Leaders must continually keep their eyes on the horizon and drive their business toward the future while still leading in the present. It’s a difficult balance, planning for tomorrow while still appreciating today.
However, if we constantly live in the future, we miss what’s going on now, and the “now” is what we were dreaming about in the past. It’s finally here, but you’re not.
Do you find yourself saying or thinking these things?
- When _____ happens, I can relax and enjoy my work and/or my life.
- That accomplishment was great, but…
- Whew! That was great but there’s not much time to celebrate. We’re already behind on that next project!
- I need to be doing more/learning more.
- I don’t have a lot going on this week. I’m bored.
- I need to find some things to fill up my idle time.
If so, then we’re a lot of alike! We work hard and accomplish a lot, but we’re so focused on accomplishing things that we don’t pause to enjoy our accomplishments, which leads us to quickly feeling burnt out and anxious and our teams feeling unappreciated and unfulfilled.
So, how can we consciously pause to enjoy the present? Here are some actions I’ve been trying to take to remain present and thankful for today.
- Make time to reflect on what you have accomplished. If you have to, schedule it until it becomes a habit.
- Ask yourself, “What do I love about today? What do I want to stay the same?”
- Write down things that you want to do when you have extra time. When you find yourself with idle time, pull that list out.
- Find an accountability buddy so you can remind one another to live in the present. Ask each other questions about today’s successes and what you appreciate the most.
Living in the present is a matter of mindset, and if we learn to do it, we will be more content and our teammates will feel more fulfilled and appreciated.