What have you got in your HR toolbox for tiredness?

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How to make it through tough times at work when time off is not an option
  1. Capitalise on the down-time that you do have available. Make a list of activities that you enjoy, however big or small: reading the paper, going for a run, watching you tube videos, listening to your favourite songs etc… Whenever you have a free 30 minutes, 1 hour or indeed a whole evening, make sure you do one of these activities. Sometimes we think that we need a rest, when actually what we need is fun, challenge or excitement. Don’t be fooled into spending your down-time ‘relaxing’ by doing nothing or vegging out in-front of the TV.

  2. Work smarter not harder. Prioritise, cull anything that is non-essential. Think back to yesterday, what did your spend time doing that was non-essential? What were the time wasters? Learn from this and consider: does this really need to get done? If the answer is no, cull it. If the answer is yes, consider if there is a more efficient way to do it, or if you can empower someone else and make the task redundant. For example, if you spend time scheduling appointments, can you make your outlook calendar open access to key colleagues so that people can see your availability and request appointments? Accept that you are busy at the moment; don’t expect that any amount of prioritising and delegating will mean that your inbox will be empty at the end of the day.

  3. Communicate! Communication is usually the first thing to go when people get over-stretched which usually leads to a magnification of the problem. Let people know how much you have on at the moment. Most people, when they know how busy you are, will save non-urgent issues that they need to discuss with you until things are quieter. However, it is your responsibility to let them know that you need this. Send an update email to your team/ key colleagues letting them know in brief the things that you will be dealing with over the next few days and ask them to hold back any non-urgent issues.

  4. Know that you are in control. The feeling of a loss of control over a situation, the feeling that you’re stuck in this situation, a rat on a wheel, is one of the most depressing states to be in.
    But know this, it is a state, it is transient and you can change it.  The very act of taking control is empowering, every problem has a solution. Take positive action; do not act as a passive victim of the busy situation.

  5. Finally, book in that time off. Live your life, you’ll work better after a break. When you’re old a wrinkly, it will be these times that you reminisce about with your loved ones. The only reflections I imagine you will have when think back to this particularly chaotic time at work are: “I wish I’d not worried so much and spent more time on the important things in life.”