I have learned over the years – many times when I’m not up to par in my leadership or life – it’s simply because I’m tired. Recognizing this is paramount to maintaining productivity and for preventing burnout.
This has been truer in 2020 than any time in my career.
When I’m tired:
I become irrational about the flaws in others,
There is difficulty concentrating.
I display less patience and get frustrated easily.
My work is less effective.
Our team suffers.
Here are 7 remedies I’ve discovered:
Take a nap (Some think you should take one everyday.)
Exercise (My adrenaline and energy grows when I sweat.)
Change perspective – Read a book, watch or listen to something other than where I’m currently working. (It can even simply be entertaining.)
Engage with motivating people. (There are people who naturally fuel others by their presence.)
Take extended time away from my work. (The busier the season the more I need to discipline myself to get away and rest.)
Evaluate my priorities – freeing myself for what’s most important. (We can easily get captivated by things of lesser importance which drain our energy.)
Call it a day and prepare for another day. (There have been days it is just best to go home and start over the next day.)
Sometimes things, which at the time seem unproductive, actually end up being among the most productive. I’ve learned I’m not very helpful to the team when I’m extremely tired. Addressing it quickly makes me a better leader. Things aren’t likely to improve until I improve.
Many leaders try to operate from an exhausted position and never realize they are the problem on the team.
Leader, be aware when you are the problem.
Don’t be afraid to admit you’re tired, leader. Most likely the team already knows it.