The one thing always waiting in the shadows to kill my productivity is exhaustion. In the afterlife we don't have teachers to email if we're feeling tired or sick. We don't get days with excuses. We have bosses who will fire us and a future that rides on every extra minute of sleep we get.
When that alarm rings at 7A.M. you better be up right? Or else you'll miss something. The guilt of missing a day of school killed me when I was in college. I would run myself to the absolute edge of what my body could take and would just collapse, forcing myself to take a break. In order to combat that in adulthood I've taken to sleeping earlier at night. Then getting up earlier in the day is easy. There are exceptions to this of course. We can't stop living and taking chances just to facilitate our routines, that would lead to a boring life. Smarter choices and better planning, however; can lead to more fun and better use of time. In the chaotic post-collegiate workforce, we're all careening toward our potential at 1000 miles per hour, and we can get tired in the process. The mistake that is often made is people confuse exhaustion for laziness. Never do this. Own up to whether you can't do something, or just don't want to. Honesty is the way to combat laziness, safety for exhaustion. Rest is not failure, it's a form of self respect. If we push our bodies to the limit, we're not taking care of ourselves. If we're not taking care of ourselves we won't succeed anyway. We'll just collapse.
It seems like common sense to some, but the art of avoiding exhaustion does not come easy. Especially when you are a young professional trying to make every move count. There is no time for rest, until you've earned it.
It's easy to make excuses and take a day off. You rationalize things by creating a list in your head of accomplishments and "job well dones." But if we think for a moment and understand that the road to greatness doesn't have rest stops, then we can be one step closer to our goals.
Guilt can overcome success, but with the right amount of rest we can do anything. We just have to push ourselves to do that more often than pushing through our work.