I provided a link in a previous entry to an article about eight barriers to effective listening. Well, I was recently talking with someone about this and he pointed out a very important ninth barrier to effective listening.
The Ninth Barrier to Effective Listening
Exhausted, sleepy, tired, spent, wasted, enervated, asleep.
This is not rocket science folks. If you are too tired to listen to what others are saying, then you can’t listen effectively regardless of the existence or lack of the other eight barriers.
In the courses I run, I always remind people to get a good sleep so they can be alert for the course. It is wasteful of their time to be unable to concentrate or even actually falling asleep. I do my best to make my course interesting and active, but I know myself that if I’m tired, no matter how interesting the material, I can’t learn it.
For myself, I don’t drink caffienated beverages regularly. Why? So that I can use them as “emergency fuel” when I really need them. It sometimes happens that I can’t get to sleep at a decent hour before an important meeting or a course I’m delivering or some important reading I need to do. Caffiene helps, but only if I’m not using it regularly.