Ideally, we spend our days with a plethora of energy to get what needs to be done. More often, though, we end up with insufficient sleep; we skimp on breakfast because we’re late, and we experience an afternoon tired slump that affects our productivity.

We want to do it all, but sometimes we just don’t have enough energy to sustain us through our daily tasks. And when our energy fades, it’s not unusual to make less-than-ideal choices, have ill-timed conversations, or push through our to-do list when it might be better to allow things to carry over.

Here are seven things we should never do when we’re tired:


Give Into Temptation

It can be hard to resist the temptation at the best of times. But at times of low energy, our susceptibility to temptation increases. Our willpower is lower when we are tired than our decision-making powers. When tired, we are more likely to play hooky, give in to spur-of-the-moment purchases and make poor nutrition choices. Avoid giving in to temptation and stay the course until your energy is restored.

Make Important Decisions

The most important decisions require a clear head, which happens when we are well-rested. When we’re tired – we are impatient. We prefer to move on quickly to the next thing, giving us a sense that time is passing by faster than it is. This is not quite what they call ‘decision fatigue,’ it is more like ‘fatigued decisions.’ When we’re tired, our defenses are down, our brain power is lower, and our ability to consider important aspects or details is obviously also lower.

Conduct Business Meetings

When we enter a business meeting, we must be on our A-game. Business meetings can be unpredictable, and it’s important that we can think quickly and logically to protect our interests. We must be ready to think on our feet; we can’t do that when our energy is low.


Drinking isn’t the only dangerous habit when it comes to driving a car. According to America’s National Transport Safety Board, 100,000 crashes yearly involve drowsy driving and result in 1,500 deaths. At sixty miles per hour, a car travels 88 feet in just one second. That means that in just four seconds asleep at the wheel. The car will travel the length of a football field.


What goes up must come down. Sugary snacks, drinks, caffeine, and other junk foods give us an immediate but temporary boost. Unfortunately, these are the types of food we often reach for when we are tired and looking for a quick burst of energy. We get an almighty sugar stream to the cells, which feels good. It’s a short burst of energy, though, with nothing to back it up and keep it going. As soon as that sugar has been exhausted, and there’s nothing to replace it, the inevitable crash will happen. And we usually end up worse than we were before.

And it’s not just sugar, either. Alcoholic beverages and some foods can also give us a short-term energy lift, leaving us crashing when we need the most energy. It is wise to avoid vending machines when we’re tired and hungry. Indeed, hydration and proper nourishment with whole foods are essential for a healthy life.

Have Important Conversations

Having meaningful conversations when we lack energy has a much greater chance of not ending well. Most conversations should be put off at work or home until we are in a better place mentally. It’s hard to engage in a relevant and purposeful conversation when we are tired. Anything less than coming into a conversation well-prepared and ready to support our argument with facts can lead to less-than-desired results.


Stressful Situations

Our day is often made up of various situations, some of which are more likely to increase stress levels if not dealt with appropriately. When we lack energy and patience, dealing with those situations can go awry. We may end up saying something we’ll regret later, or we may agree to take on something at work or in life that doesn’t fit our schedule or plans.

The best thing we can do for sustainable energy is to get a good night’s sleep and even squeeze in an occasional nap when we’re able. Eating well, drinking plenty of water, and spending a few minutes outside in the sun can go a long way to maintaining energy levels.