I am not the kind of person who can be pushed around, by anyone, including myself. In many ways, I am like the battery operated bunny that long ago advertised a certain brand of battery: I am either running full speed ahead or I am very wound down until the point of stopping. When I reach this “point of no return,” there is nothing anyone can do to re-energize me enough to keep me going. I am not a person who gets a second wind following dinner; eating dinner makes me more tired than I was when I was hungry. This trait is more personality based than anything else, including age; I was always the person who, in my younger partying days, asked to be taken home early so that the party could continue after I was fast asleep. When I have overnight house guests, I am usually the first person to say goodnight, leaving the night owls to entertain themselves. There is no amount of cajoling that can force me to stay awake, including to attend to client business long after the work day has ended. I am always in search of a good night’s sleep, so that I am re-energized to greet the new day. When I’m done, I’m done!
When entertaining dinner guests, and my grandfather tired of their company, he was known to say to my grandmother, “Vi, let’s go to bed so these people can go home.” He was done, and had a unique way of saying so. Being done, as Melissa puts it, is hitting a wall. There are times when enough is enough. It is important for us all to know our limits and not press on beyond them. Work productivity and quality decreases, sometimes rapidly, and in some professions, with very dangerous potential outcomes. It is for this reason that some professions, like pilots and truck drivers, have regulated time limits. However, in white collar professional work there are no such regulations, perhaps because the dangers are not usually physical. Nonetheless, working or playing beyond one’s limits can be risky, even with the availability of energy drinks. And, when employing others to work for you it is important to recognize that employees have their own limits. Pushing them beyond their limits can be detrimental to everyone over time. And, recent research on this confirms these points. Rest, and sleep, are critical to student test taking results and employee performance. Lastly, the limits change over time. We readily admit that long mock jury research days take their toll more than ever. But, we get up and do it again over and over.