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Quite a few managers are the first to arrive at the office and the last to leave at night. Although this may seem excessive, it is necessary for them. Here is why…
By Mia Kolia
Apparently not too many people like to spend time alone. According to a Science Magazine study, almost 1 out of 2 people feel agitated when asked to spend 6 to 15 minutes alone in a room without doing anything but just thinking. In addition, most people prefer to do something insignificant rather than nothing.
Countless research studies have shown that aloneness and leadership go hand in hand. There are certain benefits of spending time alone, which are especially important for those in a human management position.
1. Encourages creativity
In a study conducted by a group of psychologists at the University of Buffalo, people who were comfortable being by themselves scored higher in imagination and creativity. According to one of the researchers, "non -social people may not start interacting with other colleagues themselves, but they also do not seem to reject various social invitations. Therefore, they may have sufficient interaction, which enables them to enjoy their time alone. "
In another study by Nature Communications magazine, people who are at ease spending time in solitude are more likely to have increased activity in brain areas associated with reminiscence, empathy, compassion, and future design. That is particularly interesting, as empathy and strategic thinking are essential for those in leadership positions.
2. Reduces stress
It is typical for employees to feel pressure at work. In fact, since February 2021, the US Stress Institute found that 40% of workers reported that their work was very or extremely stressful, and 25% considered their job the number one stressor. But it is also a relief to read that aloneness can lead to relaxation and reduced stress when people consciously choose to be by themselves. Consequently, those in the leadership can benefit from the time they are left alone to combat stress, organize their thinking, and calm down so that they can come forward and guide their employees to the maximum of their abilities.
3. Increases empathy
Whether we sit on the Board or oversee a group of high-performing members, showing empathy and compassion can make a significant difference to our employees. 92% of respondents in a study by Businessolver said they would stay loyal to a company if their directors showed more empathy. To further good news, a Harvard study found that a specific amount of time spent alone makes a person more capable of showing kindness to others.
4. Provides time for strategic thinking
Studies have shown that 97% of business people believe that devoting time to strategy is essential, but 96% of high-ranking executives report that they do not have this precious time. They are consumed by back-to-back appointments and continuous engagements.
Overall, it is certainly worth it for leaders to explore out-of-the-box ways to spend time alone in their daily lives. For example, choosing silence during their daily commutes or lunch breaks. It is exactly the right time to ask themselves valuable questions such as, "would I want me as a leader if I were an employee?" or "how could my decision have more impact on this particular issue?"
Most successful leaders confirm that aloneness is an essential tool of evolution, but balance and measure are required. In extreme cases, leaders may lose contact and connection with their teams, which is the key to optimizing its performance and culture.
So how do we achieve the right balance? We start by trying to build a "Time Exclusion Program." First, we write down all our meetings. Then we register our appointments. After that, it would be an excellent opportunity to choose about an hour, depending on the workload and the day, to be alone behind closed doors with the mobile on silence mode and clear instructions to the PA not to be disturbed. That is one easy way to make time-alone valuable part of your daily routine.