To Be a Better Leader, Protect Your Time Away from Work…

If you can’t resist the pull of thinking about work after hours, you’re not alone. But new research shows that this tendency may not be beneficial, particularly if you’re new to a leadership role. In fact, constant rumination will lead you to feel more depleted, which your employees can pick up on. Here are some ways to create a healthy separation from work after hours.

Find ways to switch gears. Whether it’s mastering a new hobby, exercising, spending time with loved ones, or simply reading a book to relax, try investing in an activity you enjoy after hours to turn your attention away from the stress of work.

Establish boundaries between professional and personal time. Clearly delineate to your team your hours of availability—and try your best to stick to them every day. Creating guidelines for yourself about when work-related interruptions are allowed during non-work hours (e.g., what situations constitute leadership emergencies) can help you and your team understand and respect those boundaries more clearly.

Use time outside of work to rest and recover. Leadership is hard. If you’re feeling refreshed in the morning, you’ll be more equipped to take on leadership responsibilities than when you start your workday feeling drained.

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