Do you ever have those weeks when you are so exhausted you don’t know how to keep putting one foot in front of the other? If so, you’re not alone.

A hectic schedule is commonplace. Maybe you did too much on the weekend, or your family and friends were in town. Everyone needs a chance to recharge and refresh their batteries sometimes. Jay Shetty knows all too well the grind of a hectic schedule. After a recent whirlwind 24-hour trip to Egypt and 26-hour plane ride home followed by a week of podcast interviews, work functions, Oscar events and client meetings, Shetty found himself exhausted. Instead of turning to common coping strategies like trying to shake it off, having a coffee, or getting some fresh air, Shetty calls upon a different set of habits to get him through a period of exhaustion while still getting his work done. In this article, Jay Shetty unpacks the tips and tricks he turns to when he's run down and lacking the energy to tackle his to-do list.

Do an Energy Audit

Exhaustion can feel overwhelming and zap any desire you have to be productive. Long work weeks coupled with too much screen time can drain your energy level to an all-time low. Throw in lack of a routine and too much time spent inside, and you have a recipe for disaster. Time for an energy audit. No one can do everything all at once. Instead, Jay Shetty suggests getting clear on how much energy each activity will require so you can identify which tasks you will tackle and which ones you will skip. “When I'm tired, I cannot associate time and space,” says Jay Shetty. “We make poor decisions when we feel exhausted. We make better decisions by thinking about how much energy we need to accomplish it. If we've done the task before, it can be based on how much energy it's taken in the past.”

Instead of trying to predict the maximum amount of energy required for the task, Jay Shetty suggests reframing your thinking. Determine what the minimum amount of energy needed. You may feel too tired to put out the maximum effort, but you can summon the energy required for the minimal effort needed, allowing you to complete the task.

Eat Healthy

A great way to get an energy boost so you can stay on task is making sure you’re fueling your body with healthy food. A study of courtroom judges found that judges often give more lenient sentences after lunch than before lunch.5 “Before lunch the judges were likely hungry, thirsty and waiting to eat,” Jay Shetty shares. “They lost their energy and were feeling a sense of fatigue, which led to poor decisions. After lunch, they came back feeling fresh and alert, and the sentences were more lenient.”

The same concept applies to you when you are hungry. Fuel your body so you can make better decisions and know the amount of energy you can spend on a task. Jay Shetty’s secret weapon when he needs an extra energy boost is a handful of dates. Dates are high in natural sugars, and they provide a quick burst of energy. You can eat them plain or add them to energy balls or oatmeal bars for a quick pick me up. They are a great alternative to the fourth cup of coffee you feel the urge to reach for, and they’re packed with fiber.

Prioritize Your Tasks Based on Effort Required

What kind of tasks motivate you? Do you gain energy from starting with more complex tasks, or do you prefer to start with more manageable tasks? Everyone is different, and neither answer is wrong. Simply figure out what works best for you and plan your activities accordingly.

Jay Shetty likes to start his day by doing something difficult. It may be a cold shower or a cold plunge, but it is something that makes him feel like he can accomplish the rest of the day.

Not everyone feels the same. You may be more motivated by accomplishing the quick, easy-to-complete tasks that motivate you to finish other things. “Studies show doing the easy thing first can be less productive even though it can initially feel good to take the path of least resistance,” explains Jay Shetty. “In an attempt to get the ball rolling, the human brain is wired to feel positive about short term rewards. So you’re more inclined to take actions that result in gaining those short term rewards. And hardest tasks require you to be more patient and to be more resilient. The stress of putting off a difficult task negatively affects productivity towards all other tasks performed.”

There is not a one size fits all solution. Everyone's mind works differently, so you need to gauge what works best for you. Being productive means you get a lot of things done. Being effective means you get big, important things done. Sometimes you can be productive, but that doesn't mean you're not effective. Find the method that works for you to be productive.

Reset with a Shower

Taking a shower is a great way to refresh and reset. Use different temperature water for a different result. A warm shower can boost your mood, reduce inflammation, soothe your muscles and encourage sleep. A cold shower can also increase oxygen intake and heart rate to release blood through the body. The saying goes, “Get up and get your blood flowing”, and a cold shower does just that. “There's also a habit element here,” explains Jay Shetty. “You're used to taking a shower at the start of the day, so you're able to perform when you take a shower. It's almost like a mental note or a mental rewiring to say ‘Let's start the day again’.”

Listen to Music

Music has the power to increase your productivity. Classical music is an excellent choice because there are no lyrics to distract you from your work. Nature sounds are another great option. “Some research suggests it's not the type of music that's important,” Jay Shetty explains. “It's actually music between 50 and 80 beats per minute. Dr. Emma Gray, a cognitive behavioral therapist, worked with Spotify to research the benefits of certain types of music.4 She found listening to music set in the 50 to 80 beat range puts the brain into an alpha state.”

Move Your Body

Exercise seems to be the last thing anyone wants to do. You are exhausted. It is hard to drag yourself to the gym for a workout when all you want to do is rest. But how do you know if you should push yourself to go or not? “I know I'm lazy when I'm thinking about how I feel right now and not how I'm going to feel after I go to the gym,” Jay Shetty says. “I know I'm going to feel great after the gym. The difference between tiredness and exhaustion is that you're feeling it in your body, not just your mind. So are your muscles aching, is your body feeling heavy or tense? When you're on the verge of being truly exhausted, it is important to give yourself good sleep.”

Change Your Position

It may seem counterintuitive to keep moving when you’re exhausted, but moving your body will help increase your energy and keep you going. A great way to do that is to alternate between a standing and sitting position during your workday. “A 2014 study by the University of Cincinnati reported a significant decrease in shoulder and back pain when participants changed their positions,” says Jay Shetty. “It says that when we sit for too long, everything in our bodies slows down. It's harder to clear fats from blood and process insulin to keep muscles active and flexible. This leads to soreness and possible organ damage. Our mental function slows because we're not moving enough to pump much blood to the brain.”1

Get up out of your chair and stand up and stretch at regular intervals throughout the day. Do whatever it takes to keep yourself moving throughout the day.

Take a Power Nap

If you were anything like Jay Shetty as a kid, you probably hated taking naps. As an adult, there are days when nothing sounds better than a quick power nap. Studies show that naps between 10 and 20 minutes are the ideal length because they provide recovery benefits without making you feel sleepy afterward.2 Other benefits of power napping include reduced tiredness, improved learning, better memory formation, improved emotion regulation and better decision-making ability.

Here are a few great tips from the Sleep Foundation on how to get an ideal nap3:

  • Set an alarm. The best nap length for most people is about 10 to 20 minutes.
  • Nap early. Avoid sleeping late in the day because it can affect your ability to fall asleep at bedtime.
  • Create a naptime environment. Dark, cool and quiet places are best.
  • Turn off your worries. Give yourself permission to unplug from your stresses.

“Sometimes taking a break or a pause can be the best thing you can do,” explains Jay Shetty. “One of my favorite things is to create a five-minute gap between each of my meetings. In those five minutes, I stand up, walk about, hydrate, look at the distance and stretch. These are five habits you need to do in the five minutes between meetings so you don't carry the baggage of the last meeting into the next meeting.”

Reward Yourself

If you pushed through and completed a task, you deserve a reward for your effort. Go to bed early or plan a relaxing weekend. Plan your reward so you have something to work toward. This will generate the excitement you need to finish your task. Knowing there is a light at the end of the tunnel will keep you moving through it. Don't let your lack of energy derail you from what you need to do. It can lead to stress and frustration, which can affect your daily life. Instead, try some of Jay Shetty's tips to help rejuvenate your energy and propel you through everything you need to do.

More From Jay Shetty

Listen to the entire On Purpose with Jay Shetty podcast episode on “7 Ways to be Productive Even When You are Tired” now in the iTunes store or on Spotify. For more inspirational stories and messages like this, check out Jay’s website at

1 Davis, Kermit G., and Susan E. Kotowski. “Postural Variability: An Effective Way to Reduce Musculoskeletal Discomfort in Office Work.” Human Factors, vol. 56, no. 7, Nov. 2014, pp. 1249–1261, doi:10.1177/0018720814528003.
2 Milner, Catherine E, and Kimberly A Cote. “Benefits of napping in healthy adults: impact of nap length, time of day, age, and experience with napping.” Journal of sleep research vol. 18,2 (2009): 272-81. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2869.2008.00718.x
3 Fry, A., & Truong, D. K. (2022, March 11). Napping: Health Benefits & Tips for your best nap. Sleep Foundation. Retrieved April 11, 2022, from
4 Cossar, V.-M. (2019, December 10). Listening to music while you study makes you smarter. Metro. Retrieved April 11, 2022, from
5 Kleiner, Kurt. Lunchtime Leniency: Judges' Rulings Are Harsher When They Are Hungrier in SA Mind 22, 4, 7 (September 2011) doi:10.1038/scientificamericanmind0911-7b

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