Low Battery: Giving 100% When You’re Not Feeling 100%

Everyone gets sick, sometimes. How can you give 100% when you’re not feeling 100%?

Well, the key is that you can only work with 100% of what you’ve got at the time. Your 100% when you’re sick is going to be different than your 100% when you’re well and healthy.

And it’s okay to give 80% or 50% or take a sick day and rest up to get back to full health.

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Imagine yourself as a smart phone. Normally, you’re running on full battery and can do everything. But when you’re sick, you’ve got much less energy for it all.

When your battery’s full you can surf the web, take photos, watch YouTube videos, make calls, send texts, check emails, play games, download apps, edit documents, listen to music.

But when your battery’s drained, you’re still the same phone on the outside but your screen is dim, you can’t use GPS, and if you load a video or launch a game your battery drains to dangerously low levels, leaving you barely able to do the basics, like making calls or checking emails.

I'm king of the world!

It’s happened to us all before. You have really low battery on your phone and you start weighing up your priorities. Okay, maybe I don’t need to check Facebook right now, because that’ll use all the energy I need to send that important text. Yep, I’ll turn GPS off and just guess at where I’m going, because I am just about to finish this audiobook and can’t stop now!

I'm not feeling so great...

We weigh it up, we make decisions based on our priorities. Because if we used the phone as if it had a full battery, it’s gonna go dead much quicker and usually right when we need it.

When you’re sick, you can’t have all the bells and whistles. You’re still the same person, but working with a low battery. You’ve gotta make the call on what matters to you and what you’ll use that remaining energy on. You have to know that if you push yourself as if you were fully charged, you risk running out of energy entirely.

And if you do manage to make it through everything, you’re going to be totally drained afterwards. You won’t be able to keep going without recharging, or you’ll damage yourself.

So, it’s okay when you’re under the weather to not achieve everything you had planned for your healthy self. You do what you can do. You’re working to 100% of what you’re capable of at that time, under those conditions. You might be at 50% battery and you spend 25% of that on what you absolutely need to do, and leave the other 25% for you, then recharge.

That’s okay.

It’s okay to take a break to recharge. Fill that battery. Get back the bells and whistles.

You have to think about your priorities.

What’s more important for you? Keeping this appointment or getting better sooner? Going to that con or LARP for the entire day or just for a bit and resting a bit? Or doing none and resting for the whole day?

I’ve been sick recently, and am still recovering. It’s what inspired me to write this post.

I’ve declined a meetup that I know I can go to next month. I’ve got two more appointments I could cancel, but I’m going to go to them, because I’m almost better – thanks to spending time recharging – and they are my priority now. Had it been last week at the height of my sickness, I would’ve postponed them. Priorities were different for me last week. I had a lower battery, so I chose to rest more and recharge.

It’s up to you how much you push yourself, but please, don’t let your batteries go dead.


When Jarrod's not writing about personal development through pop-culture, he's helping people like you reach their goals through fun, empowering coaching.

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