There are lots of quotes I could use on this topic including, “All work and no play make Jack a dull boy.” Or, “Talent will only carry you so far,” among others.
While both of these sayings may be true, they don’t solve the problem when the problem is exhaustion.
The truth is when you have a side hustle, or you’re working hard to build a business, you need to be careful not to work yourself to the brink of exhaustion. But even though we all know self-care is so important, there are still times when you’ll have to push through the exhaustion to finish a deadline.
Here are nine ways to keep going when you are feeling exhausted.
1. Know Your Limits
I have a friend who has a full-time job, plus two different side hustles. Recently, we had a conversation about how tiring it can be to try and balance a busy schedule like this.
Luckily, her side hustle allows for some flexibility, so she can choose when to do her work as long as it’s completed by the deadline.
She shared that she knows her limits, so she sometimes wants to work early in the morning instead of late at night. Either way, the point is that she knows her limits and when it would be less productive to keep working instead of getting some sleep and then finishing her project.
2. Get Some Sleep
Sometimes there simply isn’t a substitute for sleep. If you continue to try to function in a constant state of exhaustion and sleep deprivation, it will eventually catch up to you.
You are more susceptible to sickness, weight gain, high blood pressure, and other adverse health effects when you are tired and lack sleep. On top of all of that, you can become less productive in your job because you are not “bright eyed and bushy tailed.” Find a place in your schedule to sneak in some extra sleep or lay your head on your desk and catch a cat nap over lunch. It may be exactly what you need to keep hustling later.
3. Eat Right
There is something to be said for eating right. Personally, when I am tired I try to avoid sugary snacks as well as foods with a lot of carbohydrates in them. Furthermore, I hardly ever drink soda pop.
These types of foods tend to make me feel sluggish already. When I am drained, they make the problem ten times worse. Not only do I feel blah and drained after consuming too many carbs or too much sugar, but I also have a very hard time performing at all. To combat this problem, I drink more water and eat fruits and vegetables.
The extra water helps flush toxins out of your body in addition to helping you in so many other ways. Sometimes for lunch, I have a salad and water. If I get hungry in the afternoon, I will grab a handful of nuts or raisins to perk me up without adding a bunch of sugar to my diet.
Although exercise makes you tired, it also energizes you. That may sound crazy, but exercising can help when you are tired because it increases the flow of oxygen to all of the areas of your body. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the health benefits of physical activity far outweigh the risks of getting hurt or feeling more tired.
Keep in mind the exercise you get doesn’t have to be an iron man competition or a marathon. It doesn’t have to be an hour long session. You can go for a fast, 20-minute walk, do yoga, or whatever else you enjoy. Just get up out of your chair and out from behind the desk and get moving.
Tyler Philbrook uses side hustles and extra work to supplement his income so he can reach his financial goals faster. He said that water and exercise are his go-to solutions for a push past exhaustion.
“I take points to not get to that point anymore, but when I’m fatigued and feel like I’m going to fall over in exhaustion, I stop working, grab some cold water and go for a short walk around my apartment complex. Then I find I have at least more energy to keep going,” he said.
5. Ask For Help
Make sure you recognize it when you are trying to be all things to all people. It can’t be done. Trust me, I’ve tried, and it can be exhausting on its own.
One of the hardest things for me personally when I am already tired is to ask for help. Nevertheless, I am slowly learning to accept help now and then from family or friends when they offer to lend a helping hand. Not only that, but I am also working on asking for help on my own when I need it. There are times when the only way to get everything done on your list is to have a little help.
6. Say No
Stop saying yes all of the time. It isn’t always easy to say no. If it were, there wouldn’t be whole books on the subject to teach us the art of how to say no.
Agreeing to help others is wonderful, but you need to know your limits. You don’t have to feel guilty for saying it either. When your time is precious, and you are on the brink of exhaustion, you are going to be forced to say no. You don’t have to be mean or cruel when you say it. In fact, you can say it sugary sweet if you want to. But stop saying yes when you mean no.
7. Block Out Distractions
Do you try to watch TV when you are working? Maybe you listen to music instead. Some of us work better that way. But for others, it can be a distraction. If that is the case for you, turn off the television, radio, or I-pod. Set up your workspace in a different area, such as a small desk in a bedroom instead of in the living room near the game console. If you feel the need to go to the next level, make a run to the store and pick up a package of those foam rubber ear plugs. Regain your focus so you can continue to hustle more productively.
8. Keep Your Eye on the Ball
When you work, work, work and you are tired most of the time; you can lose track of the big picture. It’s all too easy to find yourself just going through the motions of each day. You begin to make your goal marking another task off the list. You need to find a way to keep your eye on the ball.
One way to do that is to give yourself reminders.
Kara Perez, the founder of Bravely, said she worked five part-time jobs seven days a week when she was paying off her student loan debt.
“I would work on my feet all day at a catering event, and then work from my bed doing freelance writing and social media the next day. I find the best way to fight exhaustion is to have a clear goal you’re working toward,” she said.
9. Don’t Multi-task
This may sound counterproductive to whatever purpose or reason you have for hustling, but concentrating on each task can help. Do one thing and then move on to the next and so on. When you try to multi-task you sometimes fail at all of the tasks and make more work for yourself fixing the errors you made along the way.
Worse yet, you may end up wasting time instead of saving it. Your productivity may increase, which can help when you are tired.
There is no question that can be difficult to keep going when you are tired. But using these nine ways to hustle when you are exhausted can help.
What do you do to keep hustling when you are exhausted?