As a bookkeeper, my end of financial year is all about payment summaries, TPAR, superannuation,…
How Your Feeling Tired Can Be to the Advantage of Your Business
What do you usually do when at some point during the day you start to feel really tired and your brain just doesn’t want to cooperate? Do you take notice of the signs as your mind and body plead with you to take a break?
Or do you push on, risking that you’ll start making silly mistakes and bad decisions? If you do so, you’re also likely to slow down, become irritable, and perhaps cross with your team members for no good reason.
If you make this a habit, you may eventually reach a point of exhaustion from which it takes a really long time to recover. We can’t cheat the laws of nature. The physical and mental energy we use up at work must be replenished at some point.
Unfortunately, the laws of small business don’t always respect nature. Few of us can put work aside with a good conscience every time we feel tired. Facing many demands in our businesses and lives, we feel compelled to do something productive all day and every day.
Even if we’re aware of the benefits of taking regular breaks, taking our mind off work is not easy. (Studies show that entrepreneurs who are running their first business find it especially difficult to unplug.)
If you can identify with this, I have some good news for you. You can make amazing progress even when you don’t realise you’re working. And sometimes feeling tired can really help.
Here are four things you can achieve when you feel too tired to think straight:
1. Think creatively
You might have noticed that when you feel tired it’s easier to get lost in your thoughts. As your critical conscious mind takes a break, your unconscious has the opportunity to roam free and come up with the most creative ideas. This mental state is a similar to what you experience just before you fall asleep, with alpha waves washing over your brain. Have you ever surprised yourself by dreaming up some really original stories or perhaps a beautiful piece of art or music, during these half-awake / half-asleep moments?
2. Solve problems
It’s nearly impossible to find solutions to a problem while you’re fixated on it. But once you stop trying too hard – perhaps because you’re too tired to focus – you become more receptive to new ideas. While your mind takes a break from delving into the problem and meanders into uncharted territory you may experience some real epiphanies. I’m sure you agree – sometimes answers can came to us from the most unusual places, in moments when we least expect them.
3. Grow as a person
Being very tired can be a great time to evolve your thinking and grow as a person. Tony Robbins is famous for running full-immersion personal development training programs where participants are still in the room well after midnight, tackling problems and making decisions. This is not just to save time. As your conscious mind retreats, your unconscious is left without a gatekeeper and thus opens up to suggestions. In this state of mind it’s also easier for some people to get in touch with their intuition.
4. Build better relationships with others
Another benefit of our inner voices quieting down is that we become more present. It’s indeed nicer to appreciate the world around us without the constant inner commentary. You might have noticed that late at night you can listen to others more openly and develop deeper connection with people, even without the alcohol. You may also find it easier to express yourself authentically, as you don’t have the energy to overthink things or worry too much about what other people make of you.
+1 Get done with the boring stuff
And here is a bonus tip – in case you’re seriously pressed for time and can’t afford not to work. Feeling tired may help you get in the mood for doing those boring repetitive tasks that you have no patience for when you feel fresh. For example, I’m a creative type of person and so crunching data can bore me stiff. However, when I feel really tired, I can actually enjoy going through my numbers and filling in forms.
You might want to create your own list of ‘mindless’ but important tasks that you can do on autopilot, so that when you get tired you don’t even need to think about what to do next.
I hope that after reading this you’ll feel more at ease when you take time off work and you’ll start to appreciate all the good things that can come to you when you allow yourself to rest. I look forward to hearing your stories.
“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"
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