Managing a tired day at work

Weekends can be exhausting! Combine it with a very hot day and very warm night and a decent sleep can be almost unattainable. That’s been the pattern of the last few days. Now I’m at work and my creativity is impacted greatly. I still want to be productive so what’s the plan?

Simple – low hanging fruit. Go for the easy stuff – updates to reporting, grunt work like updating tickets or servers. Installing new PCs, setting up phones using an established procedure, or new accounts – all that rote work that has to be done and inspires boredom. I’m getting it done and still being productive as I do it, even though I’m ready for an afternoon nap. I tell you this because it’s an example of systems thinking. No matter what, work still gets done, even if its not the big flashy project or the genius IT work with the massive kudos from everyone. All these activities still need to be completed and where they might take only a half hour here and there, when I’m tired I can just hammer away at it for a couple of hours and get lots of these things done.

I’ve logged quite a few tickets and indicated I’d get to them in the next day or two, buying me time to come back up to my scintillating best. Failing that, I’m smashing all the easy stuff. Along with this, one can always do reporting or updating dashboards. The boss likes this and so I’m still winning, even if I’m struggling with a need for a snooze! Tomorrow when I’ve had a decent (hopefully) rest, then I’m right to get into the complicated stuff and kick some much bigger goals – understanding of course that the smaller tasks I’m doing now are still building towards these goals in their own tiny way. It reminds me of the speech at my graduation where the central theme was “Rome wasn’t built in a day, but they laid bricks every hour”. Doing enough of these smaller things has meant advancement in a group of areas. Pretty handy really when I’m not feeling up to a huge, retina detaching display of awesomeness (not that this happens – I’m just being hyperbolic!)

OK so back to the point – just because you’re tired doesn’t mean you can’t get things done, you just have to scale back on expectation and assess accurately what small tasks can be completed while you wait to get back in the game in a big way. It’s no different to being with kids at home after a rough night. Picking up a few toys and putting them away, or doing a bit of cleaning – these things add up. Of importance is to manage your energy and not get stressed by it. Some days you’re pumping and others you aren’t. Link this to the tasks on your plate and I bet you’ll still finish the day with a sense of accomplishment!

Cover image from Pexels – I wish it were me on that branch! Check it out here:


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