How To Dominate Nature and Work
So for many of you, the idea of being both a CEO and a camper might seem incongruous. However, it is not. Although it has taken me a while to figure out how to balance my work life and outdoor life (we bought our first camper six years ago), I have found a system that works exceptionally well for me. Sure, I need to tweak my patterns on occasion, but now I know how I can really master work and yet have time to enjoy nature and camping. Little habits allow me to maximize my outdoor time and be creative instead of burnt out. I share these habits and tips with you so that you can feel confident and in control whether in the woods or the workplace.
Tip number one: take care of the non stressful parts of work over the weekends. I choose to do things that are simple but still integral to my work. For example, I might set out to do seven or eight social media posts. However, I am doing these in one of my most favorite spots -a huge rock that overlooks a lake. If you follow me on Instagram, my personal page or our business page, you know how beautiful it is. I hardly feel like I am working when I am posting from there. The site always lifts my spirits, and I am happy and calm. Sometimes, I just stand and look out over the lake. Without even trying, I find that some of my most creative ideas emerge. Merely being alone in nature ignites new thoughts.
I also often do minor tasks on the weekend that take time but don't make me feel pressured. If I try to do all these tasks during the work week, it can add unnecessary pressure. When I am slammed with meetings, receiving endless phone calls and trying to cement a relationship with a new client and working on new projects, I don't want scheduling to take my time or energy. Mundane tasks feel like a total nuisance that I cannot ignore but that can make me feel behind. I always want to be 100% on my game. Setting aside some easy work for the weekends helps me dominate my workweek. For you, the tasks you might want to attack on a weekend might not involve scheduling but instead responding to non urgent messages, invoicing, doing inventory..etc. Putting in an hour here or a half an hour there can really help. If it turns out that you get invited to the lake with a friend, GO! If the little task isn’t done, it’s not the end of the world.
Some weekend mornings Rusty goes fishing, and I walk alone. I start thinking about the ways I want to move forward. Where do I want to be in three years? What responsibilities would I like to shed? What do I want to take on? I start dreaming of my future and start to believe in possibilities. Many of the ideas which emerged during those walks have turned from possibilities to realities. The time in nature has led some dreams to come true. My advice: get some alone time in nature.
During the workweek, I have also found it essential to set boundaries with my team and let them know when I am available. They don’t need to text me on the weekend to discover I won’t respond. I make it clear early on that I don't respond to texts 24/.. Everyone knows I work really hard and respond about 50 hours a week, but still I need a break. I need to be unavailable at times so I can recharge for them. I also think that by setting boundaries on my time , I set an example. I don’t expect my team to work for me 24/7 either. I want them to find a reasonable balance and get some time in nature. If I practice self care, I want them to do so as well. It’s healthy for all of us/
While I have boundaries, I also make it clear in which situations they need to be broken. If someone is in the hospital or has been in a car accident, of course I want to know. However, If a team member wants an answer to something they can find on the internet, they should not text me on a beautiful Saturday afternoon.. Anything that can be held off until Monday, should not be addressed during a weekend text. One side benefit of setting parameters as to what constitutes contacting me: my team is more resourceful. Without me, they discover their own answers and learn to be more self-sufficient. They gain confidence, and I get some time to rejuvenate in order to be a better leader..
Also, I mentor a lot of young college women who are not familiar with the 9-5 work week protocols. If in their earlier jobs they were waiting tables or doing split shifts, they are accustomed to hours going late into the night or starting early in the morning. They may be used to taking a break when business is slow and chatting when there are no customers. In a new job, they must adjust to a day which does not allow for long chit chats at two o'clock. Even if I am not in a meeting, I don't have 20 minutes to hang out and just listen to what's going on. I need to stay on task. Again, this tip involves explaining to new comers or mentees your work expectations. Being clear has led to better relationships and a more fulfilling work week.
Lastly, to improve my ability to dominate work, I hope to be able to outsource more of the jobs that take me time but don't take advantage of my strengths. Freeing myself from time consuming work, allows me to continue to work toward moving the business forward. Everyone has different jobs they might want to outsource: accounting, phone support, tax preparations...etc. I see the ability to outsource as a way to come closer to realizing my dreams. I suggest thinking about what you want to outsource. Considering possibilities helps things happen.
I used to hope that nature would help me manage my work life. That belief has since turned to fact. Having time in nature has made me a better CEO. A little planning during the week and a little planning on the weekend makes a huge difference. I hope you will try some of my tips so you too can thrive in nature and dominate the work place.
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