“You always look so tired…”
I probably get this comment two or three times each month. And truth be told, it’s accurate! I look exhausted 99% of the time. But that doesn’t mean I am. Tired is an interesting word. We use it to cover all kinds of conditions. Lack of sleep, excessive exertion, boredom, general fatigue, etc. Tired is everything to some people and nothing to others, because being tired is most definitely a choice. Don’t get me wrong, feeling tired isn’t exactly a choice. We all feel tired multiple times per day. Even a slight dip in our blood sugar can leave us yawning and feeling utterly defeated. However, acting tired is entirely within our control.
We can all imagine a day when we were “exhausted” at work. By noon we were convinced we couldn’t keep our eyes open yet somehow made it all the way until bedtime. Why? Well unless your boss is a lot cooler than any of mine used to be, you’d get fired for sleeping on the job. Have you ever used “I was tired” as an excuse to miss a deadline? Doubt it. Herein lies the conundrum. Everybody chooses not to give in to that “tired” feeling at some point. Many of us do it multiple times daily. The issue lies in prioritization. “Resting” takes a place in our priority structure just like any other task in our day. However, certain people prioritize “resting” over more tasks that other people would.
Ask yourself where “resting” lies for you.
“Resting” vs. Waking Up?
“Resting” vs. Going to Work?
“Resting” vs. Hitting a Deadline?
“Resting” vs. Making Dinner?
“Resting” vs. Going to the Gym?
“Resting” vs. Playing with Your Kids?
“Resting” vs. Bathing your Kids?
“Resting” vs. Doing the Dishes?
“Resting” vs. Seeing Friends?
Etc. Etc. Etc.
The fact of the matter is that once you are aware of where your priorities truly lie, you can start to change them. Start with one simple thing. Maybe it’s putting your dirty laundry in the basket each night. For me, I usually tell myself that I am “too tired” and will do it in the morning. That’s bullshit! No level of exhaustion that I have ever experienced is “too tired” to walk ten feet to the laundry basket. It’s a priority issue. And one that I need to work on. But the fact that I am aware of this issue gives me an opportunity to change it.
Once you tell yourself very honestly and seriously that being “tired” is no longer a valid excuse not to put away laundry, wash dishes, go to the gym, etc, you slowly start to change your habits. And bit by bit you develop a sort of pride in the amount that you are capable of accomplishing on a daily basis. And once that becomes a part of who you are, you become the person that doesn’t used “tired” as an excuse…for anything! That’s when you know you’ve made real change and real progress. So start small. Pick one doable task that you continually put off because you are “too tired.” Take this whole week to fix it. Hell, you may only do it right 3/7 times, but that’s one hell of an improvement from 0. Aim for 5 the next week and before you know it, it’ll be a default part of your daily routine.
1. Write down a list of tasks you frequently skip because you are “too tired”
2. Pick one small task
3. Try to fix it for one week
4. Repeat Step 3 until it’s part of your life
Once you’ve nailed one task, pick a new one. You’re on your way to a changed life. Remember, “tired” is a choice, priorities matter, and as always…
WORK SMARTER, THEN HARDER