Paul Hargreaves: It’s not selfish to care about yourself
I remember for many years always falling ill a few days before Christmas. It was a bit like some kind of badge of honour of having worked myself into the ground in order to collapse at Christmas. I now think back to how ridiculous this was and also not appreciated by my family either. So in what will be my last thoughts here before Christmas I am encouraging you here to take care of yourself and slow down.
A theme for me this year has been “Doing less and achieving more”. Many of us run around like the proverbial blue-arsed fly thinking that in our busy-ness in itself has some kind of virtue. It doesn’t. Often we can achieve more with periods of reflection and inactivity which then means our activity is more purposeful when we get on with it. Now, I am not advocating laziness at all. Anyone that knows me would know that. Hard work is necessary in order to achieve things in life. I am simply suggesting that sometimes we need to stop and retrain our minds to see that constantly running around is not good for us long-term or short-term.
I was in a meeting yesterday when I described how within our business we have moved some of the decision-making away from the management team and to other people within the business. He said, “How did you find that?” with a look of surprise on his face. I hadn’t really thought about it as delegation has always been natural for me, but in talking to other business leaders more recently I wonder whether I am in the minority. Some people seem to find it very difficult to delegate and there seems to be a correlation between these people and those that run around like headless chickens. In the end much of this comes down to trust, but I have written about that elsewhere.
For now, it is just to ask yourselves whether there are things you are doing on a day-to-day basis that would be best done by others giving you more time to think and reflect and take your team or business forward. It is not selfish to take yourself off for a walk in the middle of the day, or to spend an hour reading an inspiring book or even to have a massage. You will be able to give more and lead better if you care for yourself.
Have a restful and peaceful Christmas and do less in 2020.