When You’re Tired

by Dianna Brodine, managing editor, Plastics Business

A friend of mine is an EMT, an AP Physics teacher at a local high school and the associate concertmaster (and amazing violinist) for our city orchestra. I’ve always found her to be very thoughtful and deliberate, and something she recently wrote struck a chord (no orchestra joke intended!):

“When I was getting my HazMat Tech certificate, I learned that the bulk of the damage in an explosion’s blast wave isn’t from the initial outward concussion but from the returning air wave as air moves back to fill the low pressure left by the blast. What was made unstable by the first blast finally collapses in the weaker returning wave. We’re experiencing something similar. We adjusted to the first concussive COVID-19 wave. We changed how we work, what the environment looks like and how we interact with others. We wobbled but didn’t topple. And now we’re trying to return back. Back to something that doesn’t exist anymore. Back to something that has inherently changed. We wonder why we’re tired and flirting with burnout. We aren’t going back – we’re making a second, different, large-scale change to something new. The blast wave is returning and threatening to take us all down.”

I don’t know about you, but I’m tired. The ways we shifted to reach our customers and respond to challenges during the height of the pandemic have become the standard – and what may have been meant as a stop-gap measure has become the expectation. We aren’t going back to the old ways at work, so it’s time to figure out how to respond as the blast wave comes at us again. When my life feels a little out of control, I reach for organization. I buy new notebooks and planners; I search out research on habits and prioritization; and I remind myself that growth always comes with a little bit of pain.

The High 5 Habit: Take Control of Your Life with One Simple Habit
Author: Mel Robbins
Released: September 28, 2021

Don’t let the title fool you. This isn’t a book about high fiving everyone else in your life. You’re already doing that. Cheering for your favorite teams. Celebrating your friends. Supporting the people you love as they go after what they want in life. Imagine if you gave that same love and encouragement to yourself. Or even better, you made it a daily habit. You’d be unstoppable. In this book, Robbins teaches you how to start high fiving the most important person in your life, the one who is staring back at you in the mirror: yourself. Using her signature science-backed wisdom, deeply personal stories, and the real-life results that The High 5 Habit is creating in people’s lives around the world (and you’ll meet a lot of them throughout this book), Robbins will teach you how to make believing in yourself a habit so that you operate with the confidence that your goals and dreams demand. The High 5 Habit is a simple yet profound tool that changes your attitude, your mindset and your behavior. So be prepared to laugh and learn as you take steps to immediately boost your confidence, happiness and results.

At Your Best: How to Get Time, Energy and Priorities Working in Your Favor
Author: Carey Nieuwhof
Released: September 14, 2021

Overwhelmed. Overcommitted. Overworked. That’s the false script an inordinate number of people adopt to be successful. Tired of living that way? At Your Best gives you the strategies you need to win at work and at home by living in a way today that will help you thrive tomorrow. Influential podcast host and thought leader Carey Nieuwhof understands the challenges of constant pressure. After a season of burnout almost took him out, he discovered how to get time, energy and priorities working in his favor. This approach freed up more than one thousand productive hours a year for him and can do the same for you. At Your Best will help you break the pattern of overpromising and never accomplishing enough; clarify what matters most by restructuring your day; master the art of saying no, without losing friends or influence; and develop a personalized plan to recapture each day so you can break free from the trap of endless to-dos.

Effortless: Make It Easier to Do What Matters Most
Author: Greg McKeown
Released: April 27, 2021

Do you ever feel like you’re teetering right on the edge of burnout? Everything is so much harder than it used to be? As high achievers, we’ve been conditioned to believe that the path to success is paved with relentless work. That if we want to overachieve, we have to overexert, overthink and overdo. But lately, working hard is more exhausting than ever. And the more depleted we get, the more effort it takes to make progress. Stuck in an endless loop of “Zoom, eat, sleep, repeat,” we’re often working twice as hard to achieve half as much. Getting ahead doesn’t have to be as hard as we make it. Effortless offers actionable advice for making the most essential activities the easiest ones, so you can achieve the results you want, without burning out. Effortless teaches you how to set a sustainable pace instead of powering through; make one-time choices that eliminate many future decisions; simplify your processes by removing unnecessary steps and more.

The Energy Bus: 10 Rules to Fuel Your Life, Work and Team with Positive Energy
Author: Jon Gordon
Released: May 18, 2009

Fuel your life with positive energy with this bestselling fable. It’s Monday morning and George walks out of the front door to his car and a flat tire. This is the least of his problems. His home life is in shambles and his team at work is in disarray. With a big product launch coming in two weeks, he has to find a way to get it together or risk losing his marriage and job. Forced to take the bus to work, George meets a unique bus driver and an interesting cast of characters who, over the course of two weeks, share the 10 rules for the ride of his life. In the process, they help him turn around his work and life. The Energy Bus takes readers on an enlightening and inspiring ride that reveals 10 secrets for approaching life and work with the kind of positive, forward thinking that leads to true accomplishment. Build positive energy with vision, trust, optimism, enthusiasm, purpose and spirit. Learn how to turn negative energy into positive achievement. Overcome obstacles and bring out the best in yourself and your team. The Energy Bus provides a powerful plan for overcoming common life and work obstacles and bringing out the best in yourself and your team. When you get on The Energy Bus, you’ll enjoy the ride of your life.