When you’re tired and you need to stay productive, you have 2 options:
The first option is to do something that pulls your mind away from the task at hand and restores your energy level – take a walk, do some sit-ups, call a friend, read a book, eat a carrot. Your second option is to sleep.
The problem is, the first choice is the one we’d prefer to make when we’re already awake (not dead-tired) and the second choice seems less like a choice and more like an undeniable gravity leading us to a familiar but forbidden guilty pleasure.
…which leads us to the most unfortunate part of this whole equation – convincing ourselves that there is, in fact, a third option: just powering through.
The problem with powering through is that you’ll do crappier work and take longer to do it. And you’ll probably be grouchy and resentful in the process, which just generally sucks.
So, next time you’re tired, do something to recharge. And if that doesn’t work, then sleep.
Don’t be seduced by the hope of a third choice. That’s just waging a war against time that you’re going to lose.