, What to do when you’re running on empty?

What to do when you’re running on empty?

July 28th, 2021 Posted by Leadership Coaching, Life Coaching, Performance Coaching

If you’re feeling like a lot of my clients out there it’s likely the end of the year break seems very far away! I’ve been feeling it too – drained and difficult to feel motivated, just going through the motions – but this isn’t me and I had to pull it back just for my own sanity! It’s difficult to stay motivated all the time, especially when you’re running your own business and your only source of motivation is you. However, that’s the game and I wouldn’t change it for anything! I’ve been reflecting a little on why my motivation slipped recently and it all started when I came off my bike (not motorbike this time) and potentially broke a bone in my wrist (the x-rays are inconclusive – but it hurts like hell!)

I was feeling pretty sorry for myself because everything I did led to pain and frustration. I couldn’t even put on my own socks! I found that I was sitting around more than I do, staying up later than normal and lying in in the morning. I had great plans to catch up on bits and pieces of work over the school holidays but didn’t get through too much of it at all – I had no motivation to do anything.

If you’ve been feeling a little low on energy, here are some tips to pull you back out of the slump.

  1. Get some quality sleep. Our brains need sleep to recover. Using our brains burns glycogen (energy) and the byproduct produced from this process is called adenosine. When adenosine builds up in the brain it causes us to feel groggy, get grumpy, make errors in judgement, and so on. The only way – THE ONLY WAY – of breaking down adenosine is through sleep. Guess how long it takes the average adult to break down adenosine… that’s right! 7 – 8 hours.
  2. Move your body – change your physiology! Whenever I work with clients who have depression (or anxiety) the first thing I get them to do is exercise. I’m not talking about going out and running a marathon but engaging in some physical exercise to get the heart pumping and get the blood flowing to the brain. Doing something in nature gives us that extra boost! ‘Emotion’ is caused by ‘motion’ – get moving again!
  3. Identify or reignite your purpose! Having a strong purpose is essential for motivation. Why do you get out of bed every day? Sometimes money can motivate but only to a point. What drives you? A few years ago I burnt out – BIG TIME! I couldn’t figure out why. I’ve certainly worked harder in the past and I’ve definitely worked harder since then but the reason was I wasn’t aligned to the purpose of the organisation I was working in – I didn’t believe in what they were about anymore and no matter how I tried to motivate myself I couldn’t get past it. A sense of purpose for what you do is a massive intrinsic motivator. It will get you up early and keep you up late. It’s rejuvenating and acts as a buffer against burn out. What’s your purpose?
  4. Set a short-term goal. Sometimes having a short-term goal is all it takes to pull you out of a slump because momentum matters. What three month goal can you set for yourself just to get you moving again?
  5. Find a way to contribute. Lastly, look for ways to contribute to others. It may feel like the last thing you want to do when your energy is low and all you can do is get through the day but I promise you, if you give of yourself to others who need help in some small way, you will automatically start to feel your energy return – and who knows, you might accidently stumble upon your life purpose too!

Don’t wait until the ‘right’ time. If you need a boost start now! Take action and do something different. Start your day ‘on purpose’ and allow the flow to take over.

I hope you find this useful and if I can help in anyway, please sing out at any time. Lastly, if you know of anyone struggling for motivation at the moment why not send this on to them – you never know what impact a small act of kindness can have on another person.


If you’d like to know more about how to achieve more in life or business, or if you’d like to explore how coaching can help you become a better leader (of others or yourself!), or even if you’re just generally curious about what professional coaching can offer you, please contact us at any time for a free consultation.

Subscribe & Stay Informed

Best way to keep in touch with our latest news and updates.

We'll never spam or give this address away