I am a high energy person. I move very fast in getting my work accomplished, whether it is at the office or at home. My late mother used to say, “You have to get up way before breakfast to stay ahead of Melissa” and “Just hearing about your schedule makes me tired.” When I wake up in the morning, I am wide away and ready to go; I am ready for all of the adventures and challenges awaiting me that day. I have no warm up time, I need no coffee or other caffeinated beverages to boost my energy; I am just naturally motivated to get going. By the end of the evening, however, there usually comes a time when I am done; it is over; and I cannot go on. When this time comes, I, like the battery operated bunny in the TV commercials, have run out of battery power. There is nothing I, or anyone, can do to pump me up to keep me awake or functional. When I reach the time to stop, I stop. The high energy I have for almost all day cannot be recharged, such that, when I am working late with clients (who often wait until the last minute to do things that could have, and should have, been done long ago), I have to inform them there will come a time when I have to stop and go to sleep. I have never been a night owl and I am not going to start being one now, or ever. I know when to stop, for now. See you tomorrow!
Knowing your limits is important in many ways. Knowing when to stop is as important as knowing when to get started. I don’t accelerate off the line as fast as Melissa does, but I, too know a wall will appear if I go too long, hard, or fast. Pushing beyond the line results in dramatically decreasing productivity. Knowing how to plan ahead and pace oneself is the key. Avoiding last minute preparations will bring better results than “giving it the college try by pulling an all nighter.” And, that is sometimes difficult to do with all of the work demands we face, regardless of the job. But, quality and productivity suffer when going beyond one’s limits, and sometimes the results can be damaging if mistakes are made and accidents occur. As employers, we have to remember not to push employees beyond their limits, even if they are not driving trucks or flying airplanes. We have found it interesting that young, energetic employees sometimes ignore their limitations on sleeping or eating, and then we all suffer the consequences of their dulled performance. Again, “forcing” employees to sleep or eat are part of a manager’s job. And, if you and you business partners operate on different cycles, being aware of the differences is critical to avoiding conflict that might be present simply because of personal differences.