Strategy for Fighting Fatigue

Half Asleep Woman With First Cup of CoffeeDo you want to remain emotionally healthy?

Do you want to be physically capable to handle what this day brings?
Do you want to maximize the creativity that permeates your soul?
Do you want to be all that you were created to be?
Do you want to enjoy life to the fullest?

If so, you must identify and do battle with the enemies that can keep you from achieving those goals.  Here comes the first one now!!


Every year I vow that I will not pursue any schedule that drags me to the edge of fatigue. I know what my limitations are yet every year I somehow manage to convince myself that this time it will be different.

Certainly, I rationalize, I can fly from coast to coast for several weeks straight and still operate at peak performance. I convince myself that if I say no to an invitation the world will fall apart.

After all, isn’t that what my book “Fully Alive” is about? “A body in motion tends to stay in motion a body at rest tends to rest in peace…right?” That may be true, but there another side to the coin.

“A body without rest cannot pass the test.”

–  Fatigue lowers your resistance to disease, depression and anxiety

Mayo Clinic says, “In some cases, fatigue is a symptom of an underlying medical problem that requires medical treatment. Most of the time, however, fatigue can be traced to one or more of your habits or routines. Read about some of the causes here.

–  Fatigue takes the edge off of your performance  

Fatigue has such a powerful affect on performance that pilots are not allowed to fly without getting the required amount of sleep.  Timing and critical thinking are seriously affected by fatigue.

–  Fatigue disrupts your moral compass

An article by The Globe and Mail details the affect on the moral standards of a person impacted by fatigue.  The article said,

“So what happens if people exhaust their self-control by being vigilant for long periods, and are then tempted to break the rules? Once the pressure is off, will they behave as honestly as people who are not cognitively fatigued? Or will they become more apt to misrepresent their work, and take more pay than they earned?

The answer is they’re more than twice as likely to cheat.”

There is a difference between laziness and the haziness that comes from fatigue. Know the difference and practice these principles to eliminate fatigue.

  1. Plan rest into your schedule every day – A short nap can save a long day.
  2. Practice a day of rest every week – God knew what he was talking about.
  3. Pace yourself – Remember the tortoise and the hare?
  4. Prepare to say no – Prioritize the best and say no to the rest.
  5. Plan to visit your physician if you suffer from chronic fatigue.

When the great evangelist Billy Graham was asked in a CT interview 1 what he would do different if he could live his life over. He said this,

“Yes, of course. I’d spend more time at home with my family, and I’d study more and preach less. I wouldn’t have taken so many speaking engagements, including some of the things I did over the years that I probably didn’t really need to do—weddings and funerals and building dedications, things like that. Whenever I counsel someone who feels called to be an evangelist, I always urge them to guard their time and not feel like they have to do everything.”

We can’t ignore the directive from Billy Graham’s boss either. “Be still and know I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)  I wonder if one of the reasons we feel depleted spiritually as well as physically and emotionally is because we have forgotten how to be still, to rest, to restore and recharge our souls and bodies to operate at peak performance.”

On Thursday let’s examine another one of the enemies of that keeps us from living fully alive.  Until then, leave a comment about your experience with fatigue and its affects on your life. 



  1. I push myself to the point of total exhaustion and then wonder why I’m not being productive. I love the five principles you’ve given to fight fatigue. I especially love #1 and #2. Nap time is my favorite time “)

      1. Wow, I can’t imagine anyone not liking naps. But I guess it takes all of us to make the world go round. If everyone were like you and me the world may not go round. We’d all be drooling on our pillows LOL

        1. I have to agree with Ken and Frankie. I love a good slobber on the pillow nap! The not knowing where you are can be a touch disconcerting, but I always find myself eventually!

          1. Bahaaahaaa. You made me laugh this morning. I love it!

    1. I don’t like naps as much as I like what I thought was going to be a nap that ends up being a two hour crash. Slobber all over the pillow. Confusion about where I am. That’s what I like.

  2. I battle fatigue daily, Ken, as I schedule and re-schedule my days, trying to find one that works. However, after maybe a day, my routine is always sabotaged–usually by my kiddo’s (or husband’s) needs/wants.

    Thanks for the encouragement to keep trying. One of these days, I may hit on a plan that actually works. 🙂

    I appreciate your proactive tips. Although I may throw out number 1. I hate naps!

      1. Great question, Frankie.
        I think it’s a combination: The few times I’ve allowed myself to nap, I’ve awakened feeling groggy instead of revived. Perhaps my aversion to naps stem from when my children were little, and I’d use their nap-time to actually get something done. Also, I’m a rather “driven” person and I guess napping seems like a waste of time.

        I know studies show just the opposite–that productivity increases with naps. Moreover, I’ve heard many leaders praise naps, and my mother-in-law naps every afternoon without fail.

        Maybe one day I’ll actually incorporate naps, knowing the benefits, but not. just. yet. 🙂

        1. I understand. I do derive a guilty pleasure from naps. I know I should be doing something more productive but the couch calls my name (especially when the days start getting colder). I’m hoping one day you will be able to nap and enjoy it 🙂

  3. As a single father of two I know how important a day of rest is and how hard it is to come by. Some weeks I have to force myself to rest which seems a bit redundant. Planning and preparing is what works best. Like cooking for the next day.

  4. Thanks so much for sharing. I have been so wore out today and well a lot lately. We are pastors, parents, home schoolers and so on and on. My dh is also chronically ill…{big time}. So…I am tired; been on my mind all day today and well, then you posted this. PtL! Thanks…I am really wanting to get your book ‘Fully Alive’; I tell others about it as I have seen the dvd. Thank you for being such a blessing!

  5. Pingback: Three Steps to Putting Off Procrastination | Ken Davis

  6. Fatigue for me = cranky, tired, forgetful, ill-fed, zoned out, worried, and weird. Result: I turn into a target for strongholds: insecurity, false beliefs, doubt and worse. Solution (well, duh): Coffee, Jesus, and Grace. As in, make sure I get those three things on before I wake up my family and before I go teach high school. Hmm. Maybe I should put Jesus before coffee. Now that’s a thought. Blessings…

  7. Thanks for this blog Ken. It really helps at the moment as I am drawing ever so close to the end of my training as an Officer (minister) in The Salvation Army and I am currently doing an essay on ‘clergy burnout’. It kinda scares me that in 10 weeks time, I’ll be running a church and leading people. Self care is a huge issue and something we all need to be mindful of.

  8. I LOVE YOU !!
    I just saw your movie, “Fully Alive”, again. You are a blessing!
    I pray The Lord uses you to infuse all who hear you with a dose of eternal hope. May we all live fully alive! May we, like your fairy granddaughters, run to The Lord each day! May we throw our skinny hearts and souls around Him, and tell Him, “I love you”! May we let Him hold us close, and listen to how dearly loved we are to Him! May we know the eternal embrace and fullness of The Lord’s love, deeply always!
    You are Soooo funny!
    (( I hope to some day see you in person! .. (( Hey, I am in Nashville next week. )) ))
    “Don’t stop, keep going! .. Sparky!”

  9. I found myself crashing and nodding off when I was right in the middle of something- found out that I’m perimenopausal! Oh yay- more girl stuff to look forward to! But I don’t think that this is what YOU are going through Ken- not unless there is a secret life you haven’t shared….
    I wrote about part of this just this week! Of course many of the symptoms are the very same ones we started with during puberty….

  10. I home school my children BELIEVE me if mommy doesn’t nap for a half an hour to an hour NO ONE is happy by dinnertime. I have a couple of medical challenges that add to the fun!

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