Can you tell the difference between good tired and bad tired? For yourself? For your employees?

If bad tired is the normal on your team, it might reduce the shelf-life of peoples’ goodwill.

Imagine yourself at the end of a blockbuster day. Your evening is about to begin. You’re tired – but it feels like a good tired. What kind of things do you say to your teammates or your loved ones?

“I’m bagged…but I’m happy with what I got done.”

“It was hard, but we made some real progress.”

“Now I can give myself permission to be lazy for a bit.”

“I am tired, but it’s not like I can’t do anything. I still have some energy for other things.”


Good Tired:

Is a sigh made up of equal parts weariness and fulfillment.

Is you feeling chill, but not comatose.

Reminds you your energy is finite…but renewable.

Is the sense of being utilized but not exploited.

Is a healthy place of vulnerability that attunes others to your needs and invites them to contribute.

Shows you what you’re capable of.

Teaches you where your edges, boundaries and limitations are/need to be.

Leaves you feeling, “I’ll be good by tomorrow.”



Bad tired:

Is a sigh made up of equal parts depletion and unfulfillment.

You feel anxious but paralyzed to do anything about it.

Schools you, “You’ll never have the energy to cut it.”

Is the sense of being used, hollowed out, strip-mined and clear-cut.

Is an unhealthy place where you can’t afford to be vulnerable – others can’t help you.

Sets the bar at an unsustainable height.

Leaves you boundary-less and unsure of your limitations.

Leaves you feeling, “I’m dreading tomorrow.”


Do an Energy Check

We teach managers to do energy checks with employees. They get skillful at discovering two things:

  1. What’s energizing you right now and how can we partner to protect and sustain that?
  2. What’s depleting you right now and how can we partner to remove or at least mitigate that?

Begin this practice for yourself, and you’ll create a team where bad tired is the anomaly and good tired is normal.

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