Coffee Needed

In this discussion Melissa and JJ talk about how being tired affects our work and awareness mentally, emotionally and physically.

October 13, 2020
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Melissa Albers  0:00  
Hey everyone, you are listening to the self awareness journey podcast. This little banter is about a car ride long and features your hosts JJ Parker, and Melissa Albers. JJ owns a tech company. And Melissa has been a coach working with influencers for the last 18 years.

JJ Parker  0:18  
Morning, Melissa,

Melissa Albers  0:19  
good morning.

JJ Parker  0:20  
You gotta give me a second cuz I gotta go get some more coffee. It's been a little rough the past few days.

Melissa Albers  0:29  
Indeed. It has been me too.

JJ Parker  0:32  
I have been absolutely exhausted. Do you ever get to the point where it's like, you know, getting towards the end of the week and you've just had like day after day of not real great sleep. And it just, you're just hitting the wall?

Melissa Albers  0:54  
Yes, absolutely. Actually, I would say this is one of those weeks.

JJ Parker  1:01  
Well, at least we can, you know, share in that mystery together, I guess as we record our little podcast here.

Melissa Albers  1:08  
Yes. And, and, and in anticipation of our conversation today. I actually went to bed quite early last night before 10 o'clock. And at 2am I was still wide awake for no reason. And so when I woke up this morning at 515, again for no reason. I just feel like I got thrown down a bowling ball alley, bowling alley.

JJ Parker  1:39  
Super nice that you prepare for a podcast about being tired. Well, tired. It was the least I could do. So consider it. Well, I think it's interesting most, most of us adults live seem to live our lives. in a state where we're like physically tired almost all the time, which, which seems kind of strange, right? Like, why are why are we doing? Why are we doing that?

Melissa Albers  2:13  
Well, yes, and I would expand it. I don't even think it's just physically tired. I think we're going through a lot of times where we're mentally tired. We can be emotionally tired, physically tired. And I think each one of those is independent of each other, or they can all just collapse at once.

JJ Parker  2:41  
Right? Right. Yeah, you know, this week and last week, last week, we I had another just really busy week, right. I had meetings I had work I had kids stuff. Mm hmm. You know, we were recording video.

Melissa Albers  2:59  
Yeah, you Last week was really tough. I knew friend.

JJ Parker  3:01  
And when we went to record our video lesson last week, I was no other way to describe it, but just simply punch drunk. Like, it's like my brain was slow, right? Zach's extra silly, like crazy. That night I just remember thinking like, why am I pushing myself to the absolute limit? Hmm. Right? Yeah. Like what is driving me to, to, like push so hard that week that I actually just kind of felt crappy the whole week and I had to recover. It took me the whole weekend to recover.

Melissa Albers  3:42  
Yeah. So why did you think you were?

JJ Parker  3:47  
I don't know because I just felt, you know, admittedly part of it's my own doing.

Melissa Albers  3:54  
Right part of it. Part of it part of it is just part

JJ Parker  3:58  
mine. Okay, I mean, all of it was my own doing.

Melissa Albers  4:05  
That's the spirit.

JJ Parker  4:07  
No, but I think I felt, you know, I had, um, I wanted to make sure I stayed really high output at work. We had a bunch of projects in flight, and I wanted to get all that stuff pushed out. And I had, oh, and the other thing I had this idea, you know, I had the remoting sidekick idea. Oh, that's

Melissa Albers  4:32  
right. Right. So you should spend just two seconds talking about what that

JJ Parker  4:36  
so I had this idea for what I was noticing with my employees is that I take childcare and the work at home and the intermingle of kids and work was really stressing everybody out, including me and my wife. And, and it's just like, what do you do with your kids if both spouses aren't working full time, but really During the day, it's really stressful. It is possible. So what I thought I'd do is hire a babysitter who would watch who would hang out with your kid for like an hour on zoom. And she is a teacher. You know, and so I came up with this idea. And I implemented this idea called remote sidekick where my employees could schedule an hour with the virtual babysitter. Give, give them some relief to focus on work, and make it so their kids weren't just watching Netflix the entire day.

Melissa Albers  5:38  
I would like to also fill in the blank on this piece to say that you did all that in 36 hours. You created a website. Yeah. hired somebody. You designed the website. You created a calendar event.

JJ Parker  5:53  
Yeah, yeah. The software is hedge. Like, yeah, yeah. So that's, that's why it's all my own fault, but I have This idea so I had this big idea last week. So on top of my normal workload, I had this big idea last week. And I wanted to I had to get that out, you know, just part of me as it's like, I had to do it or else, you know. It just kind of like sits there in terms of my brain. So I did that. And then I had my SEO round, like peer group meeting or a Vistage meeting and how to prepare a bunch of that. And then you and I were recorded. So by the end of the week, I was absolutely done. Yeah. So I think on top of me just not getting enough sleep. I also had a really high mental output week. Yeah. Which Fried my brain.

Melissa Albers  6:44  
Yeah. You know, I just in thinking about this and both of us are, I would call high achievers. or certainly, we put ourselves in the in the bucket of must do a little A lot of stuff and do it extremely well, all the time, or else we're flat out failing. And, and we give other people grace. But I do think that like for myself, I think that I very much base when I'm unintentional and unaware, I very much base my worthiness directly connected with my productivity. Yeah. And and I think that that is a common American problem.

JJ Parker  7:32  
Yeah. So digging deeper to this, this idea that you're short in your sleep. Yeah, working more is a positive trait a badge of honor. a badge of honor. Yeah, yeah, I have friends that, that downright brag that Oh no, I only have sleep five or six hours a night. Personally I have to sleep like eight or nine hours a night or else like I just can't function very well. I mean, to me, like, my whole thing is my ability to think, right? Like, I am a knowledge worker, I am a creative, like, my brain is the thing that I rely on as, as my tool of survival, right? So I have to make sure that that is well taken care of. And the only way I know how to do that is sleep.

Melissa Albers  8:24  
Yeah. Well, and that's the physical manifestation, right? And so being unaware, the physical body will show signs of tiredness, and you'll be able to feel that really quickly. And whether you choose to ignore it or not, whether we not you, but we, you know, I think with physical tiredness, we can tell immediately where we're at on the scale on the spectrum.

JJ Parker  8:51  
Absolutely. I think it's interesting to listen to the language we use around some of this stuff, too. Because like, if you're tired, what should you do if you're tired, Melissa? Well, you should power through, right?

Melissa Albers  9:04  
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Like you don't notice. co workers that are really tired. You would never say to them Oh, you should go rest.

JJ Parker  9:15  
Right. Well, I, when we were thinking about the last thing about this topic, I thought was really interesting to think about how we deal with children when they're tired. Mm hmm. Great. Everyone who's even whether you have a kid or not even been around a child knows that. Like, when they hit their tired limit. Mm hmm. Like, it's all over. Right. It's temper tantrums on the floor. It's, it's like you can't they can't even function. Right. And

Melissa Albers  9:44  
what do we three and I think I'm almost done with that. I think I can stay off the floor now.

JJ Parker  9:49  
And what do we do with kids? Right? We're like, Oh, you know, like little bellies. just tired. It's okay. Like we give kids so much grace. Yeah. When they're tired and and, and it's of punishing them for being tired or nothing like Oh, look at Little Billy is tired is such a low output horrible human. Right? We just like we coddle them, we get them into bed, we take care of them. And we you know, we give us

Unknown Speaker  10:13  
an X day.

JJ Parker  10:15  
Yeah. adults. We don't do that at all. No, I don't we do that for adults. No, because because physically, we're not different.

Melissa Albers  10:24  
Right now, as a matter of fact, you know, one of our colleagues, it has done sleep studies on the human body, and, and have found that kids that are in their late teens actually require the exact same amount of sleep as an infant. I mean, so I think our physical bodies require different things throughout our whole life cycle. And our ability to connect with that is one thing, but our ability to make good choices for ourselves is another. Yeah, you know, yeah. And, and that's it. We're just talking about Like we've just barely touched on the mental fatigue I think physical fatigue and tiredness is much easier spotted even if we're not particularly aware just because you can't go any further you just reach a point where that's it. You can't go any further.

JJ Parker  11:15  
Yeah. And and, you know, externally you actually do start looking different. Yeah, I mean, you can get bags under your eyes, your face kind of gets a little bit body language or your your shoulder shrug it you know, like, you can spot a tired person. Yeah, physically tired person. When you walk up to them,

Melissa Albers  11:33  
yes, that's so true.

JJ Parker  11:35  
But it's a little harder to spot a mentally or an emotionally tired person.

Melissa Albers  11:40  
Yeah. And I think that mental fatigue is much more pervasive. And I think it's a very sneaky fatigue, because we can have real extreme mental fatigue and it builds so slowly, that a lot of times I don't think we even acknowledge how mentally exhausted we may be. And then I think depending on if you are somebody who is more aware or not, like if you're high in awareness, but you're also somebody who is a real brain space person, like, Yes, I know I'm tired, but it doesn't matter because I have this list of to do's that I have to do. Otherwise, I've failed myself. I'm not doing the job that I know I can. And I feel like the mental fatigue is really sneaky. Because we've talked ourselves into believing that we can actually control mental fatigue by powering through. Hmm.

JJ Parker  12:47  
Yeah, buckle down. Yeah,

Melissa Albers  12:49  
yeah, yeah, suck it up. Pull up your bootstraps. You know, you hear people say stuff like, well, it's okay. I can you know, I'm an artist. It takes some. I was talking with a VP of HR yesterday a very highly skilled, highly outputted individual. And they literally said, I can't stop. I'm on my emails. I can't leave an email on done in a day, I have to answer everything. And I'm up at five because I know there's more and everyone's relying on me, and then they finish that whole topic with but it's okay. It's okay. At the end of the month. I'm going to take a couple of days off.

JJ Parker  13:36  
Yeah, I bet. There's almost a zero percent chance that they take a couple of days off.

Melissa Albers  13:42  
But even thinking about the response to that mental fatigue, hit that his own personal response to that mental fatigue was I'm I'm going to take some time off at the end of the month, weeks from now. Yeah.

JJ Parker  13:57  
Yeah, I'm gonna take some time off to probably when I'm dead. Yeah.

Melissa Albers  14:02  
I mean, yeah, there's there's like a joking language that say, Oh, that's okay. We can sleep when we're dead.

JJ Parker  14:07  
Yeah. Right. Yeah, it is really amazing. You know, that, that, that sidekick project that I did last week was really, to me, like, my response to observe in this mental and emotional fatigue in my team, right? Yeah, like I I know, I knew I could sense that the you know having having kids around your work environment all day and and really getting towards the end of summer where it's much harder to know what to do with your kids. Yeah, right. Like all parents know that the end of August is like the hardest. Yeah, like the hardest couple of weeks as a parent. Yeah. And the unknown of school was causing such stress and all I wanted to do Give them a little bit of us a break. Right? just the tiniest bit.

Melissa Albers  15:05  
And that was born of your real need of the tiniest break.

JJ Parker  15:10  
Yes. I also needed a tiny break and my wife needed a tiny break.

Melissa Albers  15:14  
You went into overdrive to create more when you desperately needed a tiny break. But isn't that interesting? Like that's, I don't say that in judgment. It's it's like, wow, that's, that was it was very No, it was very noble, but it was exhausting.

JJ Parker  15:30  
Yeah, like I, I need this like for me, right. I, I needed it. But my response to it was I I have to do this for others, right? Yes. Yeah. So yeah. which caused me to really, Mm hmm. I have a pretty rough week,

Melissa Albers  15:47  
right, which I think also then leads to emotional fatigue. Mm hmm. You know, like, we're kind of breaking this down and in the self awareness journey, we're always talking about There's four bodies, we all have four bodies, our spiritual, physical, mental and emotional bodies. And in order to be truly centered, all four of those things have to be in alignment with each other. What we think and say matches what we do and how we feel. And and when we're talking about tiredness, like emotional fatigue is something that is much harder to sense for everyone. Because I think we're so used to pushing our emotions away, or making excuses for them, or certainly not honoring them. You know, I think we're now kind of turning that corner and I think that everyone's trying to become more aware of that. But emotional fatigue causes all sorts of things to happen, that make everything else fall out of alignment. And I think emotional fatigue is born of things that are quite But that are much more pervasive in someone's life. Like, if you just look at this, the pandemic, how the pandemic started in March, and here we're making this recording in August, or whatever. And you see,

JJ Parker  17:17  
no one knows. The pandemic makes it so no one even knows the month anymore.

Melissa Albers  17:20  
Exactly. And so now it's been several months, but you can see emotional fatigue now, you know, as it becomes greater and greater and if someone's operating at a highly emotionally exhausted state, all of those other bodies start to get wobbly. You know, your mental acuity, your tiredness that you feel in your mind. You may do different things physically, like under emotional pressure and stress and tiredness. I think people either can overeat or they stop eating or they start over exercising or they can't exercise because you Emotionally it's requiring so much energy that we don't normally admit. Yeah, that it's wearing us down. Yeah.

JJ Parker  18:11  
Yeah, that one's really interesting. Because unlike, unlike physical tiredness, I mean physical eventually you're just gonna stop right? You're your body's who's right. This is enough you're, you're gonna fall asleep you're gonna pass out, right? Yes, but what's like the emotional tiredness equivalent to passing out?

Melissa Albers  18:35  
Yeah, yeah,

JJ Parker  18:37  
I mean some you some people get to that point right? But it's a lot longer it's not like a day or two they could be months or years

Melissa Albers  18:46  
right? And the manifestation of emotional tiredness I think turns into anxiety, depression breakdowns or over extended During your reactions to things, your reactions on the outside become much more expanded or out of context even because you're not operating from a centered, fully resourced emotional body. Mm hmm. And I think that we are seeing a lot of that right now as well. Yeah.

JJ Parker  19:24  
Yeah, even, you know, I can kind of observe like, even even big events, right. There's some there's some big events. I mean, the George Floyd thing in Minneapolis that happened a few months back right. To me, looking at that as an as if you just kind of zoom out on it. It's just like, here's, certainly it's a tragic event in its own right, but it was just amplified because of the pandemic stuff and everyone's just so amazing. emotionally exhausted and then yeah, boom, it just explodes. Right? Yeah. Which is completely understandable.

Melissa Albers  20:07  
Yeah. Yeah. It's very interesting to talk about this though, because it is really, how do we recognize our own signs, you know, of tiredness and, and fatigue. And, and I think that by by giving ourselves, you know, I think the approach, first of all in just in this conversation, I think the approach is really interesting how you approach yourself in this topic, and how you approach other people, as you're noticing and thinking about being tired. Right? I think the first thing and I, I feel like I always end up coming back to this point, which is, we have to give ourselves grace, like there has to be grace in in our tiredness we have to allow ourselves for me for example like, in my own journey of becoming more aware, and spending more time in my centered space, I have noticed that it's my reaction to when I recognize myself. When I see myself mentally tired now, for example, not long ago, I would say it doesn't matter. I have to put this stuff I have to get this stuff done. By the end of today. I don't care if it's 10 o'clock at night. Well, I stopped operating while at three o'clock. I'm on fire early in the morning, and I start wearing down and by about three o'clock, I'm not creative anymore. Like if I can honor how my thinking patterns are and I can be in alignment with my own energy. I can be so productive and so creative. Yeah. And if I can, if I can recognize, even if I had a planned time, when I was going to Create something if I sit down and I have the space to create, but I'm just tired. If I can recognize that and give myself a break, and not try to force it. Mm hmm. When I do feel more energy, and I do feel more alive and awake and centered, everything else flows so much easier. And yeah, and it's so much better. Yeah. And faster and just everything. It just is, right. Yeah.

JJ Parker  22:28  
Yeah, we want people to be in that state. More often than not,

Melissa Albers  22:33  
yeah, exactly. Exactly.

JJ Parker  22:36  
Yeah. I in even in sort of in that, in that work. context, like, we talked about how many, how many people could call up and say, Hey, you know what, I'm not working today, because I'm just tired. Right? Probably doesn't fly in a lot of companies. Right.

Melissa Albers  22:56  
You're fired. Thank you. Thanks for your time.

JJ Parker  23:00  
It works in my company. I tell people Hey, if if you're tired if you're not feeling it today don't work. Yeah. Like, I don't want your Yeah, like half brained like problem solving and creativity on on our work. Yeah, yeah, don't do that. Right. I would rather you go take a nap and then get back to us state where you are, like 100% and then work because I because you know the works way better anyway like yeah, like you can you can be tired and do a crappy job for eight whole hours.

Melissa Albers  23:35  

JJ Parker  23:36  
Or you could probably do something brilliant fully rested in a quarter of that time.

Melissa Albers  23:43  
Yeah, that's right. That's exactly right.

JJ Parker  23:46  
It just seems silly that we're tying those things so closely together.

Melissa Albers  23:50  
Well, and again, I think it comes back to the expectation particularly in the workplace, and even at home for some people

JJ Parker  23:56  
at home. Yeah, we got Kids and laundry and yeah, no meals. And you know, and if we're not bringing the kids to sports, and we're not doing extra credit with them, and we're not doing all this stuff, we're not doing our job as a parent. Right, right.

Melissa Albers  24:13  
Yep. So that must have something to do with our worthiness, then if we right now easily parents and we can't do all these things, then again, it's that productivity equals worthiness mentality. Yeah. I think that's really what a What an interesting thing to think about. And I think to for our listeners that are listening today, it would be very interesting to take your personal inventory, like as we're talking about being tired physically, mentally, and emotionally. It would be very interesting for us to just think a little bit about that in each one of those areas and to decide, how do they impact each other? And what are my trigger points where I know I've reached a state of tiredness, that is not helpful for me. Yeah, no. And I think again, like you were saying the physical parts so much like, I think that's the first and easiest one. And isn't that interesting? Because we're always talking about your body tells you how you're feeling before anything else does. Yeah. So there it is again. And then that mental fatigue, it's like the art of creation, the art of just doing our regular work. How does that manifest itself when you're tired? And can you find your own signs, what your trigger points are, when you're feeling tired with that? And then the emotional tiredness? Wow, we just don't think about that. No, that's true. We just don't think about emotional fatigue. And yet, that is the baseline. our emotions and feelings are the basis for everything. Yeah. Because in Yeah, that's really interesting.

JJ Parker  25:52  
That's great. That's great to think about. And on that note. I'm on a coffee. I'm gonna go refill

Melissa Albers  26:00  
I guess I kind of am too.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Discussed in this episode

Let's get real

Meet your guides

JJ Parker

JJ Parker is a serial entrepreneur passionate about building creative strategy, efficient operations, and unique marketing perspectives. Parker got his start as a student at The Minneapolis Institute of Art, and soon after launched his first company Tightrope Media Systems (TRMS) with a high school buddy in 1997.

Melissa Albers

Melissa is passionate about developing people’s self-awareness and ability to positively interact with others. She focuses on the importance of building influence, and highlights the most important relationship we have is with self first. Ms. Albers speaks on leadership and self-awareness, and has shared the stage with John Maxwell (Leadership Author and Speaker), Lee Cockerell (Exec VP of Disney) and Les Brown (Motivational Speaker) to name a few.

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