8 Essential Ways You Can Avoid The Overtiredness Trap

How to avoid the overtired trapDo you ever get that feeling when you are so exhausted you just want to sleep…. only you have all these things still to do?

As a woman running a business of course you will feel tired sometimes. You are busy keeping everything running smoothly and growing your business, not to mention having all sorts of other things to do from different parts of your life, leaving you frequently feeling like you are juggling all the balls in the air.

And just when you think you have everything under control , something happens that tips you over, usually something that you have no control over, some outside influence, and suddenly you don’t have enough time for everything, and the more you try and fit it in the more tired you get, until before you know it you feel exhausted and you find things are starting to slip.

Or often it may just be something as simple as a disturbed nights sleep, or an unplanned late night. Yet it can knock you for six.

If you are overtired sometimes you feel too tired to sleep at all, even when you go to bed, do you ever get that? I have done.

In our current world it is acceptable to be tired and overworked, and seen as strong to push through it and keep going.

But lack of sleep can make you restless, irritable and quite possibly lead to illness. It can also affect your diet and eating habits, as you try and rush meals or eat on the run, and so your health suffers.

So you can get sick because your defences and immune system are lowered when you are run down.

You probably lack energy and force yourself to do things, to keep going. Tiredness affects your productivity and effectiveness, you find you can do simple admin tasks but put off the big, important stuff.

So what is the answer, there are plenty of reasons not to succumb to overtiredness, and I’m sure you can add more. More importantly how do you stop yourself from ending up there in the first place, or how do you move on from it?
Well actually there is a lot you can do and I have complied a few suggestions for you.

Things you can do to help the situation

Eat properly and regularly – its very easy to let eating slip when you are busy, and end up eating on the run or eating convenience or junk food. Changing to a healthier diet and a regular eating plan will definitely help improve the tiredness.

Watch the caffeine and sugar intake – both of these will give you a temporary lift, but later you will end up feeling even worse, so its better to keep them to a minimum and eat healthy snacks.

Acknowledge when you are tired – it may sound simple but its so easy to keep pretending you are OK. Even if you don’t acknowledge it to others, acknowledge yourself.

Sleep when you need it – yes really. If you are tired you get to a point where anything you do becomes ineffective, and you can only really do mundane stuff. So really you are not gaining anything by trying to push through.

I found this out when I used to do BNI breakfast meetings. Where I lived I had to be up around 5.30am to get ready and to the venue in time for the early start. So by about 3.30pm I was literally dropping. So eventually I realised it was better to sleep for an hour then start again than pretend I was working and do nothing productive for the next three hours.

So if you work at home or are able then stop and sleep for an hour or so, then start again. You will feel heaps better and get more done.

Take naps – if you find you are often tired, find a way to incorporate naps into your regular routine. In the summer I take a siesta every day, because I need it, I get up earlier and don’t go to bed earlier to compensate, so siestas are the answer. These Mediterranean types know what they are doing!

Plan your time to do your most important work when you are most effective – if you are tired it is much easier to do mundane routine tasks than more creative and productive work. So keep these jobs until then, and focus on the important things when you feel most awake and energised.

Have a regular routine – if you are tired its easy to let your plans slip. Combat this by having a regular routine, and not just for work. Eating, sleeping, exercise and work tasks. That way you get into a kind of autopilot as you do the same each day.

Take time out for you and to socialise – they say a change is as good as a rest. You can also feel fresher and more energised by doing something different now and again, and taking time to do the things you really enjoy. It gives your brain a rest, and who knows you may even be inspired with new ideas too.

Remember, always be kind to yourself, and what suits you won’t suit someone else, so find your own plan , one that works for you, and then stick to it.

You can change your life starting from today… get some support, or some ideas and guidance, lets chat about it.
Schedule a call with Julia

First published on the Authentic Edge Blog www.authenticedge.co.uk/blog

Overwhelming Being A Female Entrepreneur

Overwhelm and female Entrepreneurs - Julia McdaidI wondered “can I write a whole blog about overwhelm? Really?”.
Truth be told I think I can, and then some. It is widespread in the entrepreneur world. And I particularly see it as I work mainly with female entrepreneurs, and for some reason overwhelm seems to plague them more than most.

It is usually the biggest cause of not getting things done. Do you find that? You have so many things to do you don’t know where to start. You are almost certainly in overwhelm, all the tasks become too much, and you can’t see the wood for the trees. So you fiddle about, do a bit here and a bit there, but not really with any focus.

Why does it happen?

Usually the reason you fall into overwhelm is that you are trying to do everything yourself. Sometimes there is just too much to do and other times it just feels that way because you are doing it all. As a woman it is typical that you are trying to do everything and look after everyone and everything.

And that I think is where we fall over. The focus goes, no focus, no planning, just a busy head and a busy desk and not a whole lot of productivity. Or of course you may spend all your time planning, and none actually doing, it can be an avoidance tactic!

And being an entrepreneur its likely you are also an ideas person too, so you are always having new ideas and thinking if new ways to do things or new things to try or people to call or connect with, the list is endless.

Is confidence a factor?

I think sometimes another cause of overwhelm , or at least a contributor is lack of confidence, or lack of belief. Sometimes we know what needs doing but we are scared to do it, or scared of what might happen if we do, so we put it off. And the more we put it off the scarier it becomes, and the more our to do list accumulates, until we get really caught up in the “must do”,” have to”, “need to do” etc.

So what is the answer?

How do you step out of it and move forward more effectively?

Well, I am a great believer in lists, and notebooks. Often the problem is that you have too much going round in your head, so if you can get it all out that lets you think more clearly.

Use “to do” lists for all the things you think of that need doing, and use a notebook to capture all those ideas. Once its written down you know you have a record so you can let it go until you have time to develop it further.
The same with lists, write it all down so it’s out of your head. Then each day sort out the list and the priorities to create a “to do” list for that day with all the most important things.

You can still keep the main list with all the other things as a reminder, and to create lists for the following days.

Look after yourself

And it is important to ensure you are fit and healthy too, make sure you look after number one. If you don’t you will end up exhausted and possibly ill, I have seen it happen and its not fun, so please take this seriously. It’s common for female entrepreneurs especially to leave their health on the back burner, I think it’s our caring instinct.

Little things like taking regular breaks, eating properly – and regularly, and taking daily exercise can all help you to feel calmer and more focused, as well as making you stronger to deal with everything else.

Don’t go it alone

Another way to make your life easier is to identify the things you can outsource and get help. I know this can be hard to do, especially when you are used to doing everything. And also budget is often a constraint here. Its so easy to believe its all cost and so you might as well just do it. But the real cost is to your time, and not having that time to do the more important things. Your role in your business really is one of managing, creating and maybe customer facing. Things that are not your strengths or not fun for you can and should be delegated to someone who can do it for you. This frees up so much time and brain space, which really helps you to do the important stuff.

So in summary, to get out of the overwhelm trap, look after yourself, tighten up your time management and prioritising, learn to say no, delegate things other people can do.

And if you are finding tough and would like some support, or some ideas and guidance, do get in touch with me and lets chat about it.
Schedule a call with Julia