not let it control you
  • Manage your time. Commit to the ‘big rocks’ in your calendar and be firm with yourself and others about your non-negotiables
  • Delegate. Are you really the only one that can do it?
  • Sleep and exercise do wonders.

How can PKF help you? Working smarter not harder is something we are passionate about:

  • Pick up the phone. As business advisers we are uniquely placed to offer insights based on our experience. If we cannot help you, we may know someone who can
  • Engage in a mentoring or coaching relationship. Many of our partners offer mentoring and coaching support to keep you accountable
  • Implement an advisory board. Rather than ‘going it alone’, surround yourself and your business with different skill sets and experience to navigate your plans and challenges
  • If your stress is around cashflow management, do you have a three-way budget in place and is this monitored against actuals?
  • Are your systems, technology, and controls working for you or against you?
  • As a business owner, are your key management personnel equipped to assist you in managing your business?

Sometimes things feel out of control, and you may need more support:

  • Many workplaces offer Employee Assistance Programs to provide access to counselling services
  • Beyond Blue has an abundance of free resources online
  • The government is funding NewAccess for small business owners, which is a guided self-help mental health coaching program.

The first step to leading a team and a business is to lead yourself. What tools are in your toolkit?

If you or someone you know is at risk of harm, call Lifeline now on 13 11 14. You can also contact Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636; Headspace on 1800 650 890; or The Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467.

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