Okay, sometimes it happens – the crazy train! We have a project deadline handed to us by our boss, or we are the boss and a new opportunity has arisen that commands our attention, or perhaps we have indeed left some things to the last minute and yes, we find ourselves working long hours quickly getting seduced into overwhelm and fatigue. Working sixteen hour days is not something I advocate however it can happen.
I recently read an article where a start-up maven was lamenting how her ‘started in my kitchen’ business had now become an eight-figure behemoth which demanded sixteen hour days, six days per week. Her energy was low, she was feeling flat, and rundown; unfortunately, she was at the stage of growth, that any successful company goes through, where she needed to maintain that level of schedule for a period of time to placate customers and investors. Working passionately for a cause can at first fuel us though after an extended period of time, it can be draining. What once excited us, can become that source of potential burnout.
If you find yourself working long hours to hit a deadline, I suggest the following five-minute, or less, hacks to clear your head, up your energy, and prevent burnout.
Long days indoors inhaling recycled air can be draining. Even if it is minus twenty, throw on your coat and get yourself outside. Fresh air can be especially energizing and boost your productivity.
Meditate and Pray
Numerous studies illustrate that taking just a few minutes to close our eyes and release the cares of the day can be incredibly energizing and help us re-focus.
Dehydration is incredibly exhausting. A fatigue headache could easily be a dehydration headache. Hydrating throughout the day will give you energy.
There are numerous plant-based superfoods on the market – spirulina, chlorella, maca, acai, and more can be found in most juice bars and health food stores. If you work in an office, prepare some green food smoothies and drink one in the mid-morning and one in the mid-afternoon.
Move Your Body
We hear it all the time, ‘sitting is the new smoking.’ Sitting for long periods of time can drain your energy. Get up and walk around for even five minutes. You will clear your head and get your heart pumping fresh blood to the extremities.
Yerba Matte or Green Tea
I love a good strong cup of coffee in the morning however after I have had that initial cup, I cannot do coffee for the rest of the day. Yerba Matte, or Green Tea, is caffeinated however it will not likely give you the same buzzy energy as coffee and it is much gentler for the body.
Call a Friend
If you have a friend who is fun, and energetic, call them. Make some plans that you can look forward to after you hit your goal.
Book a Reward
If you are going for a goal, or have a project deadline, that you know is going to cause you to work long days, book a reward of some sort; something that you can look forward to. Whether it is a massage, a trip to the zoo with your kids, or something larger, taking a few minutes and booking something special will give you energy and offer up an event to look forward to.
Lastly, if you are working long days, do not lose sight of why you are doing it. In a perfect world, we would never work sixteen hour days however sometimes life happens. From someone who used to be the top performing sales manager in a global chain and has herself worked more than a few sixteen hour days know that if you consistently nurture your body and your mind, you are always more capable than you can even imagine.
If these tips are helpful, please leave some comments below. Yup – we read them!
Susan Sly is a keynote speaker, best-selling author, entrepreneur, and mother of five. She resides in Scottsdale, Arizona. Susan is available for corporate consulting, and speaking, on the topics of work-life balance, time management, productivity, and transcending challenges.
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