Using your Strengths to Work through Exhaustion

In Agile, Get Stuff Done, How to, Productivity, Virtual Office by Jennifer BaileyLeave a Comment

It’s happening again. Your ability to finish a sentence has become difficult, it doesn’t seem like you are getting anywhere on completing one simple task, and you are becoming easily distracted. Did you guess it yet? That’s right… these are the symptoms of burnout!

The truth is it’s not the first – or the last – time that this will happen. But your project isn’t done, and you have to keep going.

I will admit, I’m not the ideal poster child for being refreshed and full of energy. After all, I work from a virtual office and take care of four kids, all 7 and under.

But that is why it is SO IMPORTANT to master the concept of GSD (Get Stuff Done!!!). When you are tired, you don’t think clearly and you aren’t effective at getting the job done to completion, or even worse, creating marketing that is done right and has the potential to be effective.

Being responsible for work and home life simultaneously has taught me a few things about how to handle exhaustion, and how to identify and use your strengths to work through it and get the job done.

So, here we go: how do you deal with being tired at work?!

Get Comfortable in Your Work Environment

You already know that your work environment is an essential part of your performance. Everybody has different needs (of course), and only you know where and how you can be most productive. So get in your space. You know – the one where you can get in the zone and truly focus.

For me, I need different environments at different times. Did you know that people have proven to be more productive with details in a room with a low ceiling, while a room with high ceilings is essential for creative minds?

When I am feeling especially creative I like to find a new environment to work from, like a local coffee shop or sometimes just my back deck. If I am having an especially hard time focusing on a big-picture project I get my Dry Erase markers out and take it to my glass table to draw my thoughts – or sometimes even just a notepad and a pen are more productive for me than a computer screen.

But when I am tired- my favorite work environment is my home office, where a pair of slippers are waiting for me. My desk is often cluttered from the week but personally, I choose not to care. I have colleagues, however, who cannot function at all with a messy work environment – so straightening up is essential for them before they can continue.

And don’t forget – you might need a cup of warm coffee, and a healthy snack always helps (even though you are probably going to want something salty or sweet!)

Take a Break

Let your break be whatever it needs to be. I mean, unless you are rushed on a deadline of course. Sometimes my breaks are a brisk walk around the house. And other times I can’t go back to my computer desk until I have fully de-compressed, which may be later that day or in the evening.

I might take a short break and read a chapter in an inspirational book (instead of a how-to), or just play Dr. Mario on my iPhone! And my long breaks often include baking or getting creative with dinner.

Using your strengths to your advantage when you’re tired

Here at Story, we use an Agile project management method, instead of a traditional waterfall approach. This makes it easy to move tasks around and focus on things you are capable of completing at that time. If I need to move a deadline, I have the freedom to do that as long as it works for the rest of my team.

But whether you are using agile or something else, this is where your strengths come into play. Not only can you use your mood to your advantage but your day-to-day stress levels can also have an impact on your psychological abilities.

Let’s use some examples, shall we:

  • Happy = get in your creative space
  • Sad = do some critical thinking
  • Anxious = prepare for a presentation
  • Mad = take action on something you’ve been avoiding

Marketing is hard, let your moods help you

In the marketing field, a single person can go from strategic planning to content creation and then data analysis or even software implementation.

Face it, marketing can be HARD WORK! No wonder you are so tired!

So, next Friday afternoon at 2 pm when you are feeling exhausted like you cannot complete your tasks, remember to harness the power of your multiple abilities to do different kinds of tasks at different times of the day or week. And in the end, care for yourself first – that task will still be there on Monday morning!

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