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The HaBO Village Podcast

4 Ways Business Leaders Can Beat Fatigue [Podcast]

Episode 181: Michael and Kathryn explore four ways business leaders can evaluate and overcome fatigue. Burnout can easily sneak up on you if you aren't careful, so get tips for preventing and overcoming mental, emotional, and physical fatigue by giving this episode a listen.

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In This Episode You Will...

  • Discover how fatigue contributes to the burnout epidemic and why it's gotten worse in the past 2 years.

  • Find out what sleep, diet, and exercise have to do with reducing fatigue.

  • Get Michael and Kathryn's personal insights into how they combat fatigue during their week.

“Being exhausted really does diminish your ability to be successful in life, as it turns out."

- Kathryn Redman


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Michael:             Hello, and welcome to the HaBO Village Podcast, where we talk about developing the whole leader for the whole business. I'm Michael Redman.

Kathryn:             And I'm Kathryn Redman.

Michael:             This is the podcast for entrepreneurs, founders, and business owners, leaders like you who are running companies.

Kathryn:             Our goal is to encourage you, give you practical tips and tools that you can apply today. And even more importantly, remind you that you're not in this alone.

Michael:             Because we believe that you can build a company that is financially successful, fulfilling for you and your team, and avoid burnout all at the same time.

Kathryn:             We know because we've done it and we've been helping other leaders do it too for over 20 years.

Michael:             Welcome to today's show. Let's dive in. Okay, today we're going to talk about fatigue. I know, what are you doing? Well, we're continuing our series on leadership self-care, and fatigue's really critical for us to understand. I think it's an important enough topic that we're talking a whole podcast today on it. And you want to notice it in yourself as a leader, and you want to notice it in your team.

Kathryn:             Right. And part of our goal, we said it in the introduction, is to talk about, what does it look like to help you avoid burnout? And fatigue, as it turns out especially-

Michael:             Dun, dun, dun, dun.

Kathryn:             ...Extended fatigue is definitely a contributory factor to burnout.

Michael:             Yeah, it's kind of funny, because fatigue is a contributing factor to burnout. And at the same time, fatigue is a symptom of burnout.

Kathryn:             Yes.

Michael:             And so it starts to be a cycle in what's going on. So if you start to see fatigue, you are definitely in stage two burnout of stage four, especially...

Kathryn:             Stage two of four stages.

Michael:             Of four stages, two of four.

Kathryn:             You're not in stage two of stage four, because that would be like stage four has multiple stages.

Michael:             Or 204 stages. You're in stage 204. And this is critical. It's like, okay, you want to keep an eye on these things. I'm telling you what folks, I've never met somebody who has gone through partial burnout or total burnout that fully knew and understood that they were there.

Kathryn:             It snuck up on them.

Michael:             Or almost there. It snuck up on them. Have you ever met anybody who went, "I knew I was in burnout, but I just kept going".

Kathryn:             I think actually I have met people who would say, "Looking back, I can see the signs, but I ignored them or I chose to just be like, it's going to be fine. I just need to sleep a little more tonight".

Michael:             Which goes to my point that when they're in the middle of it...

Kathryn:             So I'm agreeing with you, apparently.

Michael:             I think you are.

Kathryn:             While saying no.

Michael:             When you're in the middle of it, it's one thing to let... It's always easier to look and have rear view mirror judgment.

Kathryn:             Yeah. 20/20 hindsight.

Michael:             But lying on the couch totally wore out for several of our friends that have had massive burnout and many of them had burnout in their forties and early fifties. And then all of a sudden you're like, wow. And it all... It smacks you. It's like, I've always been able to do this. I've always been able to do all nighters. I've always been able to work a 10 hour day. I've always been able to do it. I've always been successful. I've always had the energy. I've always been able to recover quickly. Those are sayings that happen with people who are burned out and they didn't realize what was coming because what they don't realize is, there is a level in the human body that two things happen for most people. Well, for all human beings. The scale is a little different for some people. And that is, the effects of abuse on the body and pushing it to its limits beyond what it should be are cumulative. They don't easily come away. And the older we get, especially after we're 25 or 30, our body stops making... dramatically decreases the amount of stem cells we have in our body. Stem cells are made for actually recovering and restoring the body and healing the body. So, you get to this place where you're like, I've always been able to do this. We know people who say, "I've always been able to handle my alcohol".

Kathryn:             I might be one of those people. I don't understand what's happening. This has never happened before. Why do I feel so awful?

Michael:             And there is an assumption, and we talked about this in our last episode when we were talking about VUCA, but this idea of, if I look backwards, it's always been okay. I've always been able to produce the same level. I've always been able to produce, do things, create, have tolerances. But at some point, our human bodies change. And there's also this weird thing, and it is best described I think in the nervous system. It turns out that when somebody finally, their back pinches or something like that, and there's an immense amount of pain, it turns out that they didn't just do something to their back that went from zero to pain. It was in many cases, the nerve has to be pinched over 50%. That is what I've been taught. And there might be some variances to that a little bit, but basically here's what I learned years ago, is that at 40%, 45%, 47%, 49%, the nerve isn't sending out those massive pain spasm signals, but 51, 52, 55, 60, all of a sudden you've gone over that. And then it starts to do it. So the pain isn't indicative of something occurred, it's that something has been occurring and you finally pushed over the threshold and the body revolts.

Kathryn:             And burnout is exactly the same way. It's not you were fine today and tomorrow you are no longer functioning. That's how it feels. But it's because of this cumulative effect and of not understanding or paying attention to the signs of increasing fatigue and all the things that are surrounding that. So it's really important. And again, one of the things that Michael and I care deeply about is codifying language so that you can begin to identify and articulate back to yourself what you see. So instead of it being a fuzzy term, instead of it being all complex in your head, you can go, oh, this is that. And then you can begin to address it.

Michael:             So as we talk about fatigue today, you might be feeling fatigue if you're worn down or tired. You might be due to mental, emotional, physical stressors, ills. So let me say that again. Today's world, you could be feeling fatigue, a constant feeling of being worn down or tired out due to mental, emotional, or physical stressors or illness. In materials... That's in people. In materials, we see fatigue in weaknesses or wearing down due to overuse, which I like that. Overuse. Because that does apply to us as people and human beings and stuff like that. And the radical amount of fatigue is when our body is being overused, whether it's from stressors or anything like that we're talking about. Physical stressors, emotional stressors, all kinds of stuff. So that's what we're talking about today and it's pretty critical. And we've seen it a lot in the whole issue of COVID. So we have this quarantine fatigue that shows up in the news all the time. And then we have parts of that which are caution fatigue and anxiety fatigue.

Kathryn:             So people who, they're living their lives, and this is true even post quarantine, where you live your life kind of on edge with this constant caution, you're constantly concerned and very, very careful. And you know what? It requires a lot of energy to be extraordinarily careful with how you interact with the world. It just requires an incredible amount of energy. And so this caution fatigue is that you're just constantly being very, very careful and that's wearing you out. The other part of it, the anxiety fatigue is more a fear fatigue. You're constantly worrying about what could happen if. And that constant state of alertness and worry can absolutely cause incredible fatigue.

Michael:             Well, one of the things that was interesting is the quote I heard by Major Allison Brager, PhD, she's a neuroscientist in the US Army and she studies the survival under extreme conditions. People who are survivors. And she describes what's happening inside our minds like this, "Normally cortisol is an energy promoting hormone, but when you are in a prolonged state of high stress, your cortisol production gets so unbalanced that it flips, it flips the switch and you start experiencing fatigue and burnout". And that flip, that light switch, it's like the nerve we were talking about at 49, 50, 51, 52, it flips. The body says, okay, that's the threshold in which I will flip the switch.

Kathryn:             And we're done.

Michael:             And we're done. And guess what? You're going to have trouble walking or whatever. The other part of that is when this fatigue, experiencing fatigue and burnout, that stands out really strongly in that quote.

Kathryn:             So let's just back up for just a second.

Michael:             Okay.

Kathryn:             So there is fatigue that is literally just about, you're not sleeping enough, right?

Michael:             Right.

Kathryn:             So just the basic, there's kind of just the transient fatigue that happens when you did an all nighter, you push through, you haven't slept. It's been a couple of days. Just like this is just a moment in time fatigue.

Michael:             And that would fall under probably partially mental, but a physical stressor.

Kathryn:             The physical stressor, right? And then there's the cumulative fatigue, again, that can come on by just not sleeping enough. Just the physical reality of your body is designed to have X hours of sleep and you're getting Y on a regular basis.

Michael:             And then when we talk about sleep, there's three different types, three different types of how sleep affects us in our fatigue. One is circadian rhythms, when we're doing... we're going to somewhere else in the world, or we're sleeping odd off hours to human beings or jet lag.

Kathryn:             People who work night shifts sometimes the circadian fatigue is your body was designed to sleep at certain hours. And especially if you're awake, the researchers say between 2 and 5:00 AM a lot, it gets very, very dicey on your body.

Michael:             Interesting.

Kathryn:             I know.

Michael:             Okay.

Kathryn:             It's called the window of circadian low.

Michael:             Well, isn't that fancy.

Kathryn:             I know.

Michael:             These are types of aspects of not enough sleep or things like that also, there's these dynamics. So you've got a sleep type fatigue or fatigue that comes when you don't have enough rest. And the fatigue is coming because the body really needs that restoration time. Scientists still don't know all of what's happening when we're sleeping, but sleep is a huge fighter against fatigue. It helps with anxiety, but I was thinking anxiety fatigue. But it helps with fatigue in general. We don't get enough sleep as human beings most of the time.

Kathryn:             Well, and as Americans in business, we absolutely don't get enough sleep because there's somehow a badge of honor. We stay up too late. We get up too early. I only need six hours. That's all I need. And it's like, Gary, you're a human in a human body. And odds are, you probably need nine or 10 and that might appall you, but that's actually what the scientist tell us.

Michael:             Well, and you might be waking up or cruising along and you might... type A personality. We're working hard. We work a lot, but we've learned, I've learned, I have to actually do things to start shutting my brain down. Some people can just go full bore and then turn everything off and go to sleep for eight or nine hours and then get up...

Kathryn:             And do it all over again.

Michael:             They're wide awake. They're wide awake and they just keep going.

Kathryn:             I envy them so much.

Michael:             I, at times, between you and I, I go to sleep faster, usually.

Kathryn:             Absolutely.

Michael:             I mean, when I'm ready to go to sleep, I just, kkksshh, and turn it off. And that happens most of the time. But what I'm finding more and more, especially as I get older, but I think it actually was happening when I was younger and as I look back, I didn't fully realize it, and that is, I was doing things to keep my mind stimulated. I was bored. I wanted to read or I wanted to watch YouTube or I'd watch TV.

Kathryn:             Not when you were young, you didn't. There wasn't a YouTube.

Michael:             No, but there was TV and there was stuff like that. And then all of a sudden I catch a second wind and my brain catches a second wind sometimes at 10, 10:30 at night or 11. Kind of that between, I'm like, I'm ready...

Kathryn:             You should have stopped.

Michael:             I should have stopped.

Kathryn:             And you didn't.

Michael:             And all of a sudden it could be 12 or one o'clock in the morning for me. And I have to be careful of that. I have to realize that if I push through that first tired, I'll read the book when I'm tired. But if I push through it, I wake up again. And I'm realizing that while, sometimes it's the other side around where it's just like, well, I was wide awake. I didn't want to go to sleep. That's because you're doing things that you've trained yourself and your body might be inclined to getting less sleep, but you are also training it. You're also doing things and you have to be self disciplined. And some things in our self discipline are really easy. Some people like to work out, so they work out all the time and that's really good for them. Other people, going to work out no matter how much you work out is hard. And trying...

Kathryn:             Myself.

Michael:             Trying to stay in that routine. I don't like it, but it's good for you. So you need to do it. You need to discipline. And this sleep thing, I think it's just gotten a bad rap because getting enough sleep, well, first of all, in corporate America, it was a badge of honor, if you read content, if you listen to people, Ariana Huffington has really done a lot of work on this, especially after she sold the Huffington Post, because she's... All this... The research says, look, this is not a badge of honor, and you will wear your body down. And eventually it will fatigue you at a point where you don't even realize you're fatigued and you're just kind of pushing through. And then the switch will flip. Your productivity is already decreased at some level. So this is fatigue, right? We want to make sure that we're watching it. So we've got symptoms of fatigue that again, let's go back to where we were, there are physical, mental, emotional. Are you short with people? Are you finding yourself that you just don't have enough energy?

Kathryn:             Your motivation is low. Your sense of just... One of the symptoms is just that sense of, why do I just have to keep doing this? What is the point? And so you'd get kind of sad.

Michael:             Now, one of the things that we're all dealing with is the caution fatigue and the anxiety fatigue, because we all went through COVID. And VUCA is a part of this. VUCA is a huge part. COVID was a large contributor to VUCA. And if you don't know what we're talking about with VUCA, it's an acronym for volatility, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity, and our last podcast was about that.

Kathryn:             Yep. Talked about how to respond to it and how to kind of embrace and walk through understanding that's the role we live in. But a huge contributor to just this overall sense of fatigue and tiredness. And what's interesting is so often...

Michael:             Is what?

Kathryn:             Is VUCA.

Michael:             Right.

Kathryn:             And COVID 19 really propelled that forward.

Michael:             COVID 19 was a huge factor in the world. Understanding it's the first time in a long time we all experienced the same thing, except for wars and stuff like that. But it's been a long time since we've a non-war.

Kathryn:             Well, and this was the global, it was intense. And what's interesting is that quarantine fatigue, it was a really interesting study in understanding that you can be sitting at home and experience just complete exhaustion. There's been a lot of conversations, a lot of articles written on, why am I so tired when I've never left my house? And it's an interesting correlation between all of the things that were happening when we were not allowed to interact with humans, things that actually give us energy and morale and joy and hope, and those things were radically diminished. And we learned and are continuing to learn and unpack that connecting with the human from the shoulders up is not the same as connecting with them face to face. It just isn't.

Michael:             And these memes flying around, kind of started to understand why pets try to run out of the house when the front door opens.

Kathryn:             Exactly.

Michael:             Right?

Kathryn:             I just need to escape.

Michael:             I ate 11 times, took five naps and it's still today. I mean, these are the things that are going on. And I remember the first person David Allison, when we were interviewing him on our podcast, he was talking about the neuroscience early on in COVID of what they realized was the cortisol was... there was a slow drip of cortisol in the brain. And that was causing a very slight elevation of fight or flight. And part of that is a stressor so that we are ready. It also caused what we refer to as the COVID 19 or COVID 20, because when you're in that stress, you start burning...

Kathryn:             The weight gain.

Michael:             The weight gain.

Kathryn:             The COVID 19. Y.

Michael:             Yeah. You start craving carbs, because you are going to be doing something that's going to require a lot of energy and there's a lot of energy in carbohydrates.

Kathryn:             And yet you weren't actually doing anything that required a lot of energy.

Michael:             I went from craving a beer a week to a beer a day. And that just helped me with my COVID.

Kathryn:             And lots of M&Ms.

Michael:             And no exercise and all of that kind of stuff. It was not a part of my discipline and habit. So when we look for stuff, we're looking for a couple of different things in stress and fatigue. And this is, as you're looking for it, I want you to think about, okay, well, what do we do with it? What do we do with fatigue? There are a few things that we can pay attention to. We can pay attention to our sleep. We can pay attention to diet. We can pay attention to exercise. And we can pay attention to rest from activities. So sometimes it's not that you're not getting enough sleep, diet, or exercise. I remember I've heard of people having fatigue just working on a task, a single specific task for too long. It becomes a mental fatigue. I remember when we were in Turkey and we were visiting a rug making shop and there was an easel and a woman working there. And it was, I don't know, 15 x 15, probably 20 x 20 square that she was working on. And they were tying the knots and the threads so tight and it required so much vision that they really, the person said that the women that were doing the work could only do the work for four or five hours a day max, because it was fatiguing on their eyes. It was straining on their mind because the craftsmanship was so good. And these aren't sweat shops, this is just normal. This is what an artisan has to do when they're doing something so intricate and delicate. And so you're like, okay...

Kathryn:             And it's why that rug that we really liked was $6,000. There's a lot of eyeballs on that thing.

Michael:             Airline pilots can only be on for so many hours at a time. And then they're forced to come off. They can't work like this extra overtime because they realize that paying attention to the details is imperative. And that kind of fatigue can cause decision lapses.

Kathryn:             Absolutely. In fact, that what I was reading earlier, those types of fatigue that are the momentary type of fatigue and then the cumulative and the circadian, those are actually from the airline industry. That's actually talking about that kind of stuff. This is how we're monitoring our pilots. We need to make sure there's not too much of this, or it impairs judgment. It causes bad things to happen.

Michael:             So when we talk about this, we know we want sleep, diet, exercise, and then rest from a continuous activity that where you have to be on high alert or a requires special attention to skill or thought or anything like that. And what we know about fatigue is that while you need those things, there's a type of cumulative that it adds up, but the body doesn't just dispel it. So let's talk sleep for moment. This is a very specific example. Everybody knows that they have a certain amount of sleep. The research says that we all need somewhere between seven and nine hours. And that varies on an individual. Once you start getting below seven hours and over nine hours, that starts to become not helpful for the body, because you can actually have...

Kathryn:             I'm going to argue for 10. I really like 10.

Michael:             I would say 10 works well for you. And if you could have 10 on a regular basis, that would be great.

Kathryn:             I'll take it.

Michael:             If you would go to bed at eight o'clock every night.

Kathryn:             It doesn't happen.

Michael:             It does not happen. Let's go back to sleep. Because we got distracted there.

Kathryn:             Sorry.

Michael:             So let's just go with the standard eight hours. You need eight hours of sleep a night. You cut and you say, well for the next three nights, I can only get six hours sleep. You cannot go back. It's cumulative, that loss of two hours every night equals six hours over three days. It's not to the point where you can just go, okay, well I did six, now I'll go back to eight and everything should be fine the next day, because I got a full night of sleep tonight. I haven't had it. Well, no you've got a deficit in your body of this and that's this cumulative aspect of fatigue. And the research tells us that you need to make up that time. Well, if you just go back to eight hours, it could take you days and days and days and days for your body to restore or you go back and you go, okay, well I usually get eight. I need a couple of days where I get 10. And I see that. I know that, especially on weekends and Saturdays and stuff, I use it. Now, you've got to be careful not to just go, I'm going to cheat myself, cheat myself, cheat myself, and then try and make everything up in a day or two.

Michael:             The longer you spend depleting, the longer you need to take that up because the body... The body can only take in so many nutrients. And then if you eat a bunch of stuff, take a lot of vitamins, you end up peeing some of those vitamins out...

Kathryn:             Thanks for that visual.

Michael:             Because the body can't take it in.

Kathryn:             It can't absorb.

Michael:             Can't absorb it, right?

Kathryn:             It's like, we could talk about ground that can't absorb the water. That would be a better...

Michael:             You like that better than intestines that can't absorb. But a real factor. At some point, the body can only absorb so much value from sleep

Kathryn:             At one time.

Michael:             At one time. So you're going to have to take time to bring that back. If you have a habit of swinging on, off, on, off, it's people who are like, well I sleep... I work nights three days a week and then I'm back to days four days a week. Well, that can really mess you up. And there's plenty of stories in the medical industry where people who work those schedules, it just really messes them up. And they really don't... they do not fully chipper and alive and everything else after doing that for long periods of time.

Kathryn:             For sure.

Michael:             They're horribly fatigued, but there's a low level of fatigue that happens that exists in our day that doesn't allow us to be our best.

Kathryn:             Well, and as a leader, think about how much your level of energy affects your office, affects your team, affects their mood. So I know just even last week I had a few super early mornings because I was doing a special thing with a client three mornings in a row and it was a 6:00 AM start. So I'm up at 4:30, which is not my jam, by the way. Definitely not my jam.

Michael:             And I will account for that. It is not her jam.

Kathryn:             So I was just so dang tired. And I remember the first night that I was actually allowed to sleep and have a normal night sleep and not have to get up at 4:30, I was so excited. And then my body was messed up and I couldn't sleep and it was horrible. And I remember just a couple days ago for the first time since that, so then it was like seven days later, getting a good night's sleep and waking up and being like, okay, today I feel hopeful again, today I feel alive, today I feel energized. So it doesn't even take long to mess you up. So this sleep thing is super, super critical. And as a leader, you owe it to your team, again, this entire series we're doing on self-care, right? You owe it to your team to be taking care of yourself because they need you at your best.

Michael:             What gets in the way of that? One of the things that gets in the way of that is, I don't... Everybody's counting on me, or I've got this payroll. There's all these magnanimous ways of thinking about abusing yourself.

Kathryn:             Yes, we can defend it to the core.

Michael:             I'm like, well, integrity is important. Integrity is more important than my long stability or my own physical health or my ability to stick around. Well, if I take care of them now, then it's better than if I take care of them in a year or whatever. That kind of stuff gets in our way as leaders.

Kathryn:             It does.

Michael:             It gets in the way of... I mean, I've done it. I've been there. I've gone, well, this sucks.

Kathryn:             Though I will tell you that in that scenario you painted missing payroll is not an option, because that's really bad for your team.

Michael:             There are certain things...

Kathryn:             There are certain deadlines that do actually have to be met.

Michael:             Yeah, you don't, well, you don't stay in business. But once we get past some of those things, you're like, let's just be real for a moment. I want to use certain expletives because I'm really riled up about this subject. I get that payroll is important, but that's exactly what a lot of leaders do is they push themselves into places of stress and then they use something like that. They go, well, it's not an option. I've got to do it. I've got to take care of it. We've got to have enough money coming in. Well, why did you hire that last person? Well, are you taking on more than you can do? Did you not budget time of your staff and yourself? Did you not budget your finances? Okay. I'm going to push on something. Are you trying to pay yourself too much? One of the problems leaders have is they try and take too much money from their company. I deserve X.

Michael:             There's the opposite problem also. I don't pay myself enough. That happens way more often. But I meet enough leaders where they're like, you know what? I'm just selfish and I'm going to take what I want. And then I'm going to start using and I'm going to become used to a lifestyle and it requires X amount of money. And now I have to behave in ways that are unhealthy to support that because I've put myself in a position and then I justify it with this, oh this is like, well I can't miss payroll. That's not fair to people. But what decisions did we make to put ourselves in bad places? And even in the darkest times of half a bubble out and we talk about in the great recession and we were growing fast, we didn't intend to be mean or selfish or jerky, but we made really bad decisions.

Kathryn:             We did.

Michael:             That caused ourself more pain than we needed to. And we had to relearn habits or learn new habits and unlearn other habits so that we could behave in ways that were going, no. And we're going to watch this like a hawk because we're not going back to that, right?

Kathryn:             Yeah. Because we were doing really, really well. And then it all crashed late for us. And we had made some really bad decisions.

Michael:             And for...

Kathryn:             Caused a lot of lost sleep.

Michael:             And for anybody listening right now, I mean, I'm not getting mad at my wife, but I get frustrated when I hear leaders do that.

Kathryn:             In my defense, I was only talking about, it's five o'clock on a Tuesday and I have to finish payroll for tomorrow. I wasn't actually... The thing that you got riled up about was not what I was talking about. I was talking about actually giving the payroll to the payroll company in time. I was talking about that deadline, but hey, that's what tangents are made for.

Michael:             Okay. I want to wrap up this episode on fatigue, but we need to reemphasize what's so significant about fatigue. Why are we talking about fatigue?

Kathryn:             Because being exhausted really does diminish your ability to be successful in life, as it turns out.

Michael:             I mean, some of the things we've studied that are significant about even judgment with fatigue, right?

Kathryn:             Right. Yeah. I mean, if you are not sleeping well or you're not taking care of yourself, just your ability to react to situations, to have solid judgment, to make good decisions can be radically compromised.

Michael:             And that may sound obvious, but we actually have resources where we actually measure those things and specifically and accurately measure those things so we can see the capacity of our judgment, but with things like fatigue and everything else, our ability to emphasize or live into our capacity for good judgment, making decisions, not getting ourselves into a pickle.

Kathryn:             Sorry. A pickle or a bun.

Michael:             And then...

Kathryn:             Sorry, I suddenly am envisioning hamburgers.

Michael:             But as we're getting back on track, the idea that you can get yourself in trouble and fatigue, fatigue just can wear away at you. So those kind of things are important. It's important to realize that fatigue is a sign in the stages of the four stages of burnout. And you need to be careful and watch it. So we're talking today about caution fatigue. We're talking about anxiety, fatigue. These things came up really into our society even more through COVID.

Kathryn:             Absolutely.

Michael:             And then we have the whole issue of VUCA, which is affecting a whole lot of other stuff. So here are four things that you need to consider. The first is, you need to self-evaluate. Are you fatigued? And if you're like, well... ask somebody who's really close to you. Do you think I'm fatigued? Do you think I'm just kind of running low on the fuel tank lately? They'll either go, well maybe, kind of. Or, absolutely.

Kathryn:             If you're really brave, you're really brave, ask your staff. They'll tell you how much energy they think you have for doing the things that are important for their survival.

Michael:             That's good. Two, how's your diet? This is the second thing you want to think about. You want to have a balanced diet. Are you experiencing carb cravings? It turns out that when VUCA is high, fatigue is affected. Fatigue is there. Carb cravings start to happen because we start to move into a fight or flight response. It's like, where's our energy? Especially when...

Kathryn:             Yes, your body is saying you have to bulk up. You're going to have to run very fast.

Michael:             Yes. Either you're going to eat something or something's going to eat you.

Kathryn:             Exactly.

Michael:             And then watch, how's your alcohol consumption? Watch your alcohol consumption. Because when you're fatigued also you're reserves are down, just to again, making good judgements and your cravings, your body's craving different things for different reasons that we just talked about. And also you're like, what's easy? And your self control and your self discipline tends to wane also. All right. Number three. What can you do on top of watching your diet? Exercise. Regular exercise is important, but what is regular exercise? I really like what Dr. Sinclair says over at Harvard University. He's a professor on longevity, has been studying for 30 years and he says, one of the things that's critical really is you don't have to exercise every day. He says, "If you can exercise twice a week and sweat and work up a sweat, you are actually straining your body in the right ways to burn off some of the stress tension and keep cells healthy and rejuvenating". If you've got other goals, other physical goals, you're going to run a marathon or anything like that, twice a week's probably not going to be helpful. But for general health and longevity, that's one of the things that's really stood out. So that's helpful just taking those walks, even taking walks in the evening before you go to bed, I know a slight walk around the neighborhood if you can, if that's possible, it's safe, or something where you're just kind of getting that brisk 15, 20 minutes at lunch or something. Even if you could do that every day and take a short walk. I think that's helpful. Any thoughts on that?

Kathryn:             Yeah. I was just thinking at two times a week sounds so doable compared to what we're normally told, which is you need to be three or four times a week. You got to make sure you do your arm day and your leg day and your cardio. And I think those things are not untrue and they're good, especially if you're trying to build strength and agility and those kinds of things. But just knowing if that feels overwhelming to you, start with two times a day just trying to do something, that'll help you break sweat. I think that's really good.

Michael:             It really is. And again, it goes back to if you have different goals, but we're talking from a longevity research. If you want to do strength or your posture, everything else, you might have to do a little bit more extra work. They say your body starts to untrain every three days, is the research that I've...

Kathryn:             So I shouldn't have given it months off before I started again?

Michael:             Well you probably shouldn't have, but the good news is they say in 30 days you can actually gain back 80% of where you were.

Kathryn:             Oh, that's good news.

Michael:             That's what they say.

Kathryn:             I'll keep you posted on that.

Michael:             Whoever they is. Okay. And the fourth thing we're going to talk about is counseling or coaching. Counseling, coaching, both, either, or, really powerful tools.

Kathryn:             Yeah. Because one of the things that's absolutely true is that the more you invest in the inner game, the self side, that part of who you are and you build up those resiliencies, those tools essentially, those are what will anchor you and help you to be able to manage the stress. So when we see people who have really strong scores in their self care and just in their ability to really kind of deal with their inner game, those people tend to be able to then function far more effectively in their outer game, in their work side and in the way that they lead and all of those things. So those really solid anchors as you're building resilience and kind of figuring out the things that make you tick and the things that are standing in your way, all of those things are much easier to access if you're actually having conversations about them with someone that you trust who can ask you good questions and mentor, coach, counsel, those kinds of things. So we really do recommend that.

Michael:             And for my friends out there who are listening right now who are already great leaders who you've got things nailed, most of this stuff, you're like, you're going, yeah, I know this, I know this, I know this. And you're just checking off the list you go, I really know all that stuff. This coaching stuff is still for you. Matter of fact, it's actually more for you because where you are in your development in your older years, your later years, your more senior in your leadership development, there are what we have seen in stages. If you are a good leader, there's at least two stages of leadership above you that you could develop in and grow into that could make you that much more effective and personally rewarding, actually. I want to suggest and encourage that those are things that are really important. Kathryn and I still do coaching. We still have coaches. We still have people pouring into us and we still invest in this stuff because we want to continue to finish... We want to finish strong and that's really it. And fatigue is a dangerous little critter that can get in and be one of the things that can stop us from finishing strong as leaders in our life and leaving the legacy we want to leave.

Kathryn:             Absolutely.

Michael:             So that's it for fatigue today. We want to thank you for joining us. This is a great extra episode in our series of leadership self care. And we just hope that you'll be taking some time to really think about this, to evaluate yourself, and to look at where you are, because we're hoping that you're not worried about fatigue right now, or you're not struggling with fatigue, but if you are, we want you to take care of yourself. And then as leaders, we know that you've got people you're leading that we want you to keep an eye on. You want to keep your people healthy and moving in the right direction. And hopefully today's episode's been helpful.

Kathryn:             If you have any questions or comments or thoughts, anything you want to interact with us on, just please just shoot us an email.

Michael:             Please communicate...

Kathryn:             Talk to us.

Michael:             Info@halfabubbleout.com. That's info@halfabubbleout.com. You can find the show notes page on halfabubbleout.com also for this podcast, but communicate with us some way. We'd love to hear any stories on how you're dealing with fatigue. Is fatigue affecting your company? And any questions you have. I'm Michael Redman. Let me say that again. I'm Michael Redman.

Kathryn:             And I'm Kathryn Redman.

Michael:             And this is the HaBO Village podcast. Thanks for joining us.

Kathryn:             Bye-bye.