Sleep Is Like Money. You Can End Up in Debt.
So what happens if you’re chronically overtired?
The same thing that happens when you’re in debt … that’s what.
One of the key lessons I learned in my burnout back in 2006 is that sleep is like money.
You can run a surplus … or you can run a deficit.
And just like with finances, when you run a deficit over time, you end up with debt that you carry from month to month and year to year. A debt that needs to be paid off.
This lesson became inescapable for me personally in August 2006. Three months into my burnout, I was having a hard time functioning.
In fact, my fatigue was inescapable. So I decided to sleep every time my body told me I was tired.
I slept a lot that August. Eight to 11 hours a night. I added to that multiple naps a day whenever I could grab them.
By the end of the month, I felt much better.
I could work again. I could breathe again.
While my burnout wasn’t fully over, I felt flickers of hope again.
Soon, I was on the gradual road to recovery.
So What Can You Do? Five Keys to Staying Rested
So how do you stay rested?
Better yet, how do you get rested if you’re reading this article and are quietly saying “oh crap?”
1. Lose the stigma.
I love that a few years ago Michael Hyatt went public by admitting that he takes naps. Thank you Michael!
Not only does Michael take naps, but so, as he pointed out, have many great leaders in history.
I have always been a napper. I even nap at work occasionally. But I feel like if someone caught me, I’d be in trouble.
That’s a bad thing.
For me, a 10-minute nap can be the difference between heading into the afternoon raring to go and dragging my knuckles wishing it was 5:00. It can be the difference between being sharp and being in a fog or being disinterested.
It’s not just the stigma around naps leaders need to lose, it’s the stigma around a good night’s sleep.
I unapologetically go to bed on time when I’m on the road hanging out with other leaders, and when I’m at home.
A rested me is a better me. Just ask my wife. Just ask my kids. Just ask my team.
2. Catch up.
You might be in your equivalent of August 2006 for me. You might need to take a week or two off to sleep.
Or maybe you’re just running hard for a season. Catch up.
I realize you might have young kids or be in launch mode for a new project.
But here’s the truth.