Self-care Lessons from the World’s Top CEOs

Learn the secrets that help top leaders solve problems and increase their focus.

Self-care Lessons from the World’s Top CEOs

The pressures of the pandemic, coupled with increasing global economic uncertainty, the rise of automation, and the reorientation of jobs, have left many workers confused and demotivated. With global burnout rates at around 49%, many workers are experiencing regular exhaustion and several others have left the workforce to refocus on mental health. Around 47% of global workers also don’t have clarity on the future of their work.

Amidst all this confusion, looking at our leaders can offer insights into how we can optimise our personal and professional lives. Reviewing the habits and self-care strategies of these super achievers can help improve our own approach for boosting health, mood, and productivity.

Let us explore the top self-care tips for mental health and wellbeing from some of the most productive individuals in the world.

1. Meditation is key, especially if you have a busy schedule

Chairman and former CEO of LinkedIn, Jeff Weiner, has a hectic schedule managing some of the most demanding aspects of a rapidly-growing company. With LinkedIn being the premier B2B networking platform for businesses, maintaining steady growth was a key objective for Jeff for over a decade.

Guided meditation has been a vital tool that has worked wonders for Jeff. Meditation helps in lowering stress, improving focus, and enhancing output. It also allows people to spend quality time with themselves in a highly relaxed and timed manner.

2. Having an early morning routine can transform our energy levels

Some of the top CEOs in the world wake up early, to benefit from the clarity gained from spending a few hours in a quieter environment. Indira Nooyi, former CEO of PepsiCo, had a morning routine that would inspire several other CEOs to follow suit. Her 4 am wake-up time helps her orient her day to achieve more.

Sundar Pichai, CEO of Alphabet, also likes to wake up early at around 6:30 am so that he can follow a set routine. His morning tea, breakfast, and physical newspaper have been a core part of his morning for decades now. Having this set morning routine allows for an organic route of self-care that helps him fuel the rest of his day.

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3. Good sleep allows us to fully tackle challenges in the workplace

Sleep is one of the most important self-care tips that CEOs can follow to supercharge their week. Jack Ma, co-founder of the Alibaba Group, believes in the power of sleep and uses it strategically to solve problems that seem too complex to focus on. Sleep allows us to achieve greater productivity as we are more rested and less stressed to approach challenges.

Sleep deprivation also makes us less productive throughout the day, while making us feel sluggish and irritable. In fact, chronic lack of quality sleep can also lower our quality of life and make us feel exhausted with our work-life situation. That is why some of the top CEOs insist that sleep is one of the best self-care tips that anyone can follow.

4. Disconnecting from the workplace helps us refocus

A unique form of self-care followed by some of the top CEOs is temporarily disconnecting from the workplace. Microsoft founder Bill Gates would often head over to a cabin in the woods to reorient his mindset by disconnecting. It is one of the top self-care tips that both entrepreneurs and professionals can follow that can radically transform energy levels.

The key areas under the direct control of the CEO can account for around 45% of the entire company’s performance, which is why having complete mental clarity is essential for consistent output. Bill’s passion for solving big challenges became fully ignited during these “Think Weeks”.

5. Driving greater productivity through engaging exercises

Exercise is a vital differentiator that Sir Richard Branson, former chairman of Virgin Group, leverages to ensure optimal energy levels for a productive day. However, far from having a strict workout, he regularly engages in sports, water-based events, jogging, and a wide range of fun activities. He prefers being outdoors when exercising for maximising his self-care routine.

Exercise is one of the most important self-care tips that is being highlighted in productivity research. It has the power to lower anxiety and stress and also helps our bodies release natural endorphins that make us feel happier for a more productive day. Making exercise engaging and fun is a core part of making it a self-care routine.

Reviewing these highly crystallised self-care lessons from the most impactful leaders can expand our horizons tremendously. By improving our self-care habits, we can have better control over the growing uncertainties around our work and enrich our professional lives holistically.

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