Fighting fatigue – why it's not a bad thing to admit you're tired

You're not alone in this fight – and help is it at hand

Fighting fatigue – why it's not a bad thing to admit you're tired

Insurance News

By Desmond Devoy

We’ve all been there – another, long, hard working day that has left us propping our head up with our hands at the desk, desperately trying to battle our eyelids in case the boss sees.

In the world of remote and hybrid work, we may not have to worry about a boss “catching us” nodding off, but we do need to be even more concerned about our fatigue levels – with many of us stretching those hours even longer as we juggle home and work tasks, or try to keep up with our employer’s “global” hours.

But what can we do about it? Thankfully, help is at hand, courtesy of a woman who knows exactly what it takes to succeed in the insurance industry – including those inevitable, long hours.

That woman is Pilar Summerville (pictured), a professional and management liability insurance broker at RT Specialty. She will be moderating a panel on Fighting Fatigue at the upcoming Women in Insurance Conference on October 5 in Los Angeles at the Sheraton Grand Hotel.

“Overall, I think it’s a really important message that you’re not alone in this fight,” she said, when it comes to fatigue. “This is a struggle that many people have.”

When asked how she copes with fatigue personally, she laughed and replied: “I guess that question means I’ve figured it out!”

Fighting fatigue – an every day battle

“I’m trying to figure it out every day like most people,” she said. “Especially with some added life outside of the traditional workday,” in which a whole other full-time job feels like it awaits people when they return from their day job.

Women, especially, often bear the burden of being in the sandwich generation, caring for young children on one hand, and elderly parents on the other, while also working a full-time job.

“One key thing is just to be present where you are at the moment, right?” she said. “If I’m going to show up, then I can be 100% in with my team and my clients.”

And then when that time in the day planner is over, it becomes more comfortable “to feel that you can shut that off when it’s time to shut off.”

She suggests another way to deal with demands on one’s time is to delegate.

“I think that everyone should be encouraged to voice when you need some time,” she said. Do not be afraid to call upon your partner or other family members for help.

“Just because something has always been this way does not make it the right way,” she said. There will be times when you need all your “bandwidth” dedicated to just one important task – and you should not be afraid to let those around you know that this is a red-line need. “You can set expectations for those around you,” she commented.

Fall expectations

Living in San Diego (though originally from Chicago), she will be travelling to Los Angeles this fall, another city she once called home.

“I’m actually looking forward to (the event) being in person,” she said, especially after so many virtual-only events for the past few pandemic years.

“I’m excited to get back together. I’m sure it’ll be a great group of people not only participating on the panel, but probably catching up with a lot of friends that you haven’t seen in years.”

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