If you’re reliant on getting around using you car then you will know that one of the essentials you need in your car is fuel. Whether that be petrol or diesel. Then again you may just require you car to be charged if it is electric.
Without having some sort of fuel in you car, then your car is pretty useless. Fortunately, our cars let us know by flashing up with a warning light when there is a certain amount of fuel remaining in the car.
Think of your body as a car. You need to ensure you maintain it, every now and again a good service, and if you can a yearly health MOT.
Just like cars our bodies need fuel to function properly. Unfortunately, unlike our cars we don’t have a red warning light that pops us as a nice visual reminder that if we don’t top up, then we will stop working.
There are signs though that we need to be aware of. If we don’t take note then we are more likely to allow ourselves to run empty.
Like a car we need to fill up before it is empty, be proactive about this. Too many people have to run out and suffer before they end up refuelling. The less in your tank the more your performance will be affected in all areas of your life.
Your Warning Light(s)
The first step to being proactive is to ensure that you have a well a balanced lifestyle. However there may be times that your focus and energy is having to go into others areas, and the balance tips slightly.
You could have family problems, issues with friends, work stress, all areas of your life could experience issues from time to time so can cause an unbalanced effect.
When we overwork ourselves too a point that the tank isn’t that fuel our mindset will be harder to maintain. You will find yourself thinking a little more negatively or feeling tired although you may think you haven’t done much. Confidence will be harder to show, again, because you haven’t got the mental energy to maintain it.
Let’s look at a few signs that you are overworked, and your warning light has come on
1. Sleep Patterns
When you are overworked you may have gone beyond the stage where you are tired because you are not in your regular sleeping patterns. Sleep is critical to a well oiled machine. Without good quality sleep you will not perform to the standard you can. For example, it was only last night I didn’t get to sleep at a usual time due to personal issues and today started off slower than a tortoise racing a snail. Fortunately the tortoise average lifespan is 190 years so they can afford to go slow!
When you are overworking, it is easy for us to allow sleep to be the one activity that gets pushed back. Perhaps you’ve done too much in one area, so you find a couple of hours later on. Those couple of hours mean you lose that time of sleep.
When this happens when you do eventually get to sleep you may find you aren’t sleeping through the night. Having broken sleep is not quality, so even when you do find you get into bed at a normal time the usual quantity will not match with the usual quality.
Ensure your sleep is taken care of. Sleep is a great fuel resource. Rest & repair!
2. Lack of Focus
We live in an age where focus can be a luxury at times. There are so many distractions around us, we can easily find ourselves distracted and taken away from what it is we are working on. You can have numerous tasks to complete and find yourself struggling to complete the first. This is usually when you are lacking energy and you are struggling mentally to focus.
I find in this situation the best thing to do is shake up your physiological state and change the environment. Easy way of doing this is going for a walk. Doesn’t have to be far, not even that long before going back to the task in hand. Or if the task can wait, then put it off, and allow yourself some down time.
On my workshop Changing Your Mindset Towards Time, I talk about being busy vs. productive and the slide shows someone playing a game console. Well, in this situation sometimes playing the console may allow you to re-charge and gain focus.
When your energy is lower you may find your levels of anxiety may feel heightened. Again, this will be where you mind is tired and the emotional side of the brain may take over. Your logical part of the brain is approximately 5 time slower than the emotional part. So when you are tired, it would have to work to keep up, meaning your instincts are likely to kick in.
You may feel worried more often about situations or upcoming events. Again, this will be where the brain goes into autopilot where you are not fully in control.
Remember anxiety is something everyone has encountered at some point. Don’t beat yourself up, just see it as a warning that you may need to give extra attention elsewhere.
4. Stop Exercising
When we feel tired, we may axe our exercise routine. Thinking that we would just feel more tired if we were to be exercise, however the opposite usually happens. I am not saying go for a gruelling workout, but doing some light exercise.
Exercise is so important to maintaining a healthy body & mind. Your outlook on life is usually more positive when exercise is incorporated.
Depending on your fitness & exercise levels, the level of exercise when you are feeling drained will be lower than that. I often feel far more energised after a medium level of exercise when I am struggling with my energy levels.
5. Eat For Convenience
When we are doing too much, and not giving ourselves enough time our diets start to become the quick & easy route. I have experienced this first hand in the past 12 months. Having a baby meant I was up a various hours in the night or getting home to help out too. What did I do? I stopped my healthy eating lifestyle, and went for the quick and easy route so I could get food in and then back into work when I could.
This had a negative effect on my overall wellbeing, and everything was affected. It is only recently I have been able to get back onto this, although it hasn’t been the highest priority for me. Prepare your food for the coming few days so you can eat quickly but eat well. The food you put in is a major source of fuel! You wouldn’t put diesel into a petrol engine
6. Stop Doing Hobbies
Due to the workload you sacrifice your hobbies. Meaning you have no downtime for yourself!
No downtime, or youtime will mean no recuperating. Hobbies are stuff we like to do, but don’t have to do! Usually is we want to do it, it is because we enjoy it! Remember you get choices, choose to prioritise some time for yourself to do what you want to do! This will allow your mind to switch off from all the other ‘stuff’ going on in your life!
7. Yes Person
If you are always saying yes to everything then you will eventually overwork yourself. I am a big believer in trying everything and not turning down opportunities however there comes a tipping point. If you go over that point you will fret over getting all the tasks fitted in.
Learn to thank people for the opportunity but it doesn’t quite fit into your plans at this time. If you know how much time you can afford to give up for tasks and others then you will know how much you can take on. If you are always doing tasks for others then you will not have time to work on your goals.
I hope these signs will benefit you so you are more aware when you are taking too much on, or running low on energy. Ensure you keep your tank filled up, and maintain your car (body & mind).
Find time to do things you enjoy and also time to work on your goals! If you want to focus on this and improve your energy levels, then feel free to get in touch for a free chat to see how I can help.