What Time is It?
Sometimes you're flying high. Everything is going great! You've
finished something that you've been putting off for a long time,
or you just got organized, or a big order came in. Don't you
just LOVE feeling like that? You are full of energy and those
impossible tasks are just sailing off of your desk. You're to-do
list is shrinking like a cotton shirt in a dryer.
On the other hand, sometimes you're pretty discouraged. "How am
I ever going to finish that project? How can I possibly do all
of the things that I need to do in order to get to where I want
Don't you just HATE feeling like THAT? It's hard to move a
single piece of paper from one place on your desk to the other.
The easiest things look impossible to do. You are carrying a
large stone around your neck and everything is an effort.
I think that most people are like that; highs and lows, ups and
downs. Even the most productive people hit a brick wall once in
a while and wonder to themselves, "What was I thinking when I
took on this project??"
Naturally there can be a zillion reasons why you are down:
outside pressures, just lost a big customer or big deal, fight
with a family member, illness or accident, etc. What separates
the men from the boys, however, is how you deal with it.
Sometimes you can help yourself when you're down by asking
yourself one simple question: "What time is it?"
That's right! I'm willing to bet that when you go from a high to
a low rather quickly it is a function of the time of day. Here's
why: when you are tired, everything seems worse than it really
It's much harder to cope with things when you are tired. The
mechanism in our brains that keeps us from being overwhelmed
requires a lot of energy, and when we are tired it no longer
Why is it important to know that? For the same reason it's
important to know that your car won't run without fuel. If
you're feeling down and you're tired too, give yourself a break!
Don't be so hard on yourself... there is a good reason why you
feel as you do.
Once you realize that, a glimmer of hope appears because you
know you'll feel better in the morning. Try to divert your
attention away from what is bothering you. If it is only
bothering you because you are tired, give it a rest until
tomorrow when your energy is back. Here are some ideas to try:
1. Spend your time doing low-brain activities, such as opening
mail if you can't allow yourself to "goof-off".
2. If you have to press on because of deadlines, for example,
take a nap or eat something that will give you more energy.
3. Take a walk. Get away from the pressure and let your mind
relax. Give yourself this gift; you deserve it!
The main thing to remember is this: it's much harder to cope
with life's stresses when you're tired. Get into the habit of
recognizing that fact and put your worries to bed long before
you get there yourself.