7 Ways I Deal With Fatigue as a Leader

I posted previously on what happens when I’m tired. It isn’t pretty. (See that post HERE.) I hear someone say every day “I’m so tired”. It’s epidemic it seems. There appears to be a lot of fatigue in our world these days.

I know it’s true of those in ministry. I have often been asked how to deal with the issue, besides the simple answer of rest.

Here are 7 ways I have for dealing with fatigue:

Routine checkup

Make sure you are regularly getting medical checkups from your physician. Many health issues have fatigue as a symptom. Make sure something isn’t physically causing your fatigue. (Depression could even be causing you to fatigue quickly.) I go to my doctor twice a year – once for a full checkup and once to checkin with my doctor. Recently, at my full physical, my doctor and I determined I might need a personal trainer to meet some of the health goals I have. It’s been a good suggestion so far. I am not an expert in this area. This post is designed to help you, but I’m not the one to look to for the concluding answers here. I certainly encourage the professionals in this area of your life.

Exercise and Weight Control

For me, this is absolutely essential in being effective in ministry. Exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy weight helps me stay energized and feel better. I wrote an extensive post about that HERE. You can be smart about this. Although I think exercise is worth building your schedule around, you can find clever ways to exercise. I wrote about that HERE.

I watch what I eat

Junk food slows me down. Healthy foods build me up. I’m not an expert here either, and I don’t practice this as I should, but there are plenty who are equipped to help know what to eat and what not to eat. I do know this – what we eat does make a difference in how we feel and most of us know what foods slow us down. The more we learn to fill our bodies with foods, which help us feel more alive the less fatigue we will experience and the more effective we will be as leaders.

I get plenty of rest/sleep

Rest had to be on the list. Rest is an ultimate solution to coping with fatigue. The body signals it has reached a point where rest is needed. God designed us for this. Sometimes a short nap or extended night’s sleep is the needed response.  Sometimes NOT watching the last television show before we go to bed is a better option. In the past few years I have strived for at least seven hours of sleep a night. I can tell when I don’t get it.

I take frequent and intentional mind-breaks

If your job requires you to think deeply, taking short mind breaks is often helpful. Stopping to meditate and pray – at the beginning for the day or during the day – keeps your mind focused and energized. I accomplish exercise with this one too. I have on my Fitbit an alarm feature to alert me when I’ve gone almost an hour without at least 250 steps. I get up, walk around, and return to my desk. I also change projects throughout the day to keep my mind from wearing me out physically. Sometimes I step outside and breathe the fresh air or, depending on the type of the fatigue, even go for an afternoon walk or time on the elliptical.

Proper preparation

Having a plan for your day and week helps to cut down on unnecessary time wasters. You’ll work smarter and feel less exhausted when you begin prepared. Take time to organize yourself for efficiency. (Read a similar post HERE.)

Prioritizing my life and work

You can’t do everything. Remind yourself you’ll do better quality work if you aren’t trying to do it all. Begin each day with a realistic outlook of what you can complete for the day. Try to complete the most important things on your list first, before your energy is drained for the day. Say no to things someone else can do.

Leading today (actually life today) requires a lot of energy. I meet so many people who don’t have the energy they need to get through the day. I realize there are seasons in life where this is unavoidable, but we should strive to keep ourselves healthy enough to be productive and enjoy life.

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Ron Edmondson

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Join the discussion 18 Comments

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  • Davis says:

    I feel fatigue after reaching home doing works in office. It's indeed a bad feeling but real ways provided here seems very inspiring to get rid of such boring sickness. Thanks mate for helpful suggestions.

  • A. Amos Love says:

    Ron

    Much agreement with…
    “I hear someone say every day “I’m so tired”. It’s epidemic it seems.”
    “I know it’s true of those in ministry.”

    In my experience, most of the fatigue that comes to those in ministry is spiritual. Man doing his own works. Creating their own difficult yokes and picking up heavy burdens that Jesus never asked them to. They wind up in bondage to the “Traditions of men,” that make Void the word of God. They have “Titles” that place heavy burdens on shoulders that Jesus never asked His Sheep to carry.

    Instead, God asks WE, His Ekklesia, go to Him to give us rest, to labour to enter into His Rest…
    By ceaseing from our own works. And taking His Yoke which is easy and His Burden which is light.

    Heb 4:9-11 KJV
    There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.
    For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.
    Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.

    Mat 23:28-30 KJV
    Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I (Jesus) will give you rest.
    Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; (Follow His Example)
    for I am meek and lowly in heart: (Could His Rest come when you’re meek and lowly in heart.)
    and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
    For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

    How many today, in ministry, are meek and lowly in heart? Clothed with humility? 1Pet 5:5 KJV.
    Humility – Dictionary – a modest or low view of one's own importance.

    Man becomes busy setting goals, thinking they are important, and labouring to meet those goals. To impress. To achieve. To be recognized. To be known as successful. To feel good about ones labors. To feel significant. To produce. All those things highly esteemed among men but abomination in the sight of God. Luke 16:15 KJV.

    And when Man does NOT live up to our own expectations, or the expectations of others…
    When the dream, the goals, become overwhelming, NOT working, people NOT following…
    Discouragement becomes a constant companion and Fatigue sets in…

    Whose yoke and burdens are you under? If it’s NOT easy? If it’s NOT light?

    Jesus said – “My yoke is easy. My burden is light.

    When you believe the lie you start to die…

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