I’m Too Tired

23 Oct

Tiredness has to be one of the most debilitating feelings that exists and the most formidable foe to productivity. You know that physics principle that states every action has an equal and opposite reaction? Well here comes your body’s retribution for making you get up an use energy earlier than it would have preferred. Tiredness affects multiple steps in regards to productivity and self-discipline.

  • Step 1: getting your body and mind to move to where they need to be requires more willpower. It’s as if you are trying to squat 250 pounds instead of 200 when your max is 250. In reality your body is capable of lifting that weight, but it is on the edge of failure and it will likely take far more mental energy to get yourself to simply walk over to that weight and throw it over your shoulder, or in productivity terms, take that first important step to at the very least give a task your best attempt. You know you have lifted it before, but are considering whether or not it’s worth the pain and suffering required again and the potential of failure.
  • Step 2: doing the actual lifting. You squat down with that heavy bar held tight to your shoulder. The same muscles are there, but they feel weaker, more flimsy and unwilling than before. Maybe you make it back up or maybe you don’t. The point is that it was hard.

Solutions – the obvious:

  • Caffeine: The $5 or less savior of America and particularly my hometown (Seattle). Liquid motivation and drive. I say motivation and not intelligence because the quality of my work is usually the same between when I’m tired and uncaffeinated and tired and caffeinated, but it just takes less time to complete. Caffeine is only a stimulant after all.
  • A nap: The solution for those with the time. A ten to twenty minute nap can mean the difference between groggy, painful work and efficiency.  It’s healthier and less addictive as well.
  • Stress (maybe not so obvious): That feeling of urgency when you see a deadline quickly approaching and your resulting productivity. If you are reading this blog, you are most likely an unproductive person and thus are accustomed to getting things done at the last minute, whether you have a month to complete them or an hour. Another term for this increased productivity with an approaching deadline is, “Parkinson’s Law.”

Caffeine is addicting, dehydrating, and fucks with how you feel while you’re not on it. Stress is uncomfortable, annoying, and may lead to serious diseases, including depression, cardiovascular disease, and even HIV/AIDS. Naps are pretty chill, but if you need one you probably should just get more sleep, unless you want to go polyphasic on my ass and combine naps with a shorter night of sleep (or only take naps!) and sleep a total of 6, 4, or 2 hours for each 24 hour period. Seriously, don’t click those links though or you might stop reading my blog (worse for your health than all three of the above combined).

So what’s the healthy, long-lasting solution? You think I know?!

It turns out the solution is to use the same strategies that you should be using when you aren’t tired. The goal is that these strategies will have been so imbedded into your habits that being tired hardly affects your ability to approach and accomplish a task. Habits absolutely transfer over to when you’re tired, although of course it depends upon how good a job you have done of sticking to them.

A more in depth answer is sure to come soon.

See you again tomorrow at 9:00! See how I’m helping you all make me accountable? Kick my ass if I’m not back here!


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