Three Things Every Leader Needs To Do Before 2017 Draws To A Close

Now that Christmas is over, we find ourselves in the strange no-man’s-land that exists between the excitement of the Holidays and the start of the new year.

Offices are closed, clients and employees are on vacation, and entrepreneurs are often faced with the strange and frightening prospect of free time.

If you’re like me, you might find adjusting to this excess of free time a little frustrating. After all, any disruption to a well-established routine can cause heartburn for Type-A personalities.

Well, fear not my fellow Type-A entrepreneurs. I have the solution to this pernicious problem. Over the years, I’ve found that the trick to making the most of this week is to approach it with a sense of purpose, putting real effort into relaxing and recharging.

Spend some time offline

Real relaxation is difficult to achieve, due in no small part to the constant deluge of information to which we subject ourselves. Email, text, Slack messages, and social media notifications fire off in a regular cadence, constantly demanding our attention no matter where we are.

In order to gain perspective and think clearly, you have to actively distance yourself from these distractions. The only way to accomplish this is just to unplug.

This, of course, is far easier said than done. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m addicted to this never-ending flow of information.

It makes me feel connected, productive, and secure. The unfortunate reality, however, is that constant connectivity provides a false sense of comfort. We often mistake connectivity for true connection and being busy for true productivity.

Unplugging and going analog for a period can help reset your system and force you to be present in the current moment. This forced mindfulness can be challenging, but it’s the first and most important step toward relaxing and recharging.

Get back to your roots

It’s easy to forget why you started your business in the first place. After all, the demands of running an organization are often extreme and draining.

Now that you’ve unplugged and are focused on recharging, the next step is to rediscover your passion. That sounds like a gargantuan task, but I think it’s more manageable that you might think.

Start by going back to your initial source of inspiration for your business. For me, the idea for my company, BodeTree, came from the serendipitous moment where I was working on a financial model while reading Ronald Alexander’s “Wise Mind, Open Mind.”

Alexander’s classic work on mindfulness and Zen Buddhism helped inspire me to bring Zen to the world of franchising.

I truly believe that running a business from a holistic perspective can and should be simple, easy, and enlightening. That is my passion, and it is what motivates me to drive my company forward each and every day.

I’m revisiting “Wise Mind, Open Mind” this week, as I do every year around this time,  just to recapture my eureka moment and experience that moment again. If you're not sure what to read, check out my latest book, "Enlightened Entrepreneurship."

Put yourself in the right environment

As humans, we often fail to appreciate just how significant of an impact that our surroundings have on both our personality and our performance.

Our environment, whether at home or at the office, is a reflection of our inner state of mind. If your environment is a sparse, disorganized mess, there’s a good chance that those same characteristics will carry over to your work.

During the hustle and bustle of the year, it can be all-too-easy to let clutter build up, put off organizational projects, and neglect the decor of both your personal and professional space. Now that things have slowed a bit, it’s the perfect time to get your environment in shape.

Make the most of this time

The first step is to unplug for a period and simply go analog. This is easier said than done, but it’s necessary if you’re going to escape the distractions of the status quo.

Next, take the time to rediscover your passion. Get back to your roots and remember what inspired you to start your business in the first place.

Finally, make sure that your personal and professional surroundings are ready for the year to come.

As a leader, you have to take charge of your development. So, be sure to make the most of this week and start the next year off on the right foot.

Tags: Helpful Insights

Chris Myers

Written by Chris Myers

Chris Myers is the Cofounder and CEO of BodeTree and a Partner at BT Ventures. He is also a columnist for Forbes Magazine and a regular contributor for MSNBC.