How many times have you been absolutely shattered but needed to keep on working at full tilt? Maybe you are in the middle of a deal which you are so near, but so far from closing? Perhaps you are involved in a negotiation where you have all agreed to ‘stay in the room’ until the deal is hammered out and signed? Unfortunately you’ve all been there for over 10 hours and the deadlock has not been broken… Textbook management theory basically says “stop working, go home and come back rested on the next day”. However, this is often not feasible when you work in the professions. Particularly if you are in the middle of a time-sensitive transaction or deal! Here are 8 ideas to help summon up the energy to keep going just for the next couple of days.
8 actions to find a little more energy to keep you going
- Look at the light. OK I’m being metaphorical, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Remember why you’re doing this. Remember how it will feel when you’re done. Think of the good stuff. Also think of the break you will take after you have got through this peak working period.
- Jokes and laughter. Don’t forget to cheer your team up too. A surprise box of chocolates can work wonders. (We found that sending chocolates to our stressed out accountants in January really helped them get those last few tax returns done!) If the people around you sound energised it will help.
- Take a break! Fifteen minutes in the sun increases your vitamin D levels. D, along with B, helps fight fatigue. Deficiencies can cause tiredness, moodiness, aches, and stress. A few rays can pep you up a bit. It doesn’t have to be desert sun, even just the fresh air in rainy wet UK January will help. Fifteen minutes really won’t make that much difference to your workload and you’ll make it up afterwards. What’s more, a brisk walk will increase your blood flow and oxygen levels
- Eat well, but small! Big, heavy meals make you want to curl up like a baby and snooze. Spacing out your meals, regular but smaller snacks helps to regulate your blood sugar and should also help increase your energy throughout the day. How to reduce work stress discussed avoiding processed, fatty foods, and sweets. Small regular food will help you keep going, no struggling till lunch time for a sandwich and then dinner when you get home shattered at 9:00 won’t do it.
- Cut the caffeine. I know it feels like you need it! If you drink a lot of caffeine, your body’s response to it will change. You could drink over eight cups and still feel sluggish, but get the headaches, irritability, dehydration, and other side effects that come with caffeine-overload. Drink more water!
- Keep moving around. Get up from your desk, walk around even just for a minute. Stretch before you sit down again. Set an alarm clock and stand up every 45 minutes.
- Destroy the distractions. Always good advice, but when you’re tired it’s even more important. Stay out of your e-mail, avoid Facebook and the host of social media I normally tell you to use. It’s easy to get distracted when you’re shattered, falling prey to diversions makes it even harder to concentrate.
- Remember nothing lasts forever. This stress is only temporary. It will be worth it in the end. Remind yourself that all you can do is live in the moment you’re in right now, refocus and go for it.
The darkest hour is just before the dawn
What helps you to just keep going?