Raise your hand if you or someone you know is experiencing fatigue. You know, tired. Weary. Stressed out. Exhausted.
Fatigue doesn’t cause stress, but it does allow stress to drain us.
Fatigue doesn’t cause frustration, but it does allow frustration to simmer under the surface and to show in our facial expression and voice inflection.
Fatigue doesn’t demoralize, but it does make us more susceptible to becoming demoralized.
Why am I writing about fatigue this week? Because that’s what I’m hearing from a lot of you hard-working salespeople and sales managers out there. And I’m hearing it a lot.
It sounds like this.
“I’m just so tired of having this happen.”
“I’m like, really? Seriously? You have got to be kidding! Oh, for Pete’s sake.”
I think the good folks at the Mayo Clinic defined it best.
The Definition of FATIGUE – by the Mayo Clinic Staff
Nearly everyone struggles with being overtired or overworked from time to time. Such instances of temporary fatigue usually have an identifiable cause and a likely remedy.
Chronic fatigue, on the other hand, lasts longer and is more profound. It's a nearly constant state of weariness that develops over time and diminishes your energy and mental capacity. Fatigue at this level impacts your emotional and psychological well-being, too.
Fatigue isn't the same thing as sleepiness, although it's often accompanied by a desire to sleep — and a lack of motivation to do anything else.
In some cases, fatigue is a symptom of an underlying medical problem that requires medical treatment. Most of the time, however, fatigue can be traced to one or more of your habits or routines.
The bolded italics in that last sentence are mine. I think they are saying it usually isn’t medical, it’s mental. I think they are saying that temporary fatigue can turn into chronic fatigue if we let it go too long without a remedy.
(At least that’s what jumped out at me. Draw your own conclusions.)
This bears repeating, though. “Most of the time, however, fatigue can be traced to one or more of your habits or routines.” There’s a remedy in there.
Change one or more of your habits. Change your routines.
When a habit becomes a rut, it’s time for a change. When a habit no longer produces the results it was intended to produce, it’s time for a change. The symptom that tells us it’s the right time for a change is fatigue.
When a routine becomes a chore, it’s time for a change. When a routine becomes going through the motions, it’s time for a change. The symptom that tells us it’s the right time for a change is fatigue.
For instance, if prospecting has become counter-productive, change your approach. Change your reason for calling. Change your dialogue. Change the time you call. Change your 5-90-10 partners. Change your location. Change the people you are calling on.
What? You thought I was going to suggest that you stop prospecting? Not first. But when nothing is working, take a break. Don’t come back to it until you FEEL like it, because no amount of talking yourself into it – no amount of ‘fake it until you make it’ – no amount of slogging through it – will make you instantly effective again.
Fatigue might be mostly mental, but it is real. Don’t ignore the symptom.
Floyd said, “To be happy, we all need something to do, someone to love, and something to look forward to.” So let’s make sure we at least have those ingredients in place.
If the ingredients for being happy are in place, but fatigue is rearing it’s ugly head anyway, take a break. Time for a change. Get away from it all for a while. Until you feel like going back to work.
P.S. By the way, if you are looking for a weekend getaway that will recharge, reenergize and reengineer your attitude, there’s no better place than at The Floyd Wickman FORUM, July 11-12 at the Ann Arbor MI Eagle Crest Marriott Resort. CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE