How to Get Going When You Are Feeling Dead and Tired

Do you ever have those days when you feel dog tired and your brain is flatlining? That was me today. I didn’t do anything out of the ordinary or eat anything unusual yesterday and I got my normal amount of sleep. It’s just one of those things. When this happens it seems like even the the littlest things are overwhelming. Today I had to dismantle and fix the stairs on our deck. A job that probably should have taken two hours ended up taking the whole day. I was moving slowly and every once of it, from getting the tools to moving things around, was a total chore.

Rest When You Really Need To
When you are in these moods you have two choices. The most obvious and tempting reaction is to assume you need rest, cancel all meetings, procrastinate and hit the couch. Unfortunately prior commitments mean veg-ing out is usually is not an option and besides I tend to think we are innately lazy and if we get into the habit of gearing down every time our brain says we are tired, we’d never leave the bedroom. Not that rest is bad. If you are very active, you need rest to recuperate but the rest is usually measured in hours not days.

Laziness is nothing more than the habit of resting before you get tired. ~ Mortimer Caplan

So that leads to the second option: kick-start yourself, somehow, anyhow. When I need to get going I do whatever I can to trick my brain into getting out of the way. The secret is to get moving. Any movement will do. Climb the stairs. Do some yoga stretches. Do some dishes. Tidy up a room. Anything small that you won’t resist too much and gets the blood going. Whatever you do, stay away from the couch. It will feel too good and once you are there, it will feel like a seat belt has locked you in place. You won’t get up.

Determine never to be idle… It is wonderful how much may be done if we are always doing. ~ Thomas Jefferson

So today I fought up the lazy-bug and got the stairs done. I even managed a workout after supper (although I totally mailed it in). Once you start moving you get warmed up and feel better about tackling the rest of what you have to do. Once you are in motion, your brain tends to accept that you are moving and stops trying to keep you in low gear. Don’t worry about being at your peak. I often find that there is a snowball effect and I get into my normal high gear without even noticing. The key is to take baby steps and just get moving. Let the dominoes start falling.

This works for me big time and rather than feeling like I need a lot of rest days, I rest once in a while and feel energized and productive almost all the time.



5 Responses to How to Get Going When You Are Feeling Dead and Tired
  1. Sal Greco
    May 17, 2011 | 00:52

    Espresso Shot Dude!!!!  It is my 2 (3 if you include Dude) word answer to your question.

    I know that if I make a delicious espresso… That equals blog post done, chapter in eBook done, whatever I need to get done… DONE!!!!

    Also, most importantly… JUST GET FREAKIN STARTED…  I am amazed of how much I do, once I JUST start it. 

    Surfs up,

  2. Sal Greco
    May 17, 2011 | 00:57

    YES YES YES…. Get MOVING it is huge… Just move your body around, stretch, jumping jacks, dance moves, anything!!!!

    I love the point on being “innately lazy, and getting used to powering down”.

    I JUST found myself making excuses to push things till tomorrow… Great insight man, now I will make sure to NOT make a habit of being lazy.

    Just grabbed the RSS, I got a feeling I am going to like a LOT of what you say!

    Surfs up,

  3. Eliot Burdett
    May 17, 2011 | 01:36

    Sal – thanks for dropping by – I haven’t had caffeine in a couple of years so I imagine if I had an espresso today I would be able to leap to the space station without the shuttle. Just get started – absolutely agree!

  4. Eliot Burdett
    May 17, 2011 | 01:41

    Thanks for the kind words. Jumping jack are the best! I gotta think Star Jacks give the central nervous system a jolt too ! Just do it.

    btw- Loved your comment on Jacob’s site about the Renaissance folks like Da Vinci and Franklin being world changers. I’ve studied those guys and dig what they had to say. Your comment puts things in perspective.

  5. Eliot Burdett
    May 17, 2011 | 02:16

    Joking aside, caffeine messed up my sleep and rest cycles so I quit coffee, tea, chocolate and anything with caffeine. When you don’t consume caffeine, you don’t need it to get you going – your body adjusts to do its thing without caffeine – it’s all in your head. Literally 🙂

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