Don’t do things tired

So often we find ourselves tempted to get things done while tired. Send that email, drive from A to B, talk to that person.
Yet all too often, we don’t get the result we wanted.

I find emails I write tired are worse than emails written with alcohol in my system.
We all know driving tired is hazardous – it’s been shown that driving after being awake more than 18 hours is equivalent to driving with 0.05 BAC, the legal limit.
I’ve had numerous conversations this week tired that have pushed boundaries, simply because when I’m tired boundaries are often one of the first things to go – same as with alcohol.

I’m writing this post at 18.5hrs awake, with only 7 hours sleep after a week of 6 or even 3 hours sleep a night. Should be interesting 😉

Let’s not forget this sleep deficit can occur over multiple days too (as I experienced this week). I attended a talk last year which referred to hours of missed sleep as ‘bricks you carry around in a backpack’. Insufficient sleep makes everything harder, and they add up.

How I’m operating at work at the moment, I’ve noticed I need a week off about every 2 months. 2 months sprints of pushing the limits.
I can attribute this to a learned behaviour from FIFO work – when working 8 days on, then having 6 off, it can almost be sustainable. Almost.
However, given it’s been almost 2 years since I did that work, I’m not sure I can use that anymore… I think it’s just a behaviour I need to learn to move past and never have.

Boundaries is the word that comes to mind.
I struggle to have them at the best of times, let alone when tired.
And this past week, with my whole team usually in different parts of NSW all coming to Sydney, meant long, full days of open conversations and attempts at counselling – or at least consoling. This did come at a cost to the quality of my final team day, but the conversations had until 1am the previous night were important. Luckily I’d organised a solid external speaker to come in to add big value to the day, rather than me bumbling my way through the whole day. My sections brought value too, but I was definitely not at my peak. I’m lucky my team are comfortable and casual.
While I do believe I made the right decision to stay up and have the conversations rather than going to bed, I do recognise that it came at a cost, which weighs on me. Writing this is helping me realise though – I’d make the same decision again in a heartbeat.

However, my recommendations:
Don’t do emails tired. Don’t drive tired. Don’t write blog posts tired.
This took a lot longer than if I had had a nap and done it later.

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