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Ideal Week

Ideal Week

Managing your time and energy is essential to your leadership. Here is a practical way to take care of yourself and, therefore, those you lead.

Why You Need to Sleep

Why You Need to Sleep

What happens when you do not sleep? Moreover, why do we need to do it? This post will explain the science of sleep: the cause, the benefits, and why you need it more than you think.

Your First Hour

The alarm rings and you sit up, what do you do? You have two choices:

1. Hit snooze or

2. Get up

You want to get up, but you just can’t. Why is it so hard to get up?  You really wanted to get up and start your day off well. You planned a morning with purpose so your day has purpose. The alarm rings again. Now you have to get up because you are late. The first decision you made in your day you already regret because now you are hurried and the momentum of your morning will follow you all day. You rush out the door, tear down the freeway and weave past hundreds of cars. You are easily frustrated. You have no patience for people, computers, phones, reports, etc. You drop things. You forget appointments. You have a small fuse and little things set you off. And all you think about is getting back to bed. You even promise yourself you would go to bed early that night to get yourself back on track the next day.

Sound Familiar? 

According to new findings, more than a third of American adults hit the snooze button at least three times each morning, and more than half of people ages 25 to 34 press snooze daily. Furthermore, the snooze button will make you wake up sleepier then when you originally woke up. 

(Click for study

What you do in the first hour of your day sets the tone and direction for the rest of your day.

 Here are four tips for having a great first hour of the day: 

1. Get Things Prepared the Night Before.

Before you go to sleep, develop a routine. Get coffee in the pot with water and all you need to do is flip it on. Lay out your clothes. Make your lunch and put it in the fridge. Do everything you can so you don’t have to think or worry about it. Now you can relax and enjoy the morning. 

2. Get Enough Sleep.

I have a few friends who are convinced they can live off of 4-5 hours of sleep a night. I once had a conversation with a lady who napped 2-3 hours a night and spent the rest of the time working. I am not making this up! Sleep is good. Think about it: when children are growing, they sleep more; when people get sick, they sleep more. Don’t underestimate your need to sleep. Get 7-8 hours of sleep. See how good you feel. 

3. Slay your Dragons. 

Take care of the important issues right away. Work out, read your Bible, eat breakfast, etc. Click here to read my post, How to Slay your Dragons. It’s a good one.

4. Use Your Time Wisely.

Have a game plan what you would like to accomplish before the morning begins. Have a routine you like. In my ideal first hour, I would get up on time, spend some time reading my Bible, get ready before my kids are up, help my wife get the kids ready for the day, and enjoy breakfast with the family. Doesn’t that sound nice? When I use every minute of my first hour, I am intentional with my time and my family, I can accomplish my goals and stay focused throughout the rest of my day. Now on the days this doesn’t happen, it’s usually because my first choice of the day was: hit snooze. Make the better choice – GET UP!

Discipline: A Good Thing

When we think about discipline, most often we think of punishment. Negative implications are associated with this word. With little kids, discipline means a time out or a spanking. Yet, the term discipline is defined in a very different way.

Discipline is the practice or methods of teaching and enforcing acceptable patterns of behavior.

In short, Discipline is a Good Thing!

As leaders, we strive for those that we lead to learn self-discipline. Character traits such as humility, leadership, drive, motivation, and the ability to set goals, be professional, and create a culture are all impossible without discipline handed down by you, the leader.

[Side Note] – This post may be in direct response to the coach/leader that simply yells and barks orders at their athletes, other coaches, or coworkers. This coach thinks humiliation and belittling someone will teach discipline. He is wrong. A couple weeks ago I saw a coach yell at his team, “You don’t want to be good. Fine. I don’t care either!”  This was not a good moment.

The real question here is how do you effectively discipline your athletes, assistants, employees, etc.  Discipline will look different based on who your audience is. However, the following are universal truths of Effective Discipline.

1.     Be Firm

2.     Be Fair

3.     Be Consistent 

“Discipline is an opportunity to model respect, patience, and good problem solving. In the long run, you teach them to decide all by themselves to do the right thing.”

 - Centre for Children and Families in the Justice System 2004

So what does Good Discipline look like? Below are 7 Elements of Good Discipline:

1. Good Discipline Teaches

You are disciplining because you care. Remind your audience of this. Watch your tone and clearly communicate your expectations. Then ask them to fix the error.

2. Good Discipline is Not Punishment 

Punishment will not achieve lasting results because the behavior has changed due to fear. The person will learn to act a certain way when you are around. The real issue will never be resolved.

3. Good Discipline Does Not Humiliate

The motivation to embarrass by yelling, blaming, or making an example out of someone will lose your respect, trust, and credibility. You may justify it by saying, “I am teaching them a lesson.” However, the psychological effects will lower self-esteem, may lead to depression, anxiety, and more stress. Furthermore, you will deal with the issue again because nothing was taught.

4. Good Discipline is Contagious

Good discipline, once properly administered, is infectious (in a good way!). People desire discipline and want to exercise it to others. Proper discipline will help the effectiveness of the team and reveal who the leaders are. Ideally, you can sit back and let the team function.

5. Good Discipline Communicates Clear Expectations

Most frustrations on your end will come because you were not clear about what you wanted. Be clear and communicate well. When discipline is needed, remind the person your intentions and expectations again. I like to give people the chance to fix the error when possible.

6. Good Discipline is Not Passive

If you are the coach or leader that everyone loves, you may be the leader no one respects.  People truly do not want to do whatever they want, even though kids will express the exact opposite. They need boundaries, structure, and guidance. How can you enforce guidelines, rules, or polices when you let everyone do what they want? That sounds like anarchy!

7. Good Discipline Creates Problem Solvers

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” – Chinese Proverb

What does good discipline look like in your work environment?

What practical techniques do you use that have been very effective?