How To Get Things Done When You’re Tired

It’s 6 am, your alarm clock just went off, and you feel like you didn’t sleep at all. How the heck are you supposed to do anything productive today? We have all been there! It seems impossible to even get ready for work let alone make it through a whole day while also getting everything done! However, sometimes we don’t have much of a choice… so here are some ways to get things done when you’re tired!

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First, ask yourself why you are tired

Okay, so you feel exhausted and you aren’t feeling ready for the day… but why?

Sometimes it’s obvious because you stayed up until 1 am watching the latest Netflix show. Or maybe you stayed out with a friend a bit longer than planned. That’s okay! We all need those Netflix binge nights and date nights with friends now and then! 

The problem is when you can’t figure out WHY you feel tired, especially if it’s all the time! 

If you are always waking up tired and run down it is important to look into why. 

  • Are you eating nutritious foods?
  • What is your bedtime routine?
  • How much are you using your phone?
  • Do you wake up a lot at night?
  • Is it impossible to fall asleep?
  • Are you feeling sick?

There could be so many reasons for feeling tired and some of them should be discussed with your doctor! But some things (like phone use) can be self-diagnosed and fixed! 

The why is important because that will tell you how to boost your energy moving forward and help you be a more productive person even when you have those sloth-like mornings. 

Related reads:

10 tips for being productive when you feel tired 

These tips won’t fix your whole day if you are feeling exhausted but they will help you get through your tasks in the best way you can. 

Remember that even though these are tips for pushing through the tiredness, it’s also a good idea to rest when you need it. You are human and sometimes you just need to call in sick to work to catch up with sleep… no harm there! 

So, without further ado, let’s chat productivity when you just can’t do it!

01- eliminate distractions

When you’re tired you generally want to do things that require the least amount of energy or brain focus. That can be scrolling social media, watching TV, chatting with a co-worker, etc.

If you know you’re extra tired try to cut out those mindless activities so you have more brain power to work on important tasks.

02- move your body 

Now, I know this isn’t always possible at work… I’m not suggesting you leave and do a full 30-minute HIIT class but, you should try to get some steps in and get fresh air! 

Ever notice how fresh air can wake you up almost instantly? When you are feeling low whether that’s first thing in the morning or halfway through the day, take a 2-minute break and step outside. Walk around the block. Breathe in the good outside air! 

03- take breaks often 

Most adults can really only focus for about 20 minutes at a time!! When you’re feeling sleepy I’m sure it’s even less. So, if possible, take a short break every 20 minutes or so. 

You could just take a brain break and focus on something else, go for a walk, make a coffee, head to the bathroom… whatever easy and quick thing you could do every 20 minutes or so to stay focused! 

04- remind yourself about the finish line 

Usually, when you are tired you also lack motivation! How are you supposed to feel motivated when your body and brain are slowly shutting down?! 

Having a finish line in sight can be a huge motivator even when you have no energy. If you are trying to get your workout in, start a timer so you can see the time tick down. 

If you are at work doing a report, break it down into a few sections so you can cross them off as you go! 

05- take a shower 

Showers are a great way to wake up very quickly! If you are really struggling you could even have a cold shower! I bet you won’t be sleepy after that. 

Having a quick shower can give you that “me time” to recharge as well if you are ae to do it during the day (looking at you WFH peeps). 

06- drink a supplement 

There are so many different things you can have to help you wake up. Many people like coffee or tea. You could also try other supplements that boost your energy like amino energy, OLLY energy gummies, or Blume superfoods (or even just a regular old red bull if needed, I won’t judge). 

07- take your work to a new location 

Sometimes just moving to a different spot to work can help you focus a lot more. If you work from home maybe take your laptop to a coffee shop for a while. If you are stuck in an office maybe you can take some paperwork and head into a different space in the office. 

08- have a power nap

There is some good science behind power naps! Not only do the naps help with your immediate feelings of fatigue but they can also help with memory, increased creativity, and possibility even heart health! 

So, take a quick nap during your lunch break if you really need it! It has been shown that even 10 minutes can be helpful. 

09- start with just one thing 

Whether your lack of motivation is because of being tired or not, sometimes just starting helps you get things done! It’s always hard to take the first step but more often than not, once you start you keep going. 

If you are extra tired and have no motivation to do anything, pick just one easy thing to do right now! I bet you’ll get it done and then have at least a little bit of motivation to do something else after. 

10- get help from a friend 

Asking for support is needed from time to time! Ask a friend or co-worker to check in with you periodically throughout the day to see what you have accomplished or even ask them to help you get the tasks done. 

Work is always more fun with a friend anyways, right?

how to get things done when you're tired
10 tips for boosting your energy on sleepy days

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In conclusion

It is hard enough to get up and get to work on a good day. By the time the day is over you generally don’t have a lot of energy to keep working on the extra things you want to (like your goals, hobbies, etc). It becomes even harder if you struggle with sleep whether that’s due to a medical condition, mental health, or just poor sleep hygiene. 

If you tend to wake up tired a lot and struggle to get things done because you’re so tired, start looking into WHY you feel that way! It’s important to take care of yourself. 

For the others who just had a long night and need that extra boost to get through the day, I hope these tips help you find the motivation you need to get all your important tasks done even if you feel like a sloth! 

How do you push through those sleepy days and actually get things done?

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