Fight the Fatigue Factor
Fatigue is a fiend. Like a sneaky thief, it robs you daily of precious physical, emotional and mental resources — all of which you need for succeeding in business, not to mention maintaining good health and healthy perspectives. Yet fatigue can be fought by energy managed — and this is something that you, as an effective leader, can learn to do well. Get good at “keeping that needle in the middle,” and you’ll maintain the critical balance that prevents crashing and burning. Adopt a disciplined, even-keeled approach to how you work, diet, exercise, play and rest.
As you’ve probably heard, Americans are known for overworking themselves, not resting or sleeping enough, and letting that sneaky “fatigue thief” take ‘em for all they’ve got. Studies show that over 80% of men and almost 70% of women work more than 40 hours a week. Many of us aren’t getting the recommended seven to nine hours a night of sleep, either. Without good rest, the odds go up for having a whole host of fatigue and stress-related problems, everything from increased risk of health issues to difficulties with paying attention, reacting to the environment, and absorbing, processing and recalling new information — all of which are key requirements to managing a leadership position, and carrying out countless professional roles and responsibilities.
If you’re feeling tired, worn down, or like you’re about to crash and burn, it’s time to fight off the fatigue factor, regain control of your energy level, and reclaim that critical work-rest balance. As you do, keep these points in mind:
Good leaders = good delegators. However, some fail to believe this truism, thinking they’re the only ones who can get the job done instead. Worse, they might revel in their victim mentality, making comments about how they’re “so busy” or complaining that they’re the only ones who can do what they do. It’s simply not true. These types of leaders are simply choosing not to delegate or focus on the Vital Few, making life much tougher for themselves and all those around them.
How you look and behave matters in most industries. And to a significant degree, this is shaped by your energy and your energy level. I’ve seen exhausted leaders nodding off in meetings and others rushing into the office, stressed out, disheveled and complaining nonstop about how busy they are or how they are so tired because of this and that. These sort of counterproductive leadership behaviors initially shock but eventually drain everyone, and they create unfavorable perceptions and impressions. The result is a company culture in which the leader has lost or is losing respect.
You control your destiny. No one else can manage your success nor own your accomplishments and failures. From working smarter to eating healthier and sleeping or exercising more, everything you do — and the discipline or approach you adopt to achieve it — is initially and ultimately up to you.
How can companies help fight the “fatigue factor” and work harder to enable a better work-life balance for their leaders and employees?