Reduce your tiredness by redesigning your day

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Tiredness isn’t just about what you do; it’s about how you compose your day.  Photo by Abbie Bernet on Unsplash

Do you always feel tired?  It may seem a strange thing to say, but your tiredness is not caused by what you do.

Of course what you do has a bearing on how you feel.  But it may be more about the balance of your actions, than the actions themselves.

MUSIC

Think of music.  Good music is a balance of energy and rest.  In fact, that’s all music is, sonically.  It’s extremely one-dimensional in terms of its sound wave.  It is merely a set of different volumes, chained together in a particular order.

But some music you will find relaxing, and some music you will find exhausting.  This is a matter of a few artistic factors, including:

  • the relentlessness of the sound (how much rest it gives your ears)
  • the harmony of the sound (how it relates to your sense of harmony, and the harmonies before and after each moment)
  • the story the music succeeds in telling
Apply these principles to the days you organise for yourself.

FROM RELENTLESSNESS TO RESTFULNESS

Firstly, notice whether you experience certain elements of your day as relentless.

It may be the constant whining of children.  It may be the nagging of a boss or partner.  It may be a constant queue of questions from customers.

Is there a way you can give yourself intermittent rests from this?  Could you use headphones, or break times, to your advantage?  Could you delegate some of the jobs you find overwhelming?

FROM DISCORD TO HARMONY

Secondly, notice whether you experience certain parts of your day as unharmonious – do they grate against you, or do they seem not to fit with what happens immediately before or after?

Perhaps you find it hard to make the transition to and from work.  Is there something you can do to provide a better movement, less jarring, smoother?

Perhaps your attention and focus is always interrupted by a certain noise.  Could you somehow rearrange your day so that you don’t have to experience that noise in the same way?

FROM BAD NARRATIVE TO GOOD NARRATIVE

Thirdly, notice whether the story your days tell is healthy or unhealthy.

Maybe you end the day with a sense of frustration, because you do your hardest jobs last.  You could consider tackling the difficult jobs early in the day, and finishing later with a few easier jobs.  That way, each day can end with a sense of achievement.

Maybe you are so perfectionist that you end every job with self-criticism about what you could have done better.  If this is getting you down, perhaps you could consider arranging to speak with a positive-minded friend after each job, who can help you build a more positive spin on events.

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SUMMARY

If you are always feeling tired, consider what you could do to rearrange your day.

In particular, you might try these remedies:

  • whatever you find relentless, soften with planned breaks, or sensory protection, or delegation
  • if you find certain experiences jarring, build in more gradual transitions before and after them
  • if you find yourself telling negative stories, maybe change the order of events, or find a more positive person to hear about your day
A well-arranged day is like well-arranged music.  It doesn’t just happen.  A wise person has learned to be protective, sympathetic, and positive in their self-care.

Try composing your day better.  What have you got to lose?

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