It’s tempting to try and play catch-up after a delay throws our productivity plans behind schedule. It’s so very tempting to try and skip rest, meals, and focus in order to deliver on those goals. Who hasn’t stayed up late on the weekends, coffee in hand at 3am, in order to complete a project before Monday morning? It’s tempting, but also a false hope. Sometimes, oftentimes, our bodies know better than our brains.

You can’t make up for lost time. That schedule you’re falling behind on is, in the end, a social construct. The needs of your body are far more concrete and real. Besides, if you’re running behind then the last thing you want to do is cut back on the restorative efforts (eating, sleeping, concentrating) required for you to function at all, never mind function at the top of your game. As they say: If you don’t have the time to do it right, then where will you find the time to do it again?

If necessary, trim your goals down to fit into the actual time and energy you have left. Factor proper amounts of sleeping, eating, socializing, and the like into your math. That slide deck may already be more than good enough. That blog post might not need another three paragraphs. Your gaming friends online might miss you tonight but you’ll enjoy one another’s company more when you’re alert, awake, and present in both mind and body. This wouldn’t be the first time that the solution which eludes you now will pop directly into your head right after a good night’s sleep. It’s time to give yourself a break.